Saturday, August 29, 2009

On the Biking Trail at Anchorage Coastline

On the last day of our Alaska trip we were at Anchorage. It was a beautiful Monday. We walked around the small downtown area in the morning and did a bit shopping. There were not many people on the streets except two group of protesters near town square - for and against health care reform.

In the afternoon, we rented bikes from a local bike rental shop and rode the bikes along Tony Knowles coastal trail. We had two wishes before setting out. One was to see Mt McKinley, the highest mountain in north America, which we hadn't been fortunate to see unveiled from the clouds. The other was to have encounters with moose, the trail was famed having moose roaming around a lot. Of the five major wild animals at Denali National Park, bear, wolf, caribou, Dall sheep and moose, moose was the only animal we had not seen.

The entrance to the trail is Elderberry Park. A slight downward slope that curves toward the sea and goes beneath a bridge started our ride. Justin and Nicholas got on their bikes and quickly raced out of sight. Lily and I had to shout after them " Stay on the right, be careful" as we got on our bikes and followed them.
The trail is paved and the first mile or so is quite flat, so Nicholas could keep pace with Justin even though he was on a much smaller bike. On the trail, there were people walking, roller skating, and biking, but definitely more bikers than joggers or roller skaters. This portion of the trail is right by the sea. Pedalling at a moderate pace, we saw sea gulls flying over the bay, snow capped mountains in the horizon, a few white clouds floating under the sunny blue sky. "I am so glad we chose to ride on this trail" , Lily exclaimed.
Around a big turn, Westchester lagoon was in front of us. There is a stream flow out of it into the sea. Justin and Nicholas stopped on the wooden bridge across the stream to take pictures of ducks in it. This bridge would be a perfect location for salmon viewing if it were salmon spawning season.
A little further down the road, the trail is in the forest, well shaded; the forest is thick, we could barely see the beach despite that it is only a couple hundred feet away from the trail. The trail becomes more wavy, a long upward slope slowed Nicholas down. Lily slowed down as well to accompany him. Justin and I moved ahead and pedaled to the top of the small hill, where there is an arc like structure, like gates at the intersection of this trail and another one. That is the the earthquake park for Good Friday Earthquake. On the shore side of the trail, there is a monument, several information boards describing earthquake in sea in general, tsunami, and Good Friday earthquake. We stopped there to look around and Nicholas and Lily arrived in a couple of minutes. We had a break there, drinking water and had some snack.

A mile or so we reached Point Woronzof, a vista, supposedly the ideal location to view Mt. McKinley, we did see snow capped mountains far away; clouds and a thin haze hid the distinctly higher Mountain. Now I could only wish to get a chance to see moose. Lily had a picture with Anchorage downtown as background. We moved ahead, next destination - Moose park.
Again, Justin and I were ahead, while pedalling we also looked into woods from time to time hoping to catch a glimpse of moose or any other wildlife. We stopped a couple of times to rest and to look around more carefully, we did not see a thing, except fresh animal droppings and tracks - Justin claimed those were bear paw prints. At 5.5 milestone, Justin stopped, he was a bit tired by now, and it was almost half of the 3 hour rental time. He decided to wait for Nicholas and mom. I pushed forward, hoping to go further a couple miles in the next few minutes and got lucky. At around 7.5 mile mark, a loud airplane noise was right above my head, I looked up, and saw a airplane, its tire, landing gear and its black belly clearly, it might be just 100 feet above me. Anchorage International Airport's runway is right by the trail, maybe less than a mile away. I stayed there a couple more minutes, watching two more landing planes and turned around.
I pedaled really hard, hoping to catch up with the rest of the family; finally I saw Lily by herself near earthquake park. She just taped the kids biking on the trail, and was waiting for me. "We saw a bull moose by the trail", she told me excitedly, " we stopped to tape it and to take picture. Nicholas was so excited he ran towards the moose, I had to shout to let him stop. The moose might be startled a bit, it crossed the road and disappeared into the woods". " Did you take pictures of it?", I asked, "No, but I did catch it on tape when it walked into the woods". "You were lucky", I said, a bit envy of their fortune. Timing is everything for wildlife sighting.

