Day 15 – Homer, AK to Glenallen, AK

Total Miles today: 401 miles

Total Miles: 5242

Started the day in Homer with ice, yes ice, on my windshield.  Left a little early as I’m still waking up with the sun which rises around 4:30am and I’m not real good at waiting.  For the first time in almost two weeks, I had to use my sun visor as, until now, I’ve been driving westerly in the mornings.  The next two weeks will require that sun visor.  It is nice to be head south again though.

It is amazing how many tourists are here.  Even the vastness and remoteness of Alaska seems diminished by all the people who are here to “see” Alaska and not experience it.  I realize I am on of the visitors; however, I am here not to do everything I can in one trip but, rather, to experience the experience of driving the road.  I don’t feel that I’m being led around like a puppy to only those things that everyone wants to see.

Anyway, a few pics along the road.

This is a lake (if you look real, real close there’s a cabin in there somewhere) along AK1 on the way back to Anchorage.  I didn’t get any pictures of the Turnagain Arm because of road construction – plus the tide was out so it was mostly mud.  With a tidal swap of up to 40 feet each day – its pretty dramatic – seeing the area with the tide in and tide out is truly amazing.

After washing the mud and salt off my truck in Anchorage, I continued on AK1 through Anchorage and headed east at the junction of AK1 and AK3.  AK3 head north to Denali and Fairbanks and AK1 (the Glenn Highway) heads to Tok.  Just after you leave Palmer, AK, you travel along the Matanuska River.  I had the privilege of visiting this river several years ago and today I saw the source of the river – the Matanuska Glacier.  This is what we think of as a more typical “ice tongue” glacier that slopes out of the mountains like a frozen river (which it is).  You can actually almost drive up to the bottom of the glacier, but, alas, that’s an experience for another day.

Early in the morning, I had my first “road” encounter with a moose.  These large “deer” have a manner very much like the whitetail deer at home.  Except, even small moose are as large as horses.  When you come up a hill and you see a large black blob that doesn’t look like its supposed to be there, you probably need to slow down – or in this case stop.  The cow moose decided to make her way across the road and I didn’t feel another few days in Alaska was indicated at the time.  Later, after passing the Matanuska Glacier, in a series of switchbacks and steep grades, another large black blob appeared on the side of the road.  This time she let me pass, but, as soon as I stopped to try and take a picture – off she went.

The final picture is of Mt. Wrangell about 10 miles from Glennallen as you drive in from the West.  The road doesn’t actually quite make it to the mountain, but the trail keeps on going.