Day 4 was to be driving back to Anchorage mostly. After checking out, we first stopped at the Denali Visitor Center. The center is an incredibly designed place after the surroundings. There was a show going on about the animals in the arctic region where a park ranger was explaining how the animals adapt to the winter. It was well worth the 1 hour spent at the center. The rain and clouds were back spot on that made driving a bit challenging. The big Chevy Traverse was hydroplaning quite a bit and I had to really slow down or find tracks left by a vehicle ahead of us. We reached Anchorage around 3:30 PM – a bit late for lunch, so we grabbed a bite at a Burger King. That gave me some energy and we checked back into the same Marriott on 7th street in downtown Anchorage.
One thing we would have loved to see was the Northern Lights – the spectacle above the poles, but the season was too early. Nov/Dev is the best time to see the lights. We decided to watch the film ‘Aurora’ about the lights at the nearby performing arts center. The film was okay – it was about the photographs taken off the lights by one who had spent all his life photographing the lights, but the dazzle couldn’t be found without the actual lights. Or my expectations were way too high, I guess.
For dinner, we stopped at Ginger, a Thai fusion and got some nice food for a change. There are many gift shops in the downtown area. Furs were going for around $4k in Denali, but here we could find sweaters made in China for way less money. But we weren’t after any of them settling for a small carafe of real gold leaves, that cost about $8! It is disappointing to go to a place and find local stuff that are made in China. I had to ask the shopkeeper to show me some genuine stuff made in Alaska and he point to some knives, which took up 2% of the store space!