Week 6 of 16 ~ Sunday, July 5 to Saturday, July 11, 2015

Day 33 ~ Sunday, July 5 - It was about one o'clock in the afternoon when we left the Sourdough Campground in Tok, Alaska, and headed southwest on highway 1 toward Valdez with a gas stop in Glennallen. Checkout time was 11 o'clock but I figured what the heck, they want us to "Like" them on Facebook so they won't kick us out.

The drive today from Tok to Valdez was much better than yesterday's disgusting departure from Canada. The U.S. roads had some really bad areas that were destroyed by the natural "way-up-north" elements. It is clear that the highway departments in both Canada and Alaska have a hard time keeping up with the necessary repairs. So far Alaska is way ahead of Canada with much better roads. I think the oil companies are paying a lot of taxes to Alaska for road maintenance. The drive today was long, but very pleasant and, of course, scenic.

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Wildflowers everywhere along highway 1 heading out of Tok, Alaska, and the mountains began to reappear in the distance.
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The wildflowers and distant mountains have disappeared. Ever-changing scenery.

We have always been convinced that it takes at least a month to see the accessible part of Alaska. It's true. Those who come here on a cruise ship and get a few hours here and there in the tourist port towns are kidding themselves. They visited Alaska, but haven't seen Alaska. This state has a lot of character with its small crappy towns and weather-beaten houses with old junk vehicles (mostly pickups) parked in the front yards. It's a lot like Kentucky or Tennessee. Most of the more well-known towns have one way in and one way out. Makes it easy for the GPS to figure out a route. I can't image any locals ever using a GPS. There are so few roads.

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Bumper to bumper traffic all afternoon. No people and no jobs. Alaska exists for the tourists and the oil and fish industries. Most of the vehicles on the roads are motorhomes, pick-ups pulling trailers and motorcycles. All driven by tourists. Not many out here right now. Oh, and we don't want to forget all of the goofy people on bicycles way out here in the middle of nowhere. What are they trying to prove?
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Just a few miles north of Valdez, we passed the Worthington Glacier. We'll be back to visit.
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Welcome to Valdez! NOT. What the heck! Valdez is 22 miles away. Premature advertising.

After considering several parking lot campgrounds, we settled for Bear Creek Cabins and RV Park located a few miles outside Valdez, Alaska. Like everyplace else in Alaska, this pace is a dump with parking spots (not campsites) that are about 20 feet wide. Old and kinda redneck rustic. The restrooms are different. There is a single one-door raised building with a small laundry room as the main room. One washing machine and one dryer. Off this room are four pretty good sized unisex bathrooms. Two with a shower, sink and crapper and two with just a sink and crapper. That's two full and two half size bathrooms. Old and in need of redecorating, but clean enough.

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Just another parking lot campground in Alaska. This time it's Bear Creek Cabins and RV Park. Only $31 per night. Very few picnic tables and firepits. There are some real redneck fishermen parked around the outer perimeter who have been here for a while, fishing. Yes, the fishing here is unbelievable.

All right, it's almost midnight here and still quite light outside. My biological clock is all screwed up. I'm going crazy. My computer clock says it's 3:46 am. Oh, I'm leaving it on Michigan time, just because. Well it's time to quit for the day no matter what time zone we are in.

Day 33 Summary ~ We drove about 266 miles today which puts us at 5587 total miles into our journey.
It is 60 degrees outside at 10:30pm Alaska time.

Day 34 ~ Monday, July 6 - We planned our stay in Valdez this morning and paid for two more nights stay.

What a day this has been! Valdez has proven to be a highlight of our trip.
#1. Valdez is GORGEOUS!!! Yesterday we drove Richardson Highway (hwy 4) from Tok along the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park which is the largest NP in America at 13.2 million acres. Not only is it huge, but the mountains and scenery are breathtaking. There are few roads going into the area; it's mostly wilderness with First People's settlements here and there and very few gas stations. There are several private campgrounds and only one National Park campground, which is free, but only 10 campsites.

