August 5 -8 – The road to Valdez

I have never really been emotional about leaving a place, but I choked up looking at Resurrection Bay just before pulling out of Seward.

We were about to leave the view, the water, the air, the people, the gelato… oh the gelato… but it was time to move on. There are more adventures ahead.

Did I mention the gelato?

After exiting the Kenai Peninsula and getting a last view along the turnagain arm, we spent the rest of the day wasting time doing laundry and window shopping at Cabella’s and Duluth Trading Company. No purchases, but lots of fancy fun superfluous things that looked neat! I think we were both dreaming about being back at the water and a little depressed that we were mainland again. We finally made our way back to the Glen highway to continue the trip to Valdez. We made camp an hour later in Palmer.

A lot of people have raved about Palmer. It is a nice community and they have a musk ox farm that we did not visit. However, it is home to Independence Mine, which is a closed down gold mine that the state has taken over as an historical site. Lots of history and breathtaking views high up in the mountains! x

Our roadside boondocking was uneventful, save for the noisy traffic and dirt bike that kept Sarah up most of the night. I, apparently, would get robbed blind by a disco party in the middle of the night and never know it.

Day 3 gave us so many “Wow…”,”What the $%#@!” and “Lookit!” moments along the Glen.

We were starving after the barage of vistas, so we stopped at Eureka Lodge and had a great breakfast with horrible $0.25 coffee and awesome banter. Two out of three aint bad!

After breakfast, we stopped at a scenic overlook and ran into a heard of road bikers. After asking if they were just out for a casual ride, they laughed at a joke I’m sure they have heard 1,000 times and said they were doing a charity ride for cancer from Austin, TX to Anchorage, AK… 4,000 miles in 70 days… all on bicycle! These kids are not effing around. A big shout out to them as they finish up in Anchorage on 8/9/19! Check them out, and if you feel a little generous, pass on a donation – because that is how they do what they do. Financial, food, care packages, lodging – all donated. Truly an amazing event that I will gladly support and watch from my chair because, sweaty.

Imediately after leaving the overlook, we had a near-death experience with a brown bear that chose the worst time to try and cross the road. Luckilly, everyone slowed down and the bear had a change of heart half way across the highway. We did get a great view of his face, which had the biggest eyes and open mouth as he spun around on his hind legs to get away as fast as possible. Nobody or bear was injured, but everyone’s heart rate was doubled.

And then we did it… we increased Sarah’s US National Park list to #39 – Wrangell St. Elias National Park. This is attached to Kluane National Park in Canada that we visited in June. It is still impressive from the US side.

Next time (yes, there will be a next time) we hope to make the 60 mile drive into the park to visit McCarthy, which is an old mining town, home to 78 full time residents and only accessible by a footbridge over a river. If they only had cell service…

The end of the day led us to Squirrel Creek Campground – an obvious stop for a couple of nuts in a van.

We are really good at turning an 8 hour drive into a 4 day drive. The last 70 miles in 3+ hours are a great reason why.

And then… Valdez.

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