Our evening began with a delicious dinner at Glacier Brewing Company. Salmon just plain tastes better in Alaska. I totally keep sending pictures of my dinners here to my friend Miriam to make her jealous.
Afterwards we met up with my friend Jeff, who I haven’t seen since I left the North Carolina School of the Arts. Jeff grew up here and has been living in Anchorage again for the past several years.
As it turns out, Jeff’s friend Ben was also in town for the championships. They came to pick us up and we all headed out to get a drink. In a completely weird “the world is such a small place” moment I realized that Ben grew up in Hanover, PA and knew my cousins. Crazy.
So going to a bar in the summer in Alaska is a pretty weird experience. Number one, it doesn’t get dark. That doesn’t sound like a big deal but it totally is. We were standing outside talking and completely lost track of the time. It was 10:30 or 11 pm but still looked very much like it was maybe 7.
Also, the people are super friendly. We had more than one person, show up, put their drink on the table and proceed to hang out for a while. At first I thought maybe they knew Jeff, but no they just wanted to know about the beards.
The beard competition is a pretty big deal here in Anchorage. As we walk around town people come out of stores or stop us on the sidewalk to ask where we are from and about the beard. It even made the front page of the local paper.
Anyway, after we had been at the bar for a bit Phil Olsen, head of Beard Team USA and half the German beard team wandered in. So now its 11:30 pm, still light outside and I’m surrounded by German dudes with beards, none of whom speak English. It was right around then that jet lag really set in and we decided to head back to the hotel.
This morning we got up, ate breakfast (reindeer sausage is excellent) and wandered around the town some more. I took a bunch of pictures of buildings both because I liked them and because they will probably turn up somehow in my artwork. We attended a Beard Team USA meeting and a World Beard and Mustache Association meeting. Apparently there is a certain level of beard politics. I won’t go into it here but I think Mickey and I were happier being unaware.
The afternoon activity was the parade of beards. I don’t have words to describe it. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I will sort through and upload the pictures soon. I took so many I'm not even sure what I have.
Tonight is the official kick off party and tomorrow is the World Beard and Mustache Championships. Whewww…
I almost forgot the most important part- tomorrow an article about Mickey and the Championships will appear in the Baltimore Sun!!