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It’s already (past) bedtime, but I’ll post tomorrow.  For now, some fun stats from the trip:

Miles:  ~ 4,000 from Columbus, OH to Anchorage, AK (and more like 4,500 if you count the Ithaca leg)

Days:  7 (counting the Columbus – Chicago leg)

License Plates (Places):  49

Mom and I counted the states and provinces’ license plates we saw on the way, starting from Chicago.  We got 40 states in all, and 10 (of 13) provinces!

US STATES (in order we saw them)
In US:  IL, IN, WI, MI, NV, NY, OH, IA, MN, ND, ME, PA, OK, WY, TX, OR

AK – first saw on bridge at International Falls – Fort Frances!

In Canada (and Alaska):  FL, NM, NE, AZ, MT, MS, VA, ID, CO, NC, WA, CA, UT, MO, WV, GA, KY, SD, HI, TN, AR, NJ, VT
(Also saw several U.S. Government plates in Anchorage)

Did not see Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina

CANADIAN PROVINCES
MB (Manitoba), ON (Ontario), SK (Saskatchewan), BC (British Columbia), NB (New Brunswick), AB (Alberta), NS (Nova Scotia), QC (Quebec), YT (Yukon Territory), NT (Northwest Territory)

Did not see Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, or Prince Edward Island

Animals:  Mom has the sheet with the final counts, but we saw one or more of:  moose, grizzly bear, black bear, wood bison, domesticated bison, reindeer, mule deer, white-tailed deer, fox, coyote, Arctic hare, blackbird, raven, various other birds, ducks, trumpeter swan, mosquito (ugh), prairie dog, possibly otter, and one sheep.

Mountains:  Chugach range, Wrangell range, the ones in Kluane National Park, northern Rockies, (from far away) Mt. Hubbard, Mt. Logan (the tallest point in Canada), and the beginning of the Aleutian chain.  Probably others too – very lovely but after a while they all looked the same!

Glaciers:  Portage, Exit Glacier, and a third one I can’t remember the name of north of Anchorage.  Hiked up to Exit, not close enough to touch

Sarah Palin cardboard cutouts:  yes.  These exist.

More to come.

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The following is a list of wildlife I’ve seen so far in the past couple weeks – some of the numbers are approximate.  So far, no deadly and/or greatly inconveniencing encounters, just observations.  More to come I’m sure, and hopefully nothing involving Lyme disease (which is apparently a problem in Cayuga Heights).

Wildlife in the Ithaca area:

  • Deer (4 – mother, 2 babies, unknown tagged deer)
  • Snake (2 – both in streams, one very small and shy)
  • Small fish with stripes (~few dozen)
  • Smaller algae-eating fish with no stripes (~few dozen)
  • Crayfish on stream bottom (10)
  • Some small sucker-looking fish like a plecostemus (1, on a rock)
  • Squirrels (~thousands)
  • Chipmunk (1, briefly, unverified sighting)
  • Slugs (~thousands, all of them gross)
  • Skunk (2)
  • Cardinal (1 pair)
  • Sparrows (~thousands)
  • Frat boys playing beer pong (~6)

I technically live in a suburb of Ithaca, just north of Cornell’s campus.  On my walk home last night, I met one of the new neighbors:

New neighbor

A female deer and her two fawns apparently live on or near the church land across the street.  I was able to walk up to about 10 feet away to get these photos.  These deer are pretty tame … or at least, not the brightest.

Mother and baby deer