Started off with a beautiful sunny, blue cloudless sky. I wanted to just sit outside and work on my quilt.
But Jon had other plans. So after lunch we set off to explore, first to the Tonsina River Lodge. The old building was built in 1910 in Valdez. In 1928 it was moved to it’s current location.
This is the new lodge, with loads of extras included.
The Alaska Pipeline winds its’ way from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. Here the BLM allows the public to cross under the pipeline, with permits of course!
Then we headed out on the Edgerton Highway towards Chitina (pronounced chit na). The road doesn’t follow any rivers until it reaches Chitina, then it is close to the Copper River. However, the views were amazing!
There were snow capped mountains in the distance, including Drum. The Milepost 2014 guide says to be sure to stop near the airport for a view of Fish Wheels. So we stopped. Indian Mike and Wesley took us down to their fish camp to show us the wheel. Mike was born in Whittier Calif, but now lives in Alaska. He explained how the wheel works and gave us some Copper Red Salmon they had just caught.
This is one of the original fish wheels, made of birch branches and logs, Mike also told us that the original design is Norwegian but that the native Alaskans improved on the design.
Continuing on we came across 3 lakes, named Three Mile, Two Mile and One Mile. Jon found a small patch of Monks Hood Flowers.
And then if you blink, you are passed Chitina. This is Main Street, at the end of the road is the National Park Service building. We saw a Cow enjoying a roadside snack by an abandoned motor home. Across the road is a small lake and out in the lake the Bull was having a delightful dinner.
She sure was a beauty, even posed for her picture.
From Chitina the road goes thru this narrow pass heading to the Historical mines of Kennicott and McCarthy. Once on the other side of the pass, we saw lots more fish wheels, and people camped everywhere. The road continues for another 60 or more miles before reaching the end, from there it is a 1 and 6 mile hike to the mines. Or you could take a shuttle bus, at least that’s the information in the Milepost.
By now it was closing in on 5pm so we turned around to head back to Squirrel Creek. On the way we made a stop at the Alaska Yak Center. These guys sure are furry. Wish we’d had more time to tour the place. Another time maybe.
That’s all for now!