Anchorage, Alaska

Part 2 (Sept. 19-20 2008)

Later Hirai-kun (a student from the lab nextdoor who we shared a hotel room with) and I rented a bicycle to ride the coastal trail and met Eri Itoh (graduated from my lab) and some of her friends/colleagues who had had the same idea.

We did a bit more than just the Coastal Trail: we decided to go back via the Campbell Creek trail and Chester Creek Trail. (See here for more info on the trails.) Although the coastal trail is easy to find (follow) we had some more difficulty with the other ones. There are plenty of signs, but just not at the most critical places... Anyway, we found it (at some point with the help of a local university student).

Except for a squirrel, I hadn't seen any wildlife yet. It was written everywhere that you were quite likely to see some, and my Japanese labmates who went cycling on another day, had seen a Mooose. Therefore I decided that friday morning, before our flight back to Seattle, I should try again.

Again I took the coastal trail, but no animals... When arriving at the park at the end of the trail, I decided to go off the paved road

[HDR] and soon I saw this mother and child! I carefully passed and went around the rest of the park

[HDR] then my path came back to the same point, now they stood up (but didn't mooove). My day was almost good, but unfortunately no male with big antler... On my way back I went a little more offroad in a different part of the park...

[HDR] and just when I thought "too bad then" and took the offroad trail parallel to the paved costal trail heading back I was one! For my own safety I decided to head back a bit and take the main road, instead of passing the animal...

[HDR] Surely the rest of the day I was in a great moood!

Seattle is "city of the coffee bars" and the city where Starbucks started. With many Starbucks in Japan, this first store is kind of a tourist attraction, especially to Japanese it seems. Nice bakeries around as well and we went through the Pike Place Market in the morning.

We would have gotten a special technical tour at Boeing in Seattle as part of the conference, however the people of Boeing decided to strike (we saw only 3 or so waving a protest sign) and the tour was cancelled. We went to the museum of flight instead (I had seen many of those in April...) It was ok, but not really special or so.

After the museum of flight there was quite some time left over, and my Japanese labmates had planned for a tour at some baseball stadium. Apparently there is some famous Japanese baseball player ("Ichiro") playing there now so they wanted to visit this "temple".

[HDR] We saw the practice rooms, dressing room, went around the field, in the duck-out, the members club restaurant and finally the press-room


Finally we went to see the "Space Needle"

[HDR] (didn't go up as the weather was bad and it was too expensive anyway)