Monday, September 8, 2008

Alaska Highways

On Friday we drove the Denali Highway from the west Parks Highway, to the east Richardson Highway. The views were beautiful with the fall colors coming on strong and the tundra turning red. We also found a very cooperative eagle that let us get very close for photographs. The drive took us over seven hours since we could only go 25-35 mph and made numerous stops to take pictures. The road was in good condition for a gravel road, although with the rain and dust we totally covered the car in mud. Hunting season has started, and the road was full of hunters on ATVs, consequently we didn’t see any moose who wisely were hiding.

The next day we drove down the Glenn highway and decided to stop at the Matanuska Glacier. The Glacier is massive and very cool but looks somewhat dirty from all the glacial debris produced by the glacier. We camped at the glacier for the night, and in the morning walked onto the glacier and hiked around a bit. Then we headed back to Anchorage, managing to get a flat tire on the way.

When we got back to Anchorage we went out to look for moose. We had been given a tip from a guy we met at the Denali campground who lives in Anchorage and sure enough we found several moose in the place he suggested. It is a little mind boggling to have so much wildlife everywhere you go including the wild areas around a city. Bear in mind Anchorage is the biggest city in Alaska and we have more people in Carrollton, TX than they do. As a matter of fact, Dallas has more people than the whole state of Alaska.

We flew to Juneau this morning and had a nice lunch down on the port where all the cruise ships come in. There was a very cool float plane operation working all using the old single engine Otters with the turbine engine conversion. We are now on an Alaska Marine Highway ferry traveling up the Inside Passage going to Haines. It is a four hour ride; we may get lucky and see whales. Haines has lots of bears and eagles but it is rainy season here so we may be somewhat restricted.

Here is the latest slideshow from the Denali and Glenn Highways:

Alaska Highways

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