Saturday, August 6, 2011

Other Mountains

Today started with a delicious breakfast with two other couples staying at the B&B. One was from Kentucky and the other from Switzerland. It's fun to hear about others' travels. The Swiss couple have done a lot of traveling in the US. They said they tell all their friends to travel here; it's the best. I asked what was one of their favorite places and they said the Bryce Canyon area. They've also been to Yellowstone, Yosemite, New York city, Mt. Rushmore, a bunch of them. When I asked how they liked Yosemite they said they liked it but it was a lot like Switzerland, except the trees were taller. I never would've thought that.

After breakfast we headed down the highway towards Gakona. Most of the day it was sunny and beautiful. There were two mountain ranges that we were driving between. We took tons of photos. We're so used to having to grab the opportunity before clouds move in that I have way more photos of these mountains than I need. The biggest one is called Mt. Drum.
The biggest one is called Mt. Drum.

We had some luck seeing some wildlife, too. A moose and a caribou. The caribou was especially pretty, with the reflection in the pond. The moose was busy eating and didn't want to look up at first. What a funny looking animal a moose is.
They sure are funny looking.

A caribou!

We stopped for lunch at an old roadhouse where the owner makes homemade pies. We each had a piece of blackberry pie with ice cream. Delicious. Kind of a fun old place to see, too, although the bathrooms would've been much improved by more modern amenities. But it's all part of the adventure.
Checking out an old gas pump by an old roadhouse where we stopped to have lunch.

At one overlook where we stopped to take photos, a guy came over and said he would take our picture. He directed us where to stand so the sun would be on our faces. He did a good job, I think. Nice shot.
A nice man stopped and took our photo together.

The place we're staying tonight is called the Gakona Lodge and Trading Post. Very rustic.
Our rustic room at the Gakona Lodge and Trading Post.

After dropping off our stuff we drove around to see what we could see. We went to Copper River, where there's another roadhouse, also a museum.
Copper River Museum. I like the Alaska flag.

When we passed a sign for a visitor's center at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park we decided to check it out. It turned out to be a very nice stop. The visitor's center was well done and there was a pretty path to walk, a loop through the woods. At one point it crossed what had been the old road from Valdez to Fairbanks. Hard to imagine driving that!
A path at Wrangell-St. Elias State Park.

The original road from Valdez to Fairbanks.

It turns out the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the biggest park in North America, bigger than Denali. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful place.
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  1. Just getting caught up on your travels the past few days. You are going to have to make 20 editions for your Alaska photo book - just too many to chose from!

    How great is the dead carcass of Smokey the Bear sprawled across your bedroom wall?! I know, that's totally normal in the animal butchering capital of N. America, but I'd have to put a sheet over that thing! :)

  2. Tell me about it. Pretty funny. At the museum today we saw stuffed animal heads. They were funny kiddy animal heads of moose, bear, etc. That would be more up my alley. :)