Moose Fix in Anchorage

I’ve had serious moose envy up here in Alaska: everyone is seeing moose and photographing moose and having to stop for moose in the road, everyone but me. I’ve seen a few (okay, five), but it wasn’t until I was biking in the city of Anchorage that I had to get off the trail for them. Finally: Moose as hazards!

There are 1,200 moose in Anchorage. That’s mind-blowing.

The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

This gorgeous multi-use trail runs along the curving coast of Anchorage, and we spent the day on it on our bikes. (The brewery didn’t open until 2:00 so we had time to kill, ya know.)

Long stretches of the trail show off Mount Susitna across the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet, with wide, shallow mudflats revealed at low tide. You’re warned six ways from Sunday never to venture on the flats, because the tide comes in as high as 28 feet in a very short time. This tourist season a young man got stuck in the quick-sand-like mud and drowned as the tide came in.

We stayed on the trail and admired Susitna.

Here’s Anchorage, with the Chugach Mountains behind. (That’s where we hiked the previous day.) Anchorage has a lot of marijuana shops and ethnic restaurants. That’s my one-day assessment.

I Always Mistake Moose for Horse

Oh, if only bicyclists followed this hierarchy for right-of-way! First, yield to moose. Then children, then dogs, then finally bikes.

You’d think they wouldn’t have to tell bikes to yield to people in wheelchairs, but a bicyclist passed us and then the couple in front of us with a dog who was passing a person in a wheelchair. All on a sidewalk with only two lanes. Trail etiquette is no more.

I did learn that people passing you in the other direction yell, “Moose on your right,” not because they think you want to take pictures but because you need to stop in the path to let the moose go by. This is so frequent on one stretch of this trail that it’s standard procedure.

This cow and her calf were in someone’s yard, actually behind a low wooden fence, and that’s why I thought they were horses. Well, that’s what I thought the first time I ever saw a moose in Montana, so my brain must just not comprehend “moose” right away.

This one was hard to mis-identify. See how she’s standing in mown grass? People are walking on a sidewalk right there. Heck, I’m on a sidewalk right there.

Along this trail also is the earthquake park, which Tracy had visited as a child right after the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake. Two towns were lost, and one due to exploding railroad cars filled with oil—so there weren’t just regular tsunamis—there were flaming tsunamis.

Along this trail also is beluga whale watching, but there are so few belugas in the wild here that I didn’t have the heart to stare into the water and not see them.

I am very much satisfied with moose.

5 thoughts to “Moose Fix in Anchorage”

  1. In the kid’s show Charlie and Lola there’s a Xmas episode where a kid identifies a reindeer as a “horse with sticks on its head”and I definitely think moose would fit into that category. Cannot get over how lush it all is!

    1. I think because there’s rain near the coast, and because the daylight hours are so long in the (brief) summer, the growing season is unusual. I’m looking forward to seeing the prize vegetables on display at the state fair!

      1. For me, Alaska and PNW are the last frontiers – I haven’t so much as visited, let alone bike or camp. I’m insanely jealous!

        1. Mark, the PNW is gorgeous in its own right, for sure. Like where we are in Alaska, though, be prepared for cold and wet and then more cold and wet!