A Travellerspoint blog

Palmer, Alaska to Chitina, Alaska

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

semi-overcast 0 °F

We wake up early today – I think the fact that there are no raindrops hitting the trailer invigorates me -- I’m anxious to see scenery without rain. We are planning to drive 280 miles to Valdez today, so it’s good that we get an early start.

We only drive about 10 miles til we get to our first stop, The Palmer Muskox Farm.
It’s Jere’s idea to stop, but it actually turns out to be fairly interesting for all of us. They raise muskox for the quivohute (sp?) fur that the animals shed each spring. The fur is worth $150/pound. Apparently the yarn made from the muskox fur is extremely warm, lightweight and waterproof.

The Glenn Parkway is very scenic
so we make lots of stops, including an unplanned 30-minute stop for road construction. We stop to have lunch at a very nice rest stop that overlooks a glacier and meet a guy who is bicycling from Prudhoe Bay (the northernmost city in North America) to Argentina (the southern most city in South America). He’s been on the road two weeks and is still very excited. Jere finds the guy interesting, but says he’s crazy to be bicycling so far alone.

The fireweed along the Glenn Highway is gorgeous:


We stop in Glenallen for diesel and a snack, and then head south to Valdez. At least that’s where I think we are heading, but apparently Jere neglected to tell me that he is thinking of stopping at the Wrangell-St Elias National Park visitors center. We look at the exhibit and watch two films at the visitors center, and then Jere says he wants to go into the park tomorrow. So, no Valdez today.

We drive to Chitina, Alaska, where we find a small RV park near the airport. We are the only tourists at this campground and I’m a little nervous about the place, but the scenery is nice and there are no other choices, so we stay. It’s odd: I can look out one window and see this incredible vista of mountains, including Mt Wrangell, and I can look out the other side of the RV to what appears to be a rundown trailer park.

The road into Wrangell-St Elias NP turns to gravel after Chitina, so we can’t take the RV any further than Chitina. We are stuck at this campground, whether I like it or not. I’m trying to focus on the incredibly blue, cloudless sky and the snow-covered mountain in the distance.

Jere and Joe take a walk down to the river but I elect to stay at the trailer and read. Joe is concerned that I am not going with them and picks me some wildflowers to cheer me up.

Posted by jengelman 13:21 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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