Continuing on from yesterday’s post. Remember how I discussed Portage as a community that sank beneath the waves during the 1964 earthquake? Well so did Girdwood about 9 miles west. Except Girdwood moved inland and rebuilt. Today Girdwood Valley is a thriving community known for its world class ski resort and artist community. Ok, it really is known as the hippie community of Alaska. Located just 23 miles south of Anchorage, there are people that love the life there and commute in to Anchorage to work regardless of the weather. I have a term for those people – “Crazy”. I have driven this road in a snowstorm with the sea on one side and a mountain on the other and it was nerve-wracking to say the least. I can’t imagine doing it all the time.
Nonetheless, Girdwood itself is a beautiful place. We happened to visit on Forest Festival Weekend which is a giant arts and crafts show that is very popular. My daughter and her friends always made a point of going to this when she was in High School. For me it is just way too crowded to enjoy.
Here is a shot of the famous Alyeska Ski Resort. Alyeska is the actual native word for Alaska and, as usual, white men changed it to something they could pronounce. The ski slope is quite imposing when you look at it without snow on it and I can’t help but think “who would go down that”! One great activity you can do year round is take the tram to the top of the mountain and have a great meal with the most spectacular view.
The drive back along the Seward Highway is spectacular. We were lucky this trip to see the tidal bore roll in. You can’t make it out on the pictures I took, but it is quite a site if you get to see it.
Here is a picture of one of the nearby rivers. I love how the color is so bright they seem to glow. This is a result of the high mineral content of the water since these are fairly young mountains and still shedding a lot of material. Saw more than a few kayakers enjoying the water.