Posts Tagged ‘reindeer’


4th November 2010 by Helen

We’re still here in Anchorage so I thought it was about time we did an update. Almost everything is in place ready for us to head off to Florida. We’ve collected the Jeep (shhhh, don’t tell Landy) out of storage, had the oils changed and the windscreen fixed (as arranged by the owner) but there’s a problem with the car heater – like, it’s not working – which is not bright when it’s already below freezing most of the time outside and it’s been snowing today.  One way or another a solution of some kind will have to happen tomorrow.  We’ve got on really well with the guys at the hostel but we are still really gutted by the delay. It makes it all the tighter on our schedule for actually getting to Florida in time for our flights back up to Seattle.

But, for now, I have a little time to think a bit more about our time here in Anchorage. It’s much as I described in ‘Cities’ but a couple of things I didn’t mention. Just down the road from the hostel is a house with a large caged pen outside. In the pen is a reindeer named Star. Star has her own facebook page. In fact she is really Star number 6 and is apparently a bit of a mascot here in Anchorage. Read more about Star’s history here.  Seeing Star and reading the article has made us ponder somewhat on the subject of what type of animal makes an appropriate pet and how they are kept!!

Another thing here is the cost of food!!  It’s astronomical.  Not that we should be surprised as most of it has to be shipped in from the “Lower 48” as they call the southern states.  Other than that most stuff seems cheaper at least than the UK – houses, apartments, electrical goods, etc.

We had a bit of a drama last night.  Paul was outside in the dark and snow detailing (valeting in English English) the Jeep while I was indoors cooking (not daft).  All of a sudden Paul heard a creeeeaaaaaak and then a craaaaassssshhhhh as the telegraph pole three doors up the road bent off at the bottom and lay down across the road.  The wires above his head tightened and then the next telegraph pole up the road repeated the cry and lay down too!!  Lights went off up the road between the two poles causing people to come rushing out into the road.

Much to our surprise the fire service turned up within the half hour.  Vehicles were parked and ground flares lit to block the road.  Fork lifts soon followed with a small army of workmen.  The various wires were disconnected from the still standing telegraph poles – causing our own electricity to go off.  Then they carried on working in the dark, wind and snow, replacing the poles and reconnecting the wires.  Amazingly the job was done and electricity restored by about 1.30 am.  The whole drama had taken no more than about four hours.

Mind you, there was nearly a much bigger disaster in the middle of this.  Despite the flashing red and blue lights, ground flares, fork lifts, fire engines and loads of men in hi-visibility jackes, one local resident reversed at speed out of his drive, straight over a coil brand new wire, catching the wire on the underside of his car, before speeding off.  Men in hi-visibility coats were waving and gesticulating at him to stop, to no avail until one of the men bravely stepped out right in front of the speeding car.  If he hadn’t there was a real risk that the car would have pulled the wire tight, pulling on the pole to which it was already attached and potentially causing a serious accident to the workman up that pole as well as damage to the madman’s car.   Glad to say that disaster was averted.

PS: check out our Gallery for our Rare Overlander video!!