5 August (Wasilla/Anchorage, AK)

05 August – We decided to stay another day at the Big Bear RV Campground in Wasilla and do side trips between here and Anchorage. First, we toured the Eklutna Historical Park and the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church/cemetery. (Excerpt taken from the historical park brochure): The old church was built around the 1870’s and is one of the oldest log structures in the Anchorage area. The new church was built in 1954 and finished in 1962. There are no pews in the church. Orthodox Christians stand for the services that are held in the church, showing reverence to Christ who is being worshipped during the services. The graveyard near the two churches is an Orthodox Christian Cemetery. Most of those buried there are Athabascan Indians, along with some Russian people and Yupik Eskimos, and is still in use today. The spirit houses are placed over the grave 40 days after the burial to house the spirit of the deceased and their possessions. Then, the houses are left to deteriorate as they are no longer needed.
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Next, we hiked up a mile to see the Thunder Bird Falls (no bears, etc. encountered there).IMG_20140805_140152_217IMG_1884IMG_20140805_140346_683
After working up an appetite, we drove to Anchorage and ate at the Glacier Brewery Restaurant. Delicious! We highly recommend it.

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