Thursday, October 14, 2010

Girdwood Area

One of our favorite things to do is stop by the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.  It is a facility that takes in injured or orphaned wildlife and gives them a home forever.  I think I heard they have about 200 acres, though not all of it is being used at the present.  They have a beautiful little herd of elk.

This big boy was impressive. He wasn't too keen on being watched, being photographed, or having his family watched, but I was glad to get this closeup of his beautiful face.


There is one lone coyote at the AWCC.  He used to have a pack but the rest of them escaped.  When they did, he chose to stay behind.  His territory is in with the grizzly bears in a nearly 20 acre enclosure.  They seem to get along just fine.


We were thrilled when he chose to come to our side of the lake and give us a close up of his stately form.

The bears were even more impressive, of course.

I love seeing them play fight in the water.  We've seen this in the wild a number of times and it's always so thrilling.

Talk about stately form!

We spent all day at the center.  We returned to the bears a number of times.  We got to watch them be fed.  Frozen salmon was thrown over the high fencing and they chowed down.

This one's my favorite shot.

They have a small garden at the center. I loved these red and yellow stalks. My first thought was that this was rhubarb but on closer look I think it might be kale, since the plant and leaves aren't as big as rhubarb.  Regardless of what they are, they're beautiful.

In the middle of the day we left the park to get some lunch in the town of Girdwood.  Here is our view out the window next to our table.

The restaurant is called Chair 5 and Girdwood is a ski resort town. 


The first time I went there was in 2004 when I went to Alaska with "the girls". It was a make-up trip for my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and me. The summer before the three of us had set out with The Fisherman to drive to Alaska. We were pulling his mom's brand new travel trailer but got only six hours away from home when we encountered a strong wind that sent us swerving. We ended up going off the road and rolling over. Thus ended our trip.

The Fisherman actually went on up about a week or so later to meet some friends from Arizona we were planning on vacationing with. But the girls, we stayed home and planned our make-up trip for the following summer. We invited our other sister-in-law and made it a full family girls' trip. We ate at Chair 5 when we stayed overnight in Girdwood. Every one of us was impressed with our meal. They served the best breaded halibut around; the coating was so light and crunchy.
We loved all the flowers, too.  With all the sunlight in the summer, businesses often have huge hanging baskets of flowers and lush full flower boxes.

If you're ever in Girdwood, Alaska, be sure to visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and stop in at Chair 5 for a nice meal.  One thing we didn't do while in the Girdwood area this year was visit Portage Glacier.  If you ever go there, be sure to do Portage Glacier, too!


  1. The plants with the red and yellow stalks are Swiss chard 'Bright Lights.' Nice pictures!

  2. Thanks, Laurie. My first thought about the plants was rhubarb, but the leaves were too small. So, I thought they might be chard. Thanks for confirming. I'd never seen them with yellow stalks before. I thought they were so pretty.