Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Bad and the Good of - FINALLY!

First the Bad part of FINALLY - the road between the Cottonwood RV Park on Kluane Lake and Tok, Alaska was FINALLY the road we had read about - and more - or less depending on how you look at it!! The trip was only 220 miles - BUT, it took 8 hours to drive it;-( There aren’t any words to describe it to you - and the pictures will not do justice to the bumps, rolls, fissures, breaks in asphalt, gravel, dirt, tar, construction, pilot cars, etc., etc., etc.!! The only good part of this drive was that Gary FINALLY got his shot of a moose - a real one and not another sign on the road;-)

Finally, after a month on the road we spotted a moose.

Finally, the rough sections of road we had been warned about.
To only partially quote Bruce Willis - "Yippee Kye Yeah....".

Tell tale skid marks. Thankfully not ours.

These deep fissures, which had been partially filled, sometimes ran for 50-60+ feet at a time.

The Good part of FINALLY - We FINALLY made it to Alaska!! And, thank goodness we had the cute little town of Tok, Alaska to humor us at the end of the long drive.

Please note that the mosquito on top of the thermometer is not to scale.
They are actually much larger - with more blood dripping (all E's!).

Well - you just saw the best part of Tok! Seriously - the Visitor Center gave us a list of the 5 things to do in Tok and they were visit the 5 gift/trinket shops in town. So, this little town proved to be a one-nighter (instead of the scheduled 3 nights). Our RV park there did have a one hour free blue grass performance-and it really was great;-) Made our evening. We left laughing and singing “I met my wife in a Porta-John line”!!

Tuesday we were on our way to Slana, Alaska - the entry to the northern reaches of the Wrangell-St. Elias NP. This was an unplanned stop, but the Hart D Ranch and RV Park was our home for a couple of days and served us well -

We were the sole occupants at this the Hart D Ranch on our first night here.

Wednesday, “The Road Less Traveled” was our activity. Nabesna Road basically begins at the Hart D Ranch and winds 42 miles into the Wrangell-St. Elias NP. The road is gravel or dirt and crosses creeks/rivers. (It depends on the time of the year as to whether it is a creek or a river. Early spring when it is a river - you don’t cross and go to the end of the road!). A drive on this 42-mile long road is much the same today as it was when the Alaska Road Commission built it in 1934 to connect the Nabesna Mine (the end of the road) to the port in Valdez. The drive is an adventure in the midst of the Wrangell, Mentasta and Nutzotin Mountains. Along the way one finds lakes, streams, hiking routes and opportunities for wildlife!

Another moose sighting. This mom and calf hung around for several minutes.

A distant view of the snow capped Wrangell Mountains.
Our next segment will be to go around to the other side of that range and explore some old mines.

Part of the old Nabesna mining road built in 1934. Narrow, but still serviceable today.

Along the old mine road we spotted this plywood crypt. No headstone or other identification,
but you can see the flowers (I think they are artificial) on the left.

Elizabeth driving through one of the creeks that flow across the road.
It gives a clearer meaning to the phrase "good Lord willing - and the creek don't rise.

Tomorrow is on to Glennallen where we FINALLY meet up with our friends from Park City and investigate the Wrangell-St. Elias NP from the other side;-)


No comments:

Post a Comment