12 March, 2001
It was a long day of sitting on airplanes as we went from Knoxville to Dutch Harbor. Apart from a few missing pieces of luggage, (it was difficult to determine because there was so much!) we finally arrived at the Grand Aleutian Hotel early evening. We will be staying in Dutch Harbor until Wednesday. The area has been experiencing low pressure weather conditions resulting in high winds and heavy seas. During the layover in Anchorage, Holly, the research assistant, and I spent time enjoying the Alaskan artifacts displayed in the airport lobby. We heard the scary words, "Last call to Dutch Harbor". We went flying down the hall and retrieved our luggage and boarded the plane. What caused us to become oblivious to our departure was the viewing of the "World Class Hunt" for the Kodiak bear and the polar bear. These stuffed animals were massive in size. We were amazed at their paws and heads. One interesting thing we discovered is that color variation in the polar bear is due to the diet of mostly seals which are high in oil which concentrates in their fur gradually turning it from white to a yellowish tinge. The age of the bear can be told by the yellowing of the fur. One additional highlight of the day was experiencing the beautiful snowcapped volcanic mountains. Swooping and flying in the foreground were numerous majestic bald eagles. We are fortunate to see them outside our bedroom window. I enjoyed halibut fajitas at the locally owned Mexican restaurant next door. I was determined to eat fish due to the fact that we are in "Halibut Heaven"! What a delectable delight!!
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