Alaska - 2007

Soldotna, AK -
Destruction Bay, YT

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 Sixth Stage:  Day 24 - Day 25 - Day 26

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Day 24 - July 20: Soldotna, AK - Copper Center, AK

Today's Mileage: 349  Total Mileage: 6,209  Start: 8 am Stop: 6:15

Weather: Some clouds, otherwise sunny day - low 70's

Via: Sterling Highway (AK-1) to Seward Highway
        Seward Highway (AK-1) to Glenn Highway
        Glenn Highway (AK-1) to Richardson Highway
        Richardson Highway (AK-4) to Copper Center

Hotel: Princess Copper River Wilderness Lodge - used by Princess Cruises for their land tours

Breakfast: At Hotel Lunch: Noisy Goose (Palmer) Dinner: Princess Lodge

Comments: We spent first three hours backtracking to Anchorage - the only way out from the Kenai Peninsula. When you travel with Arnie you get to know a lot of churches and in Eagle River we stopped at St. John Orthodox Cathedral - a beautiful church.

After we got to Palmer we were hungry and we found food and some fun at the "Noisy Goose". We also found a market in Palmer where we spend some time and money.

Most of the Glenn Highway is a very scenic road as it passes mountains just about all the way to Glennallen. There was one area of construction which held us up about 30 minutes. We haven't had many construction delays on this trip - I expected more.

Also on the Glenn Highway is the Matanuska Glacier -  one of the few glacier which can be seen from a road. Still not easy to get to - at least not if you don't have much time.

After a long day we were glad to see the Princess Copper River Wilderness Lodge, our home for the next 2 days.

Click to see a larger picture

Soldotna -
Copper Center
- - - - - -  St. John Orthodox Cathedral  - - - - - -  
- - - - - -   "Noisy Goose"  - - - - - - - - - - - -  Market at Palmer  - - - - - -
The Mountains Delay - -  Matanuska Glacier  - -  - -  Princess Lodge  - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - -  Glenn Highway  - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
Jeanne & Rose
plan the next
Shopping Expedition
Arnie looking
for the Pipeline
View from
 - - -  Lodge  - - -

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Day 25 - July 21: Copper Center, AK (McCarthy/Valdez)

Today's Mileage: 37  Total Mileage: 6,246  Start: 9:30 am Stop: 2 pm

Weather: Another beautiful day - sunny, in the mid 70's

Hotel: Princess Copper River Wilderness Lodge (second night)

Breakfast: At Hotel Lunch: Hitchin' Post (Glennallen) Dinner: At Hotel

Comments: Arnie was off at 7:30 on a trip to McCarthy & Kennecott, which 3 of us decided not to do. We did have plans to go to Valdez, the end of the pipeline, but since it would have been 2 hours of driving each way nobody was quite up to it - so we forgot about that idea.

Our first stop was outside the lodge where there was a "garage sale" from some of the local residents to raise money for the firemen in town. We were glad to help out. Then we visited "downtown" Copper Center, where we ran into a farm market and also some gift stores.

After that on to the Visitor Center for the Wrangell St. Elias National Park. This is not an easy park to get into - one of the ways is the tour that Arnie is doing. So we made do with a movie.

Our last stop was Glennallen, about 15 miles up the road (we went though there yesterday). Found a thrift store and lunch.

Got back in time to see the last half of the Mets game which was on FOX today - they lost.

We like the Princess Lodge a lot - beautiful views of the National Park, etc. There is a restaurant and a coffee shop, and of course the mandatory gift shop. This morning all the 'cruise' passengers left, so it was quiet during the day, but tonight four buses delivered the new guests. They stay here for two days and a lot of tours are offered.

We have a/c which is nice. They only have the usual chairs in the room, so our folding chairs, which are very comfortable, are coming in handy.

We are off tomorrow for the border and 10 days in Canada as we work our way back. We will not have the Internet tomorrow night.

Click to see a larger picture

Valdez/McCarthy The Mountains Garage Sale - - -  Copper Center  - - -  
- - -  Visitor Center  - - - Klutina River Pipeline Mountains  

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Day 26 -  July 22: Copper Center, AK - Destruction Bay, YT

Today's Mileage: 377  Total Mileage: 6,623  Start: 8 am Stop: 6 pm

Weather: Some rain the am, sunny in the pm, mid 70's

Via: Richardson Highway (AK-4) to Tok Cutoff
       Tok Cutoff (AK-1) to Tok
       Alaska Highway (AK-2) to Canadian Border
       Alaska Highway (YT-1) to Destruction Bay

Hotel: Talbot Arm Motel - nice, basic hotel; no telephone; better than most, I would think, along the Alaska Highway. Certainly we have seen worse, just looking at them.

Breakfast: At Hotel Lunch: Border Cafe (US) Dinner: At Hotel

Comments: Today was primarily a driving day. We started the day in rain and the Tok Cutoff was not in good shape in lots of places - mostly rough sections where you had to slow down.

We got back to Tok - we were there July 11 on our way to Fairbanks. We went again to the Visitor Center, primarily to use their restrooms, I think. Then a stop at a couple of stores since this would be the last big opportunity for shopping in Alaska.

After about 10 miles we passed the Taylor Highway (the road to Chicken) which we took July 11, and then we were on a part of the Alaska Highway that we had not been on, for the rest of the day.

The Border Crossing was the easiest one yet - didn't even have to give them our passports, just answer a few questions.

The Alaska Highway in the Yukon was in bad shape - many areas with gravel, uneven sections - it really slowed us down. And we already lost an hour to the time change.

Traffic was again light. In 90 miles driving to the Canadian Border not a single car passed us, nor were there any cars in front or behind us. Traffic going north seem to be a little heavier.

The Mets won today and we were able to listen to it on XM, which started to come back once we were in Canada.

Click to see a larger picture

Copper Center -
Destruction Bay
Princess says
On the Road
to Tok
Talbot Arms    

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