Lily suggested to tape a bit when I pedal on the trail, this excited me. So I stayed where we were and let her go ahead to prepare for the video recording. She taped me pedalling and then I taped her pedalling. We were amused of ourselves for acting like this. It was fun though.
Back on bikes, in a minute or so, a crowd was in front of us, Justin and Nicholas were off bikes, standing, bikes on the ground. Seeing us, they whispered - Moose! They were taking pictures, less than 5 yards away from the moose. A mother moose and her two cubs were right by the road, eating tree leaves. We took out camera, camcorder, started taking pictures and video recording as well. Shortly, the cubs walked on to the trail, standing there for a few seconds and walked to the beach. the mother moose looked at the cubs a few times but stayed where she was...... It was amazing!!
A few minutes later, after taking many more pictures, recording more videos, we moved on. Ready to go home.
What a bike ride!! How marvelous to end the trip like this.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Index 2012

Index 2009 -2010

Index 2011

1/7/2012  Wolfcreek and Alberta Peak
1/14/2012 Great Sand Dunes National Park
1/21/2012 A casual fan watch NFL games
1/28/2012 Career in Engineering - presentation at elementary school
2/4/2012   The Art of Baking Bread - by Lily
2/11/2012 Alamosa National Wild Life Refuge
2/18/2012 The visit from a Novelist 
2/25/2012 Maintaining optimal weight 
3/3//2012 AJAS Symposium 2012 - touring UBC Chemistry Labs
3/10/2012 Sowing Seeds
3/17/2012 Spring flowers around the block
3/24/2012 Mt Magazine
3/31/2012Hiking on Mt. Magazine
4/7/2012 Lottery and Stock
4/14/2012 Household chores
4/21/2012 My first visit to Paris
4/28/2012 Team Lunch
5/5/2012   Home Maintenance Hassles
5/12/2012 Super Moon
5/19/2012 "Useless Classes"
5/26/2012 Setting Thermostat for Central AC in a Two Story House
6/2/2012 Chihuly at Dallas Arboretum - by Nicholas
6/9/2012 Impression Chihuly - by Justin
6/16/2012  Revisiting Oak Point Park
6/23/2012 NPR
6/30/2012 Barbershop at home
7/7/2012  Camping at Lake Ray Roberts
7/14/2012 Race to Nowhere
7/21/2012 Summer Frozen Treats
7/28/2012 Follow your body's Signals
8/5/2012  Summer Nights at North Texas
8/19/2012 Sequoia, King's Canyon and Yosemite Trip Itinerary 
8/25/2012 Half Dome at Yosemite
9/1/2012 Starry Sky over Yosemite
9/8/2012 Biking in Yosemite Valley
9/15/2012 Crystal Cave at Sequoia - by Nicholas
9/22/2012 Lembert Dome at Tuolmne Meadow  - by Lily
9/29/2012 Under the Tent Cabin in Yosemite  - by Lily
10/6/2012 One Extra Hour  - by Lily
10/13/2012 Exploring giant Sequoia Trees
10/20/2012  Ansel Adams
10/27/2012 Mini Fall Break at Lake Texoma
11/3/2012 Yosemite: Rock climbing and Wild life
11/10/2012 Shark Tank
11/17/2012 My Birthday - by Nicholas
11/24/2012 Thanksgiving - Give Thanks
12/1/2012 Foliage in the Yards
12/9/2012 Fixing Leaking Faucet
12/16/2012 Random Thoughts - Sandy Hook Elementary
12/23/2012 Family Holiday Letter
12/30/2012 A White Christmas


1/12/2013  Kayaking on the Head Water of San Marcos River
1/19/2013 From the Top  - by Justin
1/26/2013 From the Top - by Nicholas
2/2/2013  Zilker Park at Austin
2/16/2013 Sleep Tight
2/24/2013 I got Flu
3/16/2013 Spring Break Ski Trip
3/23/2013 Pair Skinng
3/30/2013 Knife Ridge at Wolf Creek
4/20/2013 Spring Picnic
4/27./2013 Mona Lisa Smile - by Lily
5/4/2013   White Rock Creek
5/12/2013 Playing Pool
6/1/2013  Vienna: Stephandom
6/8/2013 Vienna: Food
6/15/2013 An Evening Stroll
6/22/2013 Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna
6/29/2013 Vienna - Musics and more landmarks
7/14/2013 Gardening Thoughts
7/21/2013  Summer Mosaic
8/3/2013   White Peaches
8/10/2013 My favorite TV shows -1 
8/17/2013 My favorite TV shows - 2
8/24/2013 Acadia Trip Itinerary 
8/31/2013 Acadia Coastline
9/7/2013   Precipice Trail at Acadia
9/21/2013 Biking at Acadia
9/28/2013 Kayaking in Frenchman Bay
10/6/2013 Acadia Miscellaneous 
10/20/2013 Random Thoughts
10/26/2013 Heath Care Exchange, NSA and smart cars
11/9/2013 Early Autumn
11/17/2013 Intelligence Squared  - by Lily
12/1/2013 Thanksgiving
12/7/2013 Iced Foliage
12/21/2013 Last Sunday
12/24/2013 Mystery of Water - by Nicholas
12/28/2013 Christmas Lights

