Enjoyable Delaney Park runs between 9th and 10th Avenues from L Street to Barrow Street. Known as the “park strip,” early in Anchorage’s history it marked the boundary where the town stopped and the wilderness started, and in 1923 the strip where the park is today was cleared as a firebreak. Since then it has served as a golf course, an airstrip, and now hosts half a dozen softball games every night of summer, tennis and basketball courts, and large grassy sections for Frisbee, Hacky Sack, tai chi, sunbathing, or people-watching.
Right next to the park on the corner of 10th Avenue and I Street is a cage housing Star, the pet reindeer. The owners have had a succession of reindeer here since 1962; this is number six.
A very popular stop for tour buses, visitors on foot, and the occasional (probably drunk) local is Resolution Park, on the west end of 3rd Avenue at L Street. This tiny city park consists of a viewing platform centered around a statue of Captain James Cook, who discovered what is now called Cook Inlet in 1778. The park is named for his ship, the Resolution.
On clear days you’ll delight in the mountain-scape vistas. Mt. McKinley (many locals call it Denali) rises 125 miles to the north, and the low mountain just northwest across Cook Inlet is aptly named Sleeping Lady (the maps call it Mt. Susitna).
Behind it, and just a bit south, stands a chain of active volcanoes that dump ash on Anchorage every few years, including Mt. Spurr and Mt. Redoubt. If you have eagle eyes and crystalline weather, you might pick out a third volcano, Mt. Iliamna, far to the southwest. Out of sight is yet a fourth volcano, Mt. Augustine, which last spewed ash in 1986.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition