Soon you'll be traveling to Anchorage, Alaska to play my beloved Seawolves this coming weekend. I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome all of you to my fine city and state. And to give you some tips which should make your stay both more enjoyable and entertaining. And hey ... click all the links.
First, make sure you pack your bags smartly and efficiently. The companies that operate the big long tubes that go up in the air have lots of restrictions they enforce with regard to how much and what specifically you can bring. Your big boy flannel jammies should be fine though. Double check with your coach and program for other specifics. Or call one of your Seawolf or Nanook friends, they make the trip you're about to make 7 or 8 times a season.
Second, make sure you get in the plane and not on the plane when Coach Motzko says it's time to "get on the plane". He isn't trying to trick you. It's just common parlance. Trust me .. he means "get in".
I must encourage you here to sleep only during the first few hours of the 5+ hour big airplane ride. For the last hour or so you should be able to see these big bumpy things on the ground below that are tipped with white. Those are mountains with snow on top of them. You'll like them. They're fun to look at. They won't look really big until your on the ground ... that's because the airplane you're in flies really really high in the air. Fun huh?
Once you arrive in Anchorage and get all snug in your hotel, you're going to get bored really quickly. Hotel rooms are like that and you won't find any major differences from when you take the bus to other cities to play. So in the rest of this note to you, I'll focus on fun things to do around Anchorage to alleviate that boredom.
Go around town and try to find some moose to pet and/or ride. City moose aren't mean and nasty like their wild cousins. They're like sparky your dog back home. So go pet some if your bored. I don't know exactly which hotel you're at ... but if you get lucky enough to stay at the Millennium Hotel on Lake Hood you'll probably see some of the friendliest moose in town nearby. Go pet em. Trust me!
It may be tempting to go out and do so warm up skating on Lake Hood. I wouldn't advise that though because it's an airport. You'll see lots of little planes parked all around the lake. They take off and land there. I wouldn't want you to get hurt or anything before the games. Besides, everyone knows the best place to skate outside in Anchorage is Westchester Lagoon. So if you've got a hankering for some extra skating head on down there .... I'm almost ... well sorta sure the ice is thick enough ... maybe. The banner picture is Westchester Lagoon this past spring. Trust me!
Another popular activity in the Anchorage bowl area is mountain climbing. I know it sounds really difficult but you can drive most of the way up a mountain called Flattop and finish the trek with a 3 mile hike that only gains about 1250 feet of elevation. This could be a good Thursday training session actually. This site has the directions. Make sure you wear a toque as it tends to get a little breezy up there this time of year. Trust me!
I know you'll probably want to go fishing. So let me suggest a walk down to the ocean. Grab your poles and head to the Anchorage Coastal Trail. It's a 15 mile or so trail that meanders along Cook Inlet. If you don't get there at high tide feel free to wander out on the mudflats. They're a bit slippery and well .. muddy but hey ... mud can be fun. Trust me!
Those are all the daytime suggestions I have. I know the biggest part of your boredom will happen at night. So here's some suggestions if you decide to sneak out. Warning though, these are suggestions for those of you that have ID that says you're 21.
The best boredom beater in Anchorage has got to be Koots. It's named Chilkoot Charlies but we just call it Koots. Go there. Nothing bad ever happens there either ... mostly. The bouncers are friendly and always on standby to keep order unless your name is Gerald Haynes and they smother you to death. Man oh man .. there are so so so so many hot chicks at that place. I'm not bullshitting ya here. Thursday nights there's no cover charge so there's no reason not to go. Trust me!
Some of you may prefer a bit of a different ambiance so I'd suggest Mad Myrna's just across the street from the downtown Sheraton Hotel if you're lucky enough to be staying there. Otherwise I'd have to suggest the Avenue Bar down on 4th Avenue ... notice how they got the name? Anyway, it's a sure best bet. Trust me! There's a couple of other bars along 4th avenue worth going in as well. Check em out after midnight especially. Trust me!
Anchorage is strip club heaven fellas. I'm not kidding. Check out this lineup: Fantasies on 5th, Great Alaskan Bush Company and The Crazy Horse Saloon (it's right across the street from the Sullivan Arena ffs). What else could you want? If the strip joints are good enough for the refs ... hey; they're good enough for you too! Trust me!
So that's it. I can't think of many other ways you can get in trouble .. I mean .. have fun in Anchorage. There's no bear activity at this time of year in the city. Renting mopeds at the Harley Shop doesn't make sense in the winter. There's no cows to tip over or lawnmowers to throw. Oh wait ... there are crack-ho's and crack sellers on Spenard Road if that sort of thing amuses you.
Make sure you take in all this sights and have plenty of fun before Friday night. Because after 7:37pm that night ... things aren't going to be too much fun ... yah, you betcha. Don't forget your toothbrush!