I was flying up on a Wednesday evening and would race the Lost Lake Run on Saturday, giving me two full days to explore and face every opportunity to tire myself out and ruin myself before the race. I was determined to not waste any of the precious time I had to explore Alaska, but was determined to take Thursday and Friday relatively easy physically so that I could push myself during the race.
Waking up at daybreak Thursday morning, the rain which had been sporadic through the night was now coming down in full force. I thought to myself "The rain should be a great incentive not to do anything too physically demanding today." Half an hour later I was running through the muddy trails of Kincaid Park on the western edge of Anchorage, overlooking the mud flats of the Cook Inlet as the rain continued to fall. As I was making my way back to where I had parked my car, I saw two enormous bull moose grazing in a large field next to the trail about 100 meters from me. This, of course, stopped me dead in my tracks. I've seen bull moose before, but never any this big, and never this close. After watching the moose graze for a few minutes, not seeming to care about my presence, I decided to try to run back to my car to grab my camera and come back to snap a few pictures. The moose didn't seem to be in a hurry to leave that area any time soon so I was hopeful that I had adequate time. Ten minutes later I returned to the same spot in the trail and slowed my pace rapidly to a stop as I spotted one of the moose just a few feet off the trail directly in front of me. I made my way cautiously a little bit closer, then stopped and started snapping pictures. As I did so, the moose continued to graze on the plants on the side of the trail and move slowly toward me, once again unbothered by my presence.
After recovering from the excitement and numbness of my cold, rainy run I spent some time completing the boring tasks of grocery shopping for a week in the mountains, going to the Anchorage REI to get some maps and a few forgotten gear items, and checking out downtown Anchorage (which was thoroughly unimpressive). After lunch, I was ready to get out of Anchorage as quickly as possible, so I did just that. I drove south along the Turnagain Arm to a small trailhead, admiring what I could see of the still mostly cloud-covered mountains around me. I hiked a short distance up the trail and found a good place to cook lunch by the creek, which was especially convenient for keeping the essentials nice and cold.