On our final day in Alaska, we finally slept in. Being a more active honeymoon, we had been up pretty early on each of the days before. We took our time getting out of the room and the Hilton was very kind to give us late checkout at noon and free breakfast without us even asking. Before we left, we got our things packed up and ready to go. We didn’t want to deal with it when we got back.
We went out for an early lunch at Orso (http://www.orsoalaska.com) to get our last fix of Alaskan seafood. The restaurant was quiet but the food was good. The asparagus and egg was a bold choice, but I would recommend it.
Afterwards, we made our final trip to REI to return the bear spray canister we hadn’t used. We felt kind of guilty about it, but it was $50 and we couldn’t bring it back with us per TSA rules. When we walked up to the return counter, the customer in front of us was returning at least 10 canisters of bear spray. Seeing that, we felt decidedly less guilty about our return.
Afterwards, we head out to Chugach State Park for a short afternoon hike. We didn’t have a specific plan, but stumbled upon Flat Top Mountain, which offered amazing views of Anchorage and the surrounding peaks and bay.
The trail varies. Sometimes uber steep (like the start) and other times very gentle and wide. We were disappointed by the condition of the trail. Many people were just hiking anywhere with no regard for the mountain. We even saw a group sliding down the tundra from the peak on their butts.
It was a 1.6 mile climb to the top, covering about 1300 feet of elevation gain. It was a perfect workout and we found ourselves on the summit in a little over an hour. There was a nice little section that bordered on class 3 just below the summit. It was a bit sketchy with the a lot of rocks being kicked down on us from hikers above. We almost turned around so make sure you choose your time and place wisely on this climb!
We made quick work of the decent and got back to our car around 50 minutes after leaving the summit for a total hike time of 2:03, covering 3.6 miles.
Afterwards, it was off to King Street brewery (http://www.kingstreetbrewing.com), our sole remaining brewery to visit. We had enjoyed their IPA in the tall boy cans throughout our trip so it was great to visit it’s home. The brewery is small, but has a great tap room tucked away in an industrial park near Adventure Appetites (http://www.adventureappetites.com) where we had gotten our dehydrated food from a few days ago.
Our next stop was back to our favorite brewery of the trip, Midnight Sun (http://midnightsunbrewing.com) for some food and a couple more brews. Fittingly enough, we sat at the same table we ended up on our first visit at the beginning of the trip. We highly recommended this brewery as well. It’s tucked away in an industrial park (different one than King Street) and has a great patio and a big variety of beers. On our way out, we picked up an Arctic Sun Barleywine to cellar for a year and open next July to celebrate our honeymoon.
After this, we headed to the airport. We were ready to sit still, even if it was a bit early. We figured we could check in and grab a beer or two. Not so. Frontier doesn’t staff their check in desk until 2 hours before the flight. So instead of being past security and relaxing, we were stuck in the check in area with 50+ other people who had the same idea. Add on a 45 minute wait once the clerks finally showed up because everyone had to check in at once. Frontier’s trend towards Spirit Airlines is not a good thing. Cheap flights are great and all, but not at the expense of wasted time.
Once we were finally through, we found a spot and watched some of Captain Philips, which we ultimately finished on the plane. Great movie if you haven’t seen it.
With that, we were back off to the Lower 48 and the wonderful state of Colorado. Alaska is an expanse of wilderness that is unparalleled in anything that I have seen. We spoke with a couple on our flight back that had spent the same 7 days here but had a completely different experience. We look forward to returning and experience more of what The Last Frontier has to offer.