August 12: regrouping and indulging in Anchorage

IMG_0743After leaving Denali (Olivier decided to stay for another couple of days) and driving toward Anchorage, Harry and I came across intense stretches of fireweed populating recently burned pine forests. This herbaceous plant is common all over Yukon and Alaska and has became a bit like a symbol of my last two weeks.

IMG_0750In Alaska’s largest city, I got a haircut, bought a replacement charger for my laptop (I had accidentally left mine in Olivier’s backpack…) and asked around for places to buy smoked salmon and halibut. The recommendation by my well-traveled barber–she had just returned from Turkey and had also been to Argentina, inter alia–turned out to be a nondescript sausage and fish smokehouse founded by a German immigrant. Entirely bilingual (“Willkommen!”), the store boated shelves full of (original!) German food. Of course I had to stock up on (non-high fructose corn syrup) Haribo goodies, Niederegger marzipan and–memories of childhood skiing trips to Austria–Almdudler!

IMG_0753Overjoyed by my purchase, I almost got rammed by this fellow: Alaska plate GKY-531. He cut us off and missed us by ten inches, then sped off. At first I wanted to go into hot pursuit but, after taking a deep breath, I decided to continue on my way. At least I know that if there had been a crash, his car would likely have been totaled by la bestia

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