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This is the main pier / dock in Valdez with the ferry boat way down there..

Valdez Dock

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This panoramic video was taken while I was standing on the dock in Valdez. We could live here.
The weather was so nice.

Richardson Highway goes past Worthington Glacier and then into Thompson Pass past beautiful waterfalls and mountain vistas and into Keystone Canyon, the site of the 2014 avalanche which closed the road for a couple months. Hwy 4 is the only road in and out of Valdez. The locals were stuck here.

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Highway 4 outside Valdez. The sign says Valdez Glacier Stream. Does that tell you anything?
Valdez is surrounded by the most beautiful mountains.

#2. Did I mention that Valdez is GORGEOUS? It's surrounded by mountains and is a seaport. Wow! We checked out the campground in town and vetoed them – it's a parking lot campground with small sites and waaaay too many people. We settled on a smaller parking lot campground (Bear Creek) a couple of miles outside of town. It's a little quirky.

#3. Valdez is larger than Haines and has much more to do as well as being GORGEOUS! Today we visited the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery and the Pink Salmon have arrived-by the thousands! We watched them jumping over the fish weir and trying to get upstream, but they are blocked by the weir from getting into the river. Now the sea lions know that dinner is waiting at the weir, so where do they head for dinner? You got it, right in front of us! The sea lions were fishing maybe 50 feet off shore. They swim a bit, turn over and catch a fish, bring it out of the water and bit the head off. Both parts of the fish fall back into the water and the sea lion dives for the body, surfaces and gobbles it up. There are gulls everywhere grabbing up the leftover pieces. What a scene!

Now the tide is coming in and the sea lions are coming closer and closer to fish and there are Harbor Seals behind them and otters come out to fish too. Then there are the Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles out there as well. We didn't know where to look. There was activity all over. Wow, this is pure Alaska!

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Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery. The salmon try to swim back up this river to spawn.
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The Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery - Look who came for dinner.
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These large white-headed birds are everywhere. We should make it our national bird.

#4. We decided to leave this salmon massacre and go back to Worthington Glacier and hike right up to the face of the ice. This seemed like a great idea until we actually got out there. We started hiking a trail up the left side and it didn't pan out. The actual glacier was unreachable. Alan was way ahead of the rest of us and scurried back down and convinced us to try the right side. This worked and we climbed the scoured rock and debris, up and up and up to the ice face. It was like climbing into the freezer - only snowsuits would have been warm enough near the icemelt and face. We all touched the glacier (and got cold hands). The view was magnificent with mountains 360 degrees around us. WOW! This giant block of ice is melting like crazy and keeps the river flowing with gusto. Oh, the Valdez area is GORGEOUS!

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This is Keystone Canyon on highway 4 on the way to Worthington Glacier.
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A fantastic view from Thompson Pass on highway 4 at 2805 ft above sea level.
This is the snowiest place in Alaska, recording an average over 551 inches of snow per year. That's a lotta snow on this only highway in and out of Valdez. How do they keep it clear in the winter? A lot of Girl Scouts with snow shovels.

Thompson Pass

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This is a panoramic view from atop the Thompson Pass.
This is pure Alaska!
You are not going to see this from the deck of a cruise ship.
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Looks like some sort of glacier. Ah, yes, the Worthington Glacier.
It's just a short walk, right, and mostly up, up, up. No steps. Just rocks.

The Worthington Glacier is Melting

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The glaciers are melting. This is an up-close video that shows how much water is flowing from this melting glacier. It will get replenished somewhat when winter comes back around.
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We all had to touch the glacier. That baby is really C-O-L-D.
Al Gore is right, the glaciers are melting.

Alan touching the Worthington Glacier

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Yes, glaciers are cold. If you are going to visit a glacier, you have to touch it. It's a rule.

