Tundra

Tundra

Our day started relatively early Saturday, leaving the Denali National Park “Wilderness Access Center” (the politically correct way to say “bus depot”) on one of the green park buses at 8:00 a.m. We were going on a ranger-guided “Disco Hike” (short for “Discovery Hike”) and our bus driver introduced himself as “Disco Dale,” a 25-year … Continue reading

Parks Highways

Parks Highways

Known as Mt. McKinley until it was renamed by the Obama administration in 2015, “Denali” is the highest peak in North America with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet. The mountain is so tall that we were easily able to see it through our windshield more than 100 miles distant, even before we reached Willow … Continue reading

Fair Weather in Palmer

Fair Weather in Palmer

Palmer is the borough seat of Matanuska-Susitna, the third largest borough in Alaska by population count, after Anchorage and Fairbanks (Alaska has 20 boroughs, called counties in most states). We arrived in Palmer early Saturday morning, August 25, after calling ahead to the Alaska Paradise RV Park, a brand new campground in Palmer’s farm country, … Continue reading

Homer’s Odyssey

Leaving Seward, we retraced our steps northward on the Seward Highway to its junction with the Sterling Highway which we took west, passing Cooper Landing and Skilak Lake again before crossing the Border Ranges Fault and descending into the Kenai Flats at Sterling. The Sterling Highway continues south along the shoreline of Cook Inlet to … Continue reading

Seward Fully

The picturesque town of Seward is, of course, named in honor of William Seward, U.S. Secretary of State during the administrations of Abraham Lincoln and his successor, Andrew Johnson. Contrary to popular belief, the purchase of Alaska from Russia, which Seward negotiated in 1867 for $7.2 million (a price of less than 2¢ per acre; … Continue reading

Solomon’s Salmon

We left Kennecott on Saturday morning, August 4, and returned to the motorhome in Glennallen, hooked up the Jeep, and headed south on the Richardson Highway to Valdez (pronounced “Valdeez”). The Richardson Highway is said to be Alaska’s first road, originally built by the Army to facilitate the migration of prospectors into the interior at … Continue reading

Chutes and Ladders

Simultaneously with the construction of the Copper River & Northwestern Railroad, mines were being dug high up on Bonanza Ridge, together with a tramway to bring the excavated ore down from the mine openings at 6,600 feet to a more accessible 2,200 foot elevation where a bunkhouse, sawmill, blacksmith shop, storehouse and office had been … Continue reading