Alaska 2014

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.  Comments added AFTER coming back to San Jose are in [square brackets].

 

Report 47. Day 47. Fri, June 20. Anchorage to Tok. Heading Homeward.

I am very, very hoarse. Of course. Beautiful morning. Finally leaving Anchorage hoping for better health.

I don't know where Sharon was when this picture was taken, but ain't it lovely? {This was at one of the rest stops along our 11 hour trip into Denali National Park. Silly but fun.}

A little before six and we see about ten pontoon airplanes quietly resting around a lake, each with its own dock, and individual owner, we guess. Very picturesque.

We cross the big wide Knik River, then two minutes later the Matanuska River.

Sharon says this has been a trip of lilacs, having chased them all the way up the continent, following the spring. {I pick them whenever i can and the trailer smells wonderful. It reminds me of growing up in Palmdale, California where they would have a "Lilac Festival" every Spring. The conference Hall would smell so great with the exhibits of lilacs. They would have like at a county fair with amateurs and professionals displaying their lilacs.}

It feels like old home week as we pass the reindeer farm, then the musk ox farm turnoffs near Palmer. Familiar territory. Sniffle.

Sharon spots a bird high up in a dead tree on our right between the road and a lake. We love owls, and she thinks it's a big owl. I do a u-turn, head back past the bird tree, do another u-turn, and slowly drive past the tree again. But this bird has flown, say the Beatles and the bird. {I thought it was a Great Grey Owl because of the size. It was a big guy.}

We run past three of our favorite landmarks - Chickaloon the town, Chickaloon Road, then Chickaloon River.

About 7:40 am, we come to the gorgeous Matanuska Glacier. It is impossible to tire of looking at this magnificent chunk of ice.

Sharon picks up an adult Bald Eagle soaring on our right, with something dangling from its beak.

About 11 am, we pass the turnoff to the Red Igloo Motel. There is a man in a wheel chair right at the edge of the highway, on our right. He has a newspaper in his face, intent upon reading it. He has a big white beard, and has the aura of a wounded Viet Nam vet. Waiting for a ride to somewhere, without a care in the world, six inches from sixty mile per hour vehicles.

There are gorgeous peaks on our right, and they have been visible several hours. Another on the left, is totally snow covered. {Now THAT would be a great look at Denali if it WAS Denali. We could probably fool a lot of people by claiming it was Denali but we're too honest. It's the mountain that spawns the glacier}

Alaska has miles and miles of braided rivers.

Noon and we break for lunch, following that up with a 40 minute nap. When we wake up, it is overcast.

We head out again, and pass a big lake familiar to us. It is Swan Lake, and there are two dipping swans in the first part, then six more a little further down the lake.

We come into Tok at 4:30 or so, refuel, and do a little gift shopping, where we meet up with this Dall Sheep figure. I also get a nice shot of Sharon behind the steamshovel (or whatever) buckets (or whatever). {If you look closely you can see a tube on that post next to me. The sign says "this is as high as the sun gets in the dead of winter at the winter solstice" If you look through the tube you actually are looking low in the horizon, describing how little of the sun they see in the dead of winter.} {I want to add here a story from Denali that I forgot to tell. We were in the Denali RV Park, I wake up at about 2AM to go to the bathroom. As I am coming back to bed, I notice that the light coming in through the blinds is GREEN! WHAT? I look outside through the blinds but I can't see any Aurora streaks. It is still actually light as it has been all along but there is heavy overcast. We have been told that even though the Aurora Borealis takes place all year long; during the summer at this latitude, we will not see it because of the summer lightness. But the sky is GREEN! What is going on? I don;t wake anyone up (a mistake I decided later on) because I don't quite believe myself and there is actually nothing to see except this green glow. The next day I tell everyone about it and look up "Green Glow Aurora" on the internet and "What Ho cried Daniel" there are pictures of what I saw! There are times when the Aurora just colors the overcast sky, I guess. Google it and see the pictures. Sorry I didn't wake the others up to see it.}

We then go and find our spot for the night at the Tok RV Village.

The odometer reads 13290, the temperature is 66 degrees, and I feel like we had a very, very good day on the road. {Bob's still coughing but he says his energy is better.}

 

That's it for the day. Have a good night,
Bob and Sharon


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