Anchorage

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No one would ever describe our lives as boring, but occasionally things get a little more exciting than we like. Today was one of those days. We got up this morning anxious to start finding our way around Anchorage. I wanted to go by the school we will be baby-sitting for the summer (through the Camper Host program) and Mary wanted to go by REI and check-in. In keeping with the roads we have traveled on since leaving the lower 48, many of the roads in Anchorage do not have lines on them - this makes driving on multi-lane roads a little challenging if you are not familiar with the area (4 lanes of traffic all headed in the same direction without any lines showing the lanes).

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After checking out several places, we went downtown to find the visitor's' center. On the corner in front of the visitors' center was a man selling reindeer dogs. We decided that we needed reindeer dogs since it was after 2:00, we had not had lunch and we had never had a reindeer dog. The reindeer dog was as good as any other hotdog/sausage I have had and I would not hesitate to eat another one, but I also would not seek out reindeer dogs if other things were available.

The visitors' center was located inside a federal building. Right inside the door was the same security scanners you see at the airport. I asked if we had to go through security to go to the visitors' center and the security people explained that it was a federal building and everyone had to be scanned - remove jacket, empty pockets, shoes off, etc. The guys were asking where we were from and chatting it up while we waited our turn. I emptied my pockets and walked through the scanner without issue. Mary followed and went over to get our stuff that went through the scanner. Mary reached out to get her jacket and the man operating the scanner grabbed her hand, looked her in the eye and said, "Hold on, what is in your wallet?" Mary started naming stuff and he started shaking his head. Mary named everything she could think of. Finally he smiled and said, "I'm just messing with you. I'm pretty convincing aren't I."

We picked up some maps and other info from the visitors' center. Someone from the forest service helped us with pronunciation of some of the places around Anchorage. On our way out, I asked the security guys if we had to be scanned to leave. The one who had messed with Mary on our way in said we did not and that he would escort us out. They told us to have fun in Alaska.

We headed back to the RV. Mary decided to take a nap and I started looking at the info we had gotten from the visitors' center. It wasn't long before I heard sirens. They got closer and more abundant. More and more sirens that kept screaming. Then there was a woop-woop-woop sound. A helicopter with the word Trooper on the bottom of it was about twenty feet above the RV and was circling the RV park. A police car came down the road in the rv park and jumped out of the car with a dog. I locked the door to the rv. In about five minutes the officer and dog returned to the car, they drove up and down the rows in the rv park. The helicopter flew away. People started coming out of their RVs and looking around. Moxie needed to go out so I took her. Behind our RV is the "nice" section of the RV park that is not open yet. I have been walking Moxie in that area. When I got to the nice section of the RV park there was a group of officers dressed in SWAT gear. I wasn't sure what I should do, I decided I was probably best to just keep walking as if they were not there. When Moxie and I passed by I said, "I don't know if I should be scared or feel really safe." One of the guys told me I should feel safe that they had gotten their man. These guys had on helmets, bullet proof vests, and were carrying big automatic weapons. Their "man" was apparently attempting to steal a car. What a display of force for an attempted car theft. Note to self… do not do anything illegal in Alaska.

UPDATE: Here is info on the police action yesterday - a little more than just an attempted car theft.