Richardson Highway (and yes they call all of the roads by name and not a number) out of Valdez was as wonderful as the trip into town – Valdez is a town with one road in and the same road out.
Did get to see a portion of the Alaska Pipeline.
What a scenic route and fairly smooth – for part of the way – few rough spots on part – typical Alaska roads.
Did see another glacier. The Matanuska Glacier – did not stop as we had no reservations ahead – remember the early bird (RVer) gets the best campsite and sometimes the only one left.
Route got a little boring around Glenallen but as we got nearer to Anchorage it became spectacular.
Hope the pictures do justice.
This section of highway was fairly narrow and curvy for a main highway through the mountains.
Arrived at Pinnacle Mountain RV Park – small park with full hooks up but we decided to rough it and only get electric – it sits at the base of – you guessed it – Pinnacle Mountain.
They have a gaggle of ducks – nothing fancy but will do for one night. Also saw a pig roaming free and Llamas and Alpacas and chickens – I believe the owner is a self-sufficient lady. She said she weaves the llama’s hair during the winter.
Thursday we headed for Anchorage to buy supplies – sounds like a cowboy or prospector out west – we ended up at Target – first time Brenda shopped there since May. She was so excited!
We stayed at Centennial Campground a city-owned campground that had electric only but it was so wooded you could hardly see your neighbor – great campground.
We did have 3 black bears walk through the campground almost on a daily basis.
Finally had a great Wi-Fi (in town) and was able to get some research done.
Can’t get to our next stop till Saturday so we might as well stay in Anchorage and enjoy.
Did the visitor’s center and visited a few gift shops – I do need a souvenir from Alaska.
Came across the 49th State Brewery and enjoyed a cold one.
Friday was Brenda’s big shopping day without me – and away she goes. I stayed home and published the next blog – I think a record number of pics – and did other research.
We had to stop at Moose’s Tooth Pizza and Pub – they even had the Broken Tooth Brewery inside.
Great place as there was a two hour wait for a table – we did the bar and the pizza was just as good.
We did find Resolution Brewery before the pizza – someone we met in Whitehorse, Yukon recommended it – he was the brew master at Resolution but he was gone on vacation when we arrived.
Saturday we head for Portage, Alaska in the Kenai Peninsula. Alaskan’s playground – they say.
Woke up to rain and 50 degrees – sure glad it isn’t cold or we would be stuck in snow.
Left Anchorage on the Seward Highway which is an All American Road, highest ranking of the National Scenic Byway. Which means it’s scenic and beautiful but we couldn’t see anything because of the clouds.
I have never seen so many people on a road as this stretch of highway – traffic was coming both ways bumper to bumper – and the law in Alaska is if you have 5 cars behind you, you are required to pull over – and they have lots of pull-overs along the road. It seemed every 5 minutes we were pulling over and letting cars go past.
We are driving adjacent to the Turnagain Arm. Captain Cook had explored this way and named it after he found out it didn’t go through but he had to “turn around again”.
We had heard about the low tide and the quicksand conditions it leaves in the bay – we didn’t get out to check it out but we did see lots of mucky soil.
This stretch of road must be beautiful on a clear day because it was pretty impressive even on a rainy cloudy day.
Did see an eagle at one turn out.
Arrived at Portage Valley RV Park and got our spot. This is a large parking lot with electric and water. No OTA or SAT TV – so we go back to watching movies.
It rained all afternoon and evening. It even had a glacier within the park.
We did take a ride to the Visitor’s center and gathered information. Guide recommended we go to Girdwood as they were having the Forest Fair. As we were ready to turn down the road we noticed cars backed up for miles – sure enough so many people were going there, there was not enough room for everyone and they were looking for places to park – we turned around and went home.
Girdwood was a supply base for the nearby placer gold mines. Now it is a resort town and in the winter it is Alaska’s largest ski resort for Mt. Alyeska.
We did see another sign for the Ghugach National Forest (second largest NF in the USA) – why not. It was right on Portage Lake which has the Portage Glacier and the Visitor’s center was great – saw the movie and got the stamp. Still raining outside so we didn’t do any hiking.
Went home and watched the movie “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon and the need for a change in your life and how to push through those changes. Good movie – they do have free DVD’s at this campground.
Sunday no church in site. But we will enjoy God’s wonders in nature. Woke up to a clear and sunny day. Did enjoy a Salmon Benedict homemade and fresh caught – see blog from Copper Center.
We headed east to Whittier. You have to pass through the longest single lane dual use (car and train) tunnel in North America. Cost $13 for a car (38 for motorhome) to go both ways. We paid our toll and hit it at the right time – they stagger times east and west and for the train – but we were able to go right through.
Drove around Whittier to see what we could see. We are on Prince William Sound – like Valdez. Whittier is a sea-side hamlet with about 200 people that the military called its “secret port” in WWII.
First stop was the Buckner Building that the US Government built for WWII and never used – it has been abandoned.
Other buildings built by the government have been reused for apartments and other purposes. In fact, almost all the residents live in this one building called the Begich Towers which the military used in WWII.
Then we found Lu Young Park and hiked out toward the Sound. Dogs enjoyed the walk along the beach though we had difficulty crossing the creek but no one fell in.
Saw paddleboarders coming in.
Did stop by the Whittier Glacier and watched the creek run full. It’s amazing the amount of water melting off the glaciers.
Walked around town and down by the boat harbor.
Watched two guys filleting their Halibuts they caught today.
The scenery in Whittier is wonderful with the snow covered mountains surrounding the small town and the huge Sound in front of it. A lot of fishing and adventure activities going on.
Stopped at the end of the Sound and gathered a few more pics.
Then headed for the tunnel and sure enough we made it at the right time and was waved on – no stopping for the next sequence of traffic.
Did drop Brenda off on the trail west of Whittier and she hiked back to the campground – great trail system in the area.
Monday is south to Seward.