So I found myself in Anchorage. Again. At Cabella’s. Again. But I was set this time! I bought the perfect waterproof pants for hiking in the rain! That I never had to use. Along with the ideal waterproof cap. The wool socks and hiking boots, I did use regularly. But now off south…again… to that last remnant of the Ice Age, Byron Glacier.
It turned out to be a beautiful day with the ever-changing landscape having me go GoPro happy again. Every turn in the road was providing new views that I had to take. The road up to the glacier is off of a beautiful drive along Route 1 (Seward Highway) following along Turnagain Arm where there are plenty of places to stop for watch for Beluga Whales.
(writer’s note: I think, but it is highly doubtful, these pictures are accurate. It would take weeks to go through all of them and find the location stamps. I really need a photo editor. But I’m trying my best. This is why I like doing the columns at the end of the day. I have a better chance of getting them right.)
Back up, again, onto the road to the glacier. This time it was sunny with clouds. A one mile hike in brings you the glacier. There are plenty of paths to keep on going higher up, but I just wandered around. I seem to be using the words “amazing and majestic” a lot, but what else can you call it?
But then I got moving. Back down to Route 1 and winding my way down to Homer on the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula. It’s a 220 mile drive from Anchorage to another end of the road that takes you through mountains and glaciers and then along the coast of the Cook Inlet. It was yet another one of those unplanned adventures with me having no real idea what I was doing or where I would stay. And there were plenty of stops of course.
I was told to go to this little working farm outside of Homer to find a cabin for the night. It’s home to a youth hostel and a bunch of little cabins. It would be home for the night. No electricity and an outhouse, but a nice stove and a chair on the front porch overlooking the beach. It was peaceful, so I made a run into town for a few snacks and then settled in for the evening.
The next morning, in dire need of coffee, I went into Homer where I found another end of the road. Route 1 ends and the ferry system begins. Along my way back north, I found something that I had to stop and take a picture of: the westernmost point of highway in the continental United States.
But then it was time to drive north, through Anchorage again (but not Cabalea’s) on a 580 mile trek that would bring me to Denali State Park. It was over a 10 hour drive, that I of course made into a longer drive by making stops. After covering the road back up towards Alaska, I passed by something I had seen before and was curious enough to stop. Many things are like this in Alaska. You don’t know what lays beyond the trees. You’ll come across small communities out of nowhere, mailboxes and power lines that seem to be sitting in the middle of nowhere. About a half hour south of Anchorage is the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where they take in orphans or injured animals. I thought it would be a good place to check out Alaskan wildlife without the danger of, well, death.
Up back by Wasilla, I jumped onto Alaskan Highway Route 3 for the ride up to Fairbanks. I had been warned about the drive. Lots and lots and lots of trees. I was also told that almost nobody ever goes to Danali. I drove through it. With the extra stops I made, it was full dark (about 9;30) three hours south of Fairbanks. I pushed through. I could have stopped at one of the many places they have for it to sleep in the car, but the Canadians didn’t allow me to have my car with all of my car camping gear and something a friend said in Colorado stuck in my mind. Ben said there, “you can leave cash and anything else in your car and nobody is going to bother it. But don’t leave chocolate or food. The bears know how to open doors.” I was traveling with chocolate and snacks, so I pushed on. I eventually made it to Fairbanks.
And now just pictures I may have missed that may be duplicates of everything? –I really help with this to put everything together right. Advance orders for the books are available.