One of the things that sold me on moving to our current townhouse here in Anchorage was the giant park within walking distance from my front door.
Oh, you probably think I mean some 25 acre spread don't you.
See, I live somewhere under that pink dot, and the green, well that's the park that backs up to the Chugach State Park. Also known as the place where the animals live.
I love this park. It is GIANT. There are lighted cross-country ski trails, there's a small ski hill, walking trails for days and days, there are even dogsled only designated trails! Real life people run dogsleds in this park in the winter! BLOWS MY LITTLE MIND.
I use this park as a way to quickly escape the neighborhood and feel as if I'm out hiking in the woods with the dogs. The minute you step inside the park it's like Anchorage doesn't exists. Often I have to remind myself that my house is just a short walk away. I love it.
But the thing is, this isn't your average park. This park directly connects to a state park. A state park where things like MOOSE and BEARS live. So what happens is sometimes these wild animals don't exactly want to live up on the mountains, and sometimes they want to come down to the lower lands and walk through our neighborhoods and snack on our front lawns. Or eat our children.
Depends on which animal we're talking about you see.
So on the days when I don't walk in the park I like to walk in the very nice neighborhood that is right on the edge of the park. These people have amazing homes and backyards where the forest backs up to their porches. It's Alaskan backyard heaven!
BUT, I learned yesterday that even on city streets things can get a little dicey.
You see I am only on animal watch when I'm in the HUGE ass park where the animals live. I've never been on animal watch in the neighborhood, because, well, there are cars! And people! Noises! And me!
So yesterday I'm walking the dogs on a PERFECT fall day. My mind is elsewhere, I'm checking out the beautiful houses as I always do and letting my mind wander.
I come around the corner and BAM.
That path you see is where I usually walk. And um, the minute I spotted Mr. Moose I knew the dogs and I needed to find a different route.
Even better? As we walked past I looked to the house directly next to the path and there was another moose standing in the people's front yard eating their flowers. Just having a snack.
The crazy thing is that I'm standing there, mouth open and the moose don't even notice me. They're content to chomp on their front lawns while I stand there with the dogs snapping iPhone photos of them. In that moment it was hard for me to remember that these are WILD animals. Wild animals that if I spooked could decide to charge and trample me.
But, they looked so CUTE! It took all my energy not to run up and try to jump on its back and ride off into the park.
No matter how long I live in this wild and weird state, I don't think I'll ever get used to seeing these horses on steroids up close. Beasts let me tell you. Adorable, weird, awesome, slightly terrifying up close, BEASTS.