Anchorage Camera Store - Best Panasonic Lumix Camera.
I took this picture and the previous one on the Anchorage Seawalk, a path that swoops from just below Spenard around the west and north coast of the port town, ending in the downtown. The path was ugly in parts and beautiful in others. At this point I still had designs of using my medium-format Graflex camera on my travels, so that was packed in with my 35 mm Nikkormat and my Nikkormat's zoom lens. I also toted a tripod, because the medium-format camera required more steadiness than I've ever possessed, and a little backpack with shoulderstrap I'd picked out of the FREE box at the hostel. As I write this I can feel the sweaty weight of it all on that bright, sunny day. It so happened that I'd arrived just in time for some of the best weather ever, said Ancoragites. Normally it was overcast and drizzly all summer. Neither the sunny days nor the tales of constant grey quite matched the idea I'd had of weather up there. I was wearing my new boots. This story is the one I tell to most people when they ask about my trip because it's the simplest. The Spenard Hostel has three shoe shelves on the left wall as you enter. A sign asks you firmly to take off your shoes. It makes sense, as it keeps the cost of cleaning down. Also, the boarders are required to clean up every day, vacuum, take out the trash, etc., so leaving your shoes off really helps yourself out, too. The first night I spent there, I left them out. When I woke the next morning, they were gone. I took a few hours to look through all the boots (what guy really pays attention to his boots, or remembers the brand name or even the color?) to make sure they were gone, and I notified the owner. The owner was a very nice man, late thirtysomething, maybe early fortysomething. His dog was referred to as Skeeter. I had heard people call him other names, so, as he drove me to Wal-Mart to get some new boots (he had lent me old tennis shoes of his own to get in the store), I asked him what his dog's name really was. He'd named him Magnet first. As in Chick. As in Magnet was a beautiful, cute Black Lab who got his single owner a lot of feminine attention. Then it turned into Magneto. From Magneto to Magneto-Burrito, from Magneto-Burrito to Magneto-Burrito-Mosquito, and then, to prevent further additions (-Hirohito?), he called him Skeeter from then on. The dog in question was an aloof sort to the boarders until he knew he could get you to take him for a walk. Spenard was close to the water, so I took Skeeter on his favorite path by the water and let him paddle toward ducks and floating sticks. His owner was an interesting guy. On the ride back he told me he'd spent three years up in the north of Alaska in a Native town. He talked about meeting the elders and how they said that the yearly dividends the White government pays out to every native in Alaska was another white-man's-curse. They said it made their people lazy. There was no drive to learn, to get better jobs, because the dividends they got could amount to enough to live on. The shot above is of a small woods on one side of the path. On the other side were mud flats. They weren't very pretty, but I still got a few shots of them, I think. As I walked the few miles alongside the flats, I imagined they might be dangerous. I found out later from the newspaper that "yet another" stupid tourist had wandered onto the flats, gotten stuck, and twisted his ankle trying to get out. I thus learned it was possible to die from wandering too far off the path. Lonely Planet: Alaska also had warnings of the mud flats, relating a story so paranoia-inspiring it was almost an urban legend. A couple riding their ATV across the flats south of Anchorage became stuck. In the act of pushing, the wife became stuck, too. Seeing that the tide was coming in, the husband ran for help. Water six degrees warmer than freezing was up to her chest when the woman's husband came back with troopers. They wrestled the tide and scratched at the mud, but... They gave her a tube to breathe through until hypothermia claimed her under the sea. Six hours later, one of her legs was "still firmly trapped in the mud." I imagine that hapless travelers, who don't have anyone looking for them, might wander alone at night out onto the flats, become stuck, and vanish off the face of the planet without anyone hearing their screams. Alaska seemed a place to disappear.Candid Camera - Snow Pusher
This girl is trying to keep the sidewalks free of snow outside of a little store called "Grizzlies" in downtown Anchorage.
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