Of Ice and Glenn
Alaska Adventure, Days 7 & 8: Juneau to Glennallen, AK
Sunday began early. Up by 5:15 for a 7:12 flight from Juneau to Anchorage. We've finally realized that for domestic flights from these smaller airports, we don't need to allow the time cushions essential in a crowded terminal like Atlanta. So we left the hotel about 6:20 and arrived in plenty of time to return our rental car, get boarding passes printed, make it through security screening, and still have time to wait at the gate before boarding.
Arriving in Anchorage after an uneventful 1¼-hour flight, we immediately recognized that we were in a genuine city. Located at the head of the Cook Inlet in south central Alaska, Anchorage is home to more than 300,000 people, or about 40% of the entire state population. Only New York has a larger portion of its population (43%) residing in one city. For local comparison, the title of second largest Alaska city rotates between Fairbanks and Juneau, each with just over 30,000.
|Anchorage has an airport to match its status as a major city.|
Like so many who visit Alaska, we have been using the legendary Alaska trip planner and travel guide, the veritable bible of north country travel—the Milepost. First published in 1949 to assist those driving the Alaska Highway, the Milepost has expanded to a full-service guide to the highways, ferries, attractions, lodging, recreation, and services along the major roads (and many minor ones) of the Alaska highway system. (It also includes some routes in Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, and Yukon Territory.) Updated annually, this year's issue offers more than 750 pages of information, photos, and maps.
|Some of the pages we harvested from the 2015 Milepost.|
|Old and New St. Nicholas Church|
|An elaborate spirit house|
|Distinctive family spirit house color schemes make it easy to find relatives' graves.|
|The cemetery was in need of some upkeep when we visited today.|
|Another Eklutna grave with spirit house|
|How do you find a refrigerator large enough to store these?|
|It may be small but it has a post office, and you can buy fresh eggs there, according to the signage.|
|The slate color of the river contrasted with fall's bright yellows.|
|Stunning fall color at Long Lake|
A little further on, the Matanuska Glacier came into view and we longed to stop and visit the state recreation site attached to the glacier. But by then it was 2:30 and we were barely halfway to Glennallen, our destination for the night. We couldn't take another 5 hours for the second half.
|Eureka Summit parking|
As we traveled the Glenn, we stopped to locate additional letterboxes at Granite Creek bridge near Palmer, Mendeltna Creek, and Matanuska Glacier Park near Sutton. This for-profit glacier park allows visitors close access to the Matanuska ice sheet for a minimum fee of $25 per person, but they were closed when we stopped by for the letterbox outside the entrance, so we didn't have to decide whether to participate in the extortion or not.
|Autumn at Sheep Mountain (on right)|
|Following Mount Drum|
|Wrong. No topiaries here. (Pretty good beer, though)|
|Looks like a painting but it's the dining room window from the B&B with a view of Mount Drum.|
Tomorrow we'll continue south on the Richardson Highway to the coastal city of Valdez.
SUNDAY, 18 SEPTEMBER & MONDAY, 19 SEPTEMBER, 2016
More Photos from Today
|Always carry a rubber band when you travel. You never know how it may come in handy.|
|Autumn at Eklutna|
|Cozy interior of the Old St. Nicholas Church|
|Not much larger interior of the New St. Nicholas|
|Hey! It's a letterbox!|
|No need to wonder. Yes, there are moose here.|
|Going north on the Glenn|
|Copper River near the B&B|