Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ulu Factory ~ Wild Berry Products ~ Turnagain Gallery ~ Anchorage, Alaska

Factories, galleries and gift shops of Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska, with a population of just over 300,000 was the largest city we visited on our Northern adventure.  We had an overnight stay at an RV park in the city and then visited some tourist attractions on the way out of town.

The Ulu Factory in Anchorage, Alaska
The Ulu Factory was an interesting visit.  The ulu tool is an all-purpose Inuit knife used for many different things.   The natives used it for skinning and cleaning animals but it was also used for trimming blocks of snow and ice used to build an igloo as well as for preparing food.  They were originally built with antlers handle and slate for the cutting edge.

Ulu Factory Tour Bus
Today’s ulu has changed and mainly made with wood and steel.  The most common use these days would be for cooking purposes and a must have for many kitchens.  The tour bus was outside after bringing several for a tour at the factory; it was a ride we didn’t take but shows the interest that is there for the Ulu Factory.

Alaska Wild Berry Products of Anchorage
Our next stop in Anchorage was the Alaska Wild Berry Products.  They have a large selection of hand-crafted jams and jellies, chocolates, smoked salmon and halibut and…… reindeer sausage.  Now, that is definitely something I am not wanting to eat, names like Rudolph and Bambi come to mind, but we did get some jams and chocolates and enjoyed them. 

Polar Bear
Rarely would we go into any tourist attraction on our trip without bumping into some kind of stuffed animals.  One could get up close and personal with this one, he was not behind a glass wall as many were and he was a very big guy, I wouldn't want to meet him any other way!

Turnagain Gallery on Seward Highway, Alaska
We continued following Hwy 1 south heading to our next destination of Hope, AK.  We made a stop to see some of the carvings at the Turnagain Gallery at Bird Creek on the Seward Highway.  We wandered around their gift store where they had several different kinds of wood carvings from furniture to wall hangings and animals that range from small to life size.

Carving of 2015
Our visit was just a couple of days after the 2nd annual Alaska Cup International Carving Competition had completed so we missed seeing some amazing work.   I have included a link to see what was done at the first annual Alaska Cup competition, click here and see the incredible work from 2014.

Second prize winner of 2015
I do not know who the artist was who crafted this but this second prize winner was one of eight professional carvers expected to compete in 2015.  They came from as far away as Germany and Japan and also included one of our own British Columbia artists, Rod Brown.  His work shown in 2014 video is beautiful.


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