Journals, Photos and Videos

Leg 13 - to Anchorage

We are closing in! Today’s leg is a bit aggressive but worked out perfectly. We headed south and west on the Tok Cutoff Highway (Rt 1), with the St Elias mountain range directly in front of us. From the time we started until the time we landed in Anchorage we almost never were deprived of these or other majestic peaks.

We had discussed the idea of parking the RV in Glennallen for an evening and driving to Kenny Lake, about 30 miles southeast and on the edge of Wrangell-St Elias that offfered us jobs after we had already accepted positions at Wildman’s.

We opted to bypass this alternative since we couldn’t close the loop with the proprietor. (We got the confirmation e-mail the next day that they would be there and enjoy meeting us.) We will return to Kenny Lake Mercantile later this summer to visit for certain.

Actually, the thought of relaxing in Anchorage for 3 days was very appealing. But, back to the drive.

The highway started in perfect condition and we sailed along totally enraptured by the sights that surrounded us. Again, the skies were perfect and we were making good time - although that wasn’t all that important. After about 80 miles, we encountered some roughish roads. But we are the first to admit that it’s impossible to complain about rough roads after the horrible conditions on Leg 12. We did however, sustain some relatively serious damage to a new table and some to shelving in the closet. We plan to work on the table and make the repairs in the rv park over the weekend. The weather is reaching the high 60’s during the day so it will be pleasant to work outside on a project......tho’ I would much rather not have a project.

We left Wrangell in our rear-view mirrors shortly after passing through Glennallen. In fact, this was the only period for the entire trip when we didn’t have mountains in sight. Soon though, another range popped up on our left. This range continued all the way to Anchorage and included a spectacular section of glaciers that felt like they were in touching distance.

We passed through Palmer at 4 PM (and waved to everyone in town for Maureen P!) and headed on to the Golden Nugget RV Park in Anchorage. It is located with 15 minutes of downtown, just off the highway. We were their first RV customer of the season and one of the ladies from the office was ecstatic.

Being an avid RVer herself, she loves to see the season commence and all but welcomed us with red carpet treatment. While we checked in at the office she went and scouted out the perfect location for us and then gave us a personal escort leading us to the spot with her truck....a pilot car of sorts.

Just as we started to follow her we felt something wrong with our “rig”. Turns out the emergency safety break had been pulled out and we could not move. She very patiently waited for us while we resolved the issue. We resumed the procession to the “perfect” spot when the break cable got caught on the hitch while making the turn into the spot and was pulled out bringing us to another screeching halt. Undaunted, she waited while we resolved the issue and to see if we were satisfied with her choice.

When she realized we were pleased, she left us to set up and went home for the weekend seemingly pleased with the treatment she given us and it was now 5:55pm on Friday and they close at 6:00pm.

As it turns out, we were the only campers in the entire park and all the spots looked pretty much the same to us but we really did enjoy the treatment afforded us. It was wonderful to have running water, sewer and.....nooooooooo.....the electricity is not turned on and the office is now closed and will not be open until Monday! George quickly jumped in the truck and was lucky enough to find the last person in the office who was able to help us out and turned on the electricity to the parking spots.

They have several full-time residents, but the traveling RVers weren’t eligible to use the park until May 1. In fact, they are still preparing the park for the season and the lady informed us the showers could be used but they were still cleaning up ash from Mt Redoubt eruptions but more about that later as this morning (Mon) we heard “The 2009 eruption of Redoubt volcano continues. A vigorous steam plume, rising to altitudes up to 18,000' above sea level, is visible in moonlit webcam views”.

It is lonesome here but we love it.

A view out the window early Saturday morning. This is “our” row and we counted 5 others that were completely empty....yes, pretty lonely.

(As it turned out, Sunday the 2 class A rigs that we played “leapfrog” with along the Alaska highway, pulled in to the park as well as 2 other rigs. Man, it is getting crowded!)

We’ll do a bit of shopping to stock up for Cooper Landing and leave for the Kenai Peninsula on Tuesday morning. It’s a 102 mile jaunt that should take 2-3 hours with expected photography stops.