Friday, August 8, 2014

McCarthy Road

Packed a picnic lunch and headed out for a day of exploring.  Beautiful sunshine with a few puffy clouds.  The road follows the old Copper River & North Western Rail road bed, or as it was nicknamed “Can’t run and never will”, all the way to Kennecott.  The mine closed in 1938 but not before taking over $300 million in copper to Cordova by rail and from there by boat to Tacoma, Washington to be processed. 

Here’s one of many trestle bridges that needed to be built.  

And this one is no longer used, gee, wonder why?!

Pretty good gravel road almost all the way, at least where the road work is going on, lots of potholes and frost heaves on the rest of the road.

After 60 miles, and 2 1/2 hours, we arrived at the end of the road.  Picnic lunch and a walk over the bridge (over the Kennecott River) to the shuttle stop for a short ride into McCarthy and a longer (6 miles) ride to the old mine.

The tall building, 14 levels and the tallest wooden building in America, is the Stamp Mill.  At the base of it is where the ore was bagged and across from it is the Machine shop and power house, can you see the smoke stacks?  In the foreground is the leaching plant and the small building on the right side of the picture is the General Manager’s Office.

Enough power was generated here to power the entire town and 4 mines.  There was also a phone system through out town and steam heat in all the buildings.


That is not tailings, it’s the dirt on top of the glacier.  Below is the Hospital and the East Bunkhouse separated by National Creek.



Another view of the mill 


After walking around for 3 hours we boarded the shuttle for the ride down the hill to McCarthy.  The hotel is in beautiful shape!  Cross the street for the bar.

That’s Root Glacier.

One last look back. 


We got back to the campsite at 7:45pm and see that our friends Ed and Sandy & Steve and Nancy have arrived.  They’ll do the trip tomorrow.  We will head back to Glenallen and maybe on toward Tok.

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