Bison, Bears, and Caribou…Oh My!

Today was our day for an Alaskan Adventure! We started out heading down the Seward Highway to the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center. This center takes in orphaned and injured animals and provides them with spacious enclosures and quality animal care on a year round basis. Some animals will have a permanent home at the center; others will move to different facility. Most of these animals cannot be released into the wild for various reasons. We saw moose calves, Kodiak brown bear cubs, adult brown and black bears, musk ox, wood bison, elk, caribou, an eagle, and owls. It was really exciting to see these animals up close and personal, especially since there was a fence keeping us safe from a bear attack. We even got to see the bear cubs at feeding time! The cubs will be moving to a new facility in Sweden next year. In 2013, the center is planning on reintroducing the wood bison into their natural environment. They were once thought to be extinct, but soon enough they will number in the tens of thousands!

After visiting the center, we drove to Alyeska Hotel and Resort and took the tram up to the top of the mountain. We learned about how the resort is surrounded by multiple glaciers. Avalanches are common! It began to drizzle on our way up, and by the time we made it to the top, the rain was coming down even more. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see too far in the distance because of all the clouds. It’s been overcast everyday, but this is the first day it actually rained here.

Food today: For lunch we stopped at the Turnagain Arm Pit. Yes, I cringe every time I have to say that name, but honestly, it was SUPER Delish! I had a pulled pork sandwich and Jon had the beef brisket sandwich. Each meal came with sides of beans and slaw. For dinner, we visited Maxine’s Glacier City Bistro which we wanted to go to the first night we got here, but there was a private party. The menu had a lot of different dishes. We decided to order some small plates so we could sample a little bit of everything. We ordered the Meze which included hummus, falafel, pita, pickled veggies, olives, feta cheese, tabouleh, harissa, tadziki, and tahini. We also ordered steamed artichokes with a tomato jam, a green salad with goat cheese, almonds, and a balsamic vinegarette, and the surf and turf roll. We even had room for dessert: molten chocolate lava cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Wow! It was a FABULOUS dinner!

Tomorrow: GLACIER TOUR!

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