Saturday, August 22, 2009

2009 Alaska Trip Highlight

We had our first ever cruise from July 31 to August 10, 2009.We boarded the cruise at Vancouver Canada.It ended at Seaward, Alaska. During each call of port, we took one or two excursions to explore Alaska Glaciers, Land and wildlife. At the end of the seven day cruise, we went on for a 2 day land tour at Danali National Park.

Index 2 - Family Adventures

Year 1 - 2009 - 2010

Year 2 - 2010 - 2011
8/28/2010 Consequence of Belly Fat and Inactivity

9/4/2010 Our American Identifty

9/11/2010 Lake Mineral Wells

9/18/2010 A concert at Meyerson

9/25/2010 Our Pet

10/2/2010 Bear Encounter at Yellowstone

10/9/2010 Yellowstone: Water and Mountains

10/16/2010 Wildlife We Saw at Yellowstone

10/23/2010 Our Yellowstone Trip Plan

10/31/2010 Fermat's Last Theorem - A Primer

11/6/2010 Fermat's Last Theorem - Numbers

11/13/2010 Fermat's Last Theorem - The Odyssey

11/20/2010 Autumn, Harvest and Thanksgiving

11/28/2010 Thanksgiving Dinners

12/4/2010 Hitch and Bike Rack

12/11/2010 Bass Performance Hall Ballet - The Nutcracker

12/18/2010 Turtle and kids' eduction

12/24/2010 Our 7th Ski Trip to Taos Ski Valley

1/1/2011 Custom Calendar

1/8/2011 New Year's Resolution

1/15/2011 Tankless Water Heater

1/22/2011 Crime Watch 1

1/29/2011 Crime Watch 2 - community organizer

2/5/2011 Interesting facts about Triangles

2/12/2011 February Freeze

2/19/2011 Pictures of Snow Days

2/26/2011 Interesting facts about Triangles - Quantitative Relations
3/5/2011 Golden Snub Nosed Monkeys

3/12/2011 Butterflies

3/19/2011 Glimpses of Lake Ouachita
3/26/2011 Cabin by the Lake
4/2/2011 More About Butterflies

4/9/2011 Butterfly courtship and copulation

4/16/2011 Paddling on Lake Ouachita

4/23/2011 Grand Canyon - Trip Plan

4/30/2011 Easter Weekend Camping

5/7/2011 Gand Canyon - River Rafting

5/14/2011 On the road - temporarily stranded

5/21/2011 Sagrada Familia

5/28/2011 Discovering Feynman - by Lilly

6/4/2011 Twosome

6/11/2011 Memorial Day Remebrance
6/18/2011 Sagrada Familia 2

6/25/2011 Picking Blueberries

7/2/011 Hagerman Wildlife refuge

7/9/2011 Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve and Beyond

7/16/2011 Oak Point Park & Nature Preserver and Beyond 2

7/24/2011 Best of Banff and Jasper National Parks

7/31/2011 Wildlife at Banff and Jasper

8/6/2011 Birds and Flowers at Banff and Jasper

8/13/2011 A Peek at Amsterdam and Netherlands

11/19/2011 This Autumn

11/26/2011 A Thankful Me

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Index - Family Adeventures

8/2009 - 8/20010

8/22/2009 2009 Alaska Trip Highlight
8/29/2009 On the Biking Trail at Anchorage Coastline
9/ 5/2009 Destination Alaska - preparation for the trip of a life time
9/12/2009 A Pre-Cruise Excursion at Vancouver
9/19/2009 Wilderness Sea Kayaking at Sitka
9/26/2009 My Adventure - Gold Panning in Alaska - by Nicholas
9/26/2009 Whales at Alaska Sea
10/3/2009 Watching the Moon
10/10/2009 Denali Wilderness We Saw
10/17/2009 Mendenll Glacier Flightseeing and Walk about (Justin)
10/24/2009 Foliage in my Neighborhood
10/31/2009 Glacier, Ice Ages and Climate Change
11/07/2009 Having fun on Board Cruise Ryndam
11/14/2009 Sunrise at Grand Teton
11/21/2009 Thanksgiving Reflection

5/27/2010 Going Green

6/19/2010 Board Director

7/3/2010 My office

8/21/2010 This Texas Life