Archive for August 11, 2010

Day 73: More connections in Anchorage

August 11, 2010 8 comments

Location: Anchorage, AK

I spent the better part of the morning being lazy, but by afternoon I was in total “get stuff done” mode.  I had made an appointment with a local Mazda dealership, and within an hour after dropping the car off I had the passenger side headlight replaced.  We are back in business now, two new working lights. 

No big deal getting those replaced.  Eventually, all lights will burn out, be they from a roadtrip or just the regular course of driving.  Have to say I’ve had great luck with the vehicle.  The only work I’ve paid for on the near 18,000 miles I’ve traveled is just regular maintenance.

I also spent some time tallying receipts since I left British Columbia.  More good news: I’m still on track, budget-wise.  Canada and Alaska have upset the balance a little bit by higher-than-anticipated gas prices.  Each place in Canada was at least $4/gal, and each place in AK has been at least $3.30/gal or so.  Regardless, I remain in good shape with my trip funds.

The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to manage my itinerary for my October trip: Binghamton -> Los Angeles -> Kathmandu, Nepal -> Osaka, Japan -> Los Angeles -> Binghamton.  I have never booked a multi-destination trip before, so it’s been a little tricky trying to get everything set.  Cathay Pacific Airline seemed to have the best deals, but their website was giving me issues, so I’ll give them a call.  Anyone out there ever fly Cathay before?

Rachel and Claire invited me to join them for dinner.  We hit up the Snow Goose restaurant here in Anchorage, and since I have had yet to try halibut in Alaska (everyone told me “try the halibut”), I ordered a halibut stuffed with crab.  Amazing.

We then spent some time wandering the various shops of the downtown area.  Funny thing, I stumbled across an art store.  For those who read the blog back while I was still on the East Coast, you might recognize the name.

You may recall my grandmother on my mother’s side was a Sevigny.  It was back in Rhode Island, early on in this roadtrip, where I learned a lot about that side of the family.  So given that Sevigny is a fairly unique name, I walked into the store and talked a bit with the owner, Katie.

Turns out Katie married a Sevigny, and his Sevigny relatives, like mine, hailed from Canada/Rhode Island/East Coast.  Wondering if this was just coincidence or perhaps an actual relation, I wracked my brain to remember the family tree, but my memory was limited.  Katie had called up her husband who advised his great-grandfather was Eugene.  I didn’t recall a Eugene in the tree, but I told Katie I would investigate and get back with her.

Fast forward to the next morning, and here I was just moments ago reviewing my post from my time in Rhode Island, especially Lynn’s family tree she drew for me.  And what do you see?  My great-grandfather, EJ, had siblings.  And one of those brothers….Eugene.  Unreal.

Now all I need to confirm is that Katie’s husband had a great-uncle EJ, and looks like I found a distant cousin here in Anchorage, Alaska.  Ha!  I sent an email to Katie so hopefully I can make the confirmation soon.

Now returning to last night, we finished visiting the gift shops and returned to the hotel.  Claire showed me a lot of her pictures from her stay in Alaska, which got me even more excited for my journey down the Kenai Peninsula (starting later today).  She and my buddy Matt both said the drives out here have been some of the most scenic roads they’ve ever seen.  I can’t wait.

I have a place to stay in Seward, my next destination, about a three hour drive from here.  On the way, I’ll check out some glaciers and do some hiking.  It’s a bit chilly here, but not too bad, and I have a winter hat if I need it (thank you, Kenneth).  I’ll also probably get a ticket for a boat tour of the Kenai Fjords area, and maybe do that on Friday.

Thanks so much to Rachel for letting me crash on her hotel couch.  The timing worked out very well, and I got to convince Rachel to visit Crater Lake when she is in Oregon next week.  I can’t wait to hear what she thinks of the place…I definitely hyped it up quite a bit.  Thank you, Rachel.

Hopefully I can take care of that plane ticket this morning, and then I’ll get the car set and be back on the road.  Great times in Anchorage!