Lying in bed, I wake up to the sounds of birds singing outside our camper. I open my eyes, although the sun is not up it is plenty light our and there is not a cloud in the sky. It is going to be another beautiful day here in Alaska! Hearing me stir, Barb opens her eyes and I say by usual “Good morning Barbie”. She replies, “What time is it?” I look pick up the iPad beside the bed, push the button, 2:04am! You got to be freaking kidding me! It can’t be light at 2:04am. It was light when we went to bed after 11:00 last night and now it is light again? Welcome to Alaska….Although the actual sunrise is not until 3:57am today and sunset at 11:25pm, it stays light a heck of a lot longer. Curious, I google “Daylight Hours, Glennallen Alaska”. It gives the times for sunrise and sunset for each day of the month you select. It also has a column that lists “Civil Twilight Begin” and “Civil Twilight End”. In each of these columns for the entire month of June it says “NA”. I don’t know what Civil Twilight is so I google that and get the following definition; Civil Twilight is a four-piece rock band from Cape Town, South Africa, consisting of the brothers Andrew and Steven McKeller, plus Richard Wouters, and Kevin Dailey. Well, that certainly clears it up……
A little further down the page I get another definition: Civil twilight is the brightest phase of twilight, when the sun is less than 6° below the horizon.
I really don’t get how these Alaskans do it…. Swarms of blackflies, mosquitoes the size of small birds and almost 24 hours of daylight. Actually I do get it, plenty of bug dope and darkening shades. Not only do I get it, it is totally worth it! The scenery, fishing and other outdoor activities are worth all those and more.This week the “more” for us was driving the road from Tok to Glennallen. Unless you drive these roads, it is really hard to understand what it is like. We are use to the occasional frost heave in Wisconsin. But there are miles and miles of stretches on the road from Tok to Glennallen with frost heaves and I am not talking about a little dip or hump here and there, I am talking about a 1 foot drop in 10 to 20 feet that then rises back up to an even higher level. Sometimes it is not the entire width of the road but maybe just half of your lane. Throw in watermelon size potholes and you got yourself a fun ride! Unlike the Yukon where they flag these bumps, Alaska is more like hang on and pucker up. As interesting as it was for us with our truck and camper, we followed a few Class A’s and 5th wheels that were really getting tossed around slowing down to 10mph to navigate some of them. We saw two rigs pulled over with the owners looking under their chassis looking for damage.
We REALLY took our time on this 150 mile stretch of road, in fact it took us several days. Day one we went a whopping 37 miles and day two another 107 finishing up the morning of the third day. It was not the road that slowed us down however, it was the fishing! There are numerous roadside fishing opportunities along the way and we stopped at several of them. Most of the rivers contained grayling which were fairly easy to catch from shore using a small spinner. We did not take any fish pictures on this trip so you just have to trust us. We spent the night on the Little Tok River on a roadside pullout just feet from the river itself. Gotta love the small rig for roadside camping!
|Little Tok River spot|
I did however get a few pictures of some moose that were crossing the river early the next morning as I was walking along the edge. They spotted me after a minute or soon and disappeared into the bush.
The terrain on the road to Glennallen was much more tundra-like as opposed to the mountains we had been traveling through. As such, there were a lot of small lakes and marshes which means more moose!
Arriving in Glennallen we were excited to spend two days with our friends and fellow bloggers Lee and Trace. We had originally met them in Florida in April of 2014 and spent several weeks with them in Quartzsite this past winter. They are workkamping at Northern Nights RV Park right in Glennallen.
|Trace and Lee|
The first day we were there we mainly hung out at the campground getting caught up. We grilled them some rainbow trout since they have never had it before.
The next day Lee had to go to Anchorage to get the brakes done on their truck so we drove around and did some sightseeing with Tracey. We went to the Copper Center Visitors Center in the St. Elias-Wrangell National Park. We toured each of the buildings and watched an interesting movie on the park itself. Next up was a 1 mile loop hike around the area with views of the Copper River.
|There were several Bald Eagles flying over the river|
|And a juvenile in a tree|
|Daisy on a bank overlooking the river|
|Barb and Tracey talking about how they can make my life miserable|
|When the Red are running this will be full of fisherman|
We ended the day with an excellent spaghetti dinner prepared by Trace!
The following day we were to continue our journey to Valdez but at the last moment we decided to take a detour to Anchorage 3 hours down the road. The main reason was to get some prescriptions refilled but we also did some grocery shopping, topped off the propane, took Daisy to the groomer and lets not forget a visit to Bass Pro Shop and Cabela's which is where we spent the night.
On the way back we took our time admiring many of the scenic lookouts as well as a stop at Matanuska Glacier. We didn't drive right up and walk on the glacier because of the $25 per person admission fee.
We spent the night about 60 miles outside of Anchorage at the former Little Nelchina State Park site at mile marker 138 of the Glen Highway. Totally free, this park is right on the Little Nelchina River and is a great overnight spot for camper trucks, Class C's and travel trailers up to 30'.
Big news on the family front! I had written last
fall that our son Forrest, his wife Somer and their 4 year old daughter Lily
were planning on listing their house and fulltiming in their 26’ travel trailer.
Since then they have sold their house (listed 4 days), quit their jobs and hit
the road! They just finished their first week as fulltimers boondocking in the
mountains of Colorado.
|How could we not stop!|
|Of course Barb had to get the Dino Bone|
|Closer view, you can really see how big it is|
|View from our Little Nelchina campsite|
|Somer, Lily and Forrest|
Our daughter Jessica and her family have been busy themselves but I will leave that for next time......
Next up Chitina, McCarthy and Valdez!