#5. We drove back to the campground to get warmer clothes and a bite to eat, then headed back to the fish hatchery to see if the bears had arrived for dinner. No luck. No bears yet. I guess they weren't in the loop. To our surprise, the tide had receded – a lot! We could now walk out beyond the channel buoys - a good 500 feet or more. Seaweed and rock were strewn with stranded dead fish and the gulls and eagles were cleaning up the mess. The fish near the weir were swimming over each other in much shallower water-thousands and thousands of them! From a distance, the water looked a pinkish color due to the number of fish. This was a huge change in only a couple hours.

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We went back to the Fish Hatchery to see the bears. No bears, but lots of salmon trying to swim up stream. Well, they couldn't make it past the weir.

Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery

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Those crazy salmon try to swim up stream to spawn, but run into this weir (dam like thing) that traps and redirects the fish thru the fish hatchery.

While driving back and forth through Valdez today, we stopped in at the Napa Auto Parts (actually, Napa is in all the towns up here) that supplied us with $2 per quart oil and oil filters. Gregg and I decided to not wait any longer and do the oil changes ourselves in the campground, soon.

It was approaching 11:00 by the time we got back to camp and so we retired to the warmth of our homes on wheels. It would soon be dark anyway. Remember, long days here. We have purchased tickets for a boat cruise for tomorrow-around the bay and into the Prince Edward Bay. We'll let you know what we see. Until then, goodnight and remember, Valdez is absolutely GORGEOUS!

Today was a good day. It was also a good evening topped off with two-fingers of Glenfiddich on the rocks (our freezer is making ice, yes!).

Day 34 Summary ~ We drove about 87 miles today which puts us at 5674 total miles into our journey.
It is 61 degrees outside at 11:20pm Alaska time.

Day 35 ~ Tuesday, July 7 - Oh, rats! There's a light rain going on and we have a 7-hour boat tour planned for 10:45am. We can't control the weather; just make the best of it. Our tour boat left the dock on time heading on out toward where the sea creatures and ice bergs hang out. We couldn't see a thing due to the dense fog. The visibility did get better with time as the fog lifted up to join the low clouds. Of course, there was no wind except that which was created by the boat movement. A misty rain was on and off throughout the day. A sunny day would have been much better.

Because we were at the head of the line getting on the boat, we got a nice table seating in the cabin area with a better view from inside where it was more comfortable. There were 50 or 60 passengers in all. Many of the passengers stood on deck in the elements taking pictures of imaginary sea creatures. Oh, look, a whale! Or some other dark under water object. Yes, there were sea otters floating on their backs and a bunch of sea gulls. I was not impressed. The boat was rocking side to side, up and down about two feet and that made a lot of people sea sick including me, who can't do amusement rides. Took the wind right out of my sails and ruined the whole tour. I did get some nice pictures of icebergs. Whoopee!

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Here's the Lu-Lu Belle. We needed a bigger boat.
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The icebergs were pretty cool. Or should I say cold. The bluish color was so pretty.
The air temperature outside was about 40 degrees. Like standing in a refrigerator.
The water was just loaded with small chunks of ice (not in this picture).
There were floating creatures that weren't bothered by the ice and cold water. Just relaxing.

(Diane writing) I was very impressed with the tour on the LuLu Belle. I saw the otters and Dall porpoises (looked like Killer whales to me) and the humpback whale and baby - I couldn't quite make them out but they were there and HUGE. They swam underneath the boat several times and were visible on both sides at the same time. I did see them surface and blow and the tail fluke. Wow. Then I got quite ill (seasick) and had to race for relief. That helped, but I was ill the rest of the trip. We're taking an extra day here today because I'm really not 100% yet. They did take us past sea lions sunning themselves on a beach and then to the glacier calving into the ocean. It was magnificent even through half-closed eyes. I was chilled and damp inside the boat cabin, but could see through the large windows. Alan was also ill as were 8-9 others (about 20% of the passengers).

The seas were rough and the air was very cold as icebergs were everywhere. Captain Fred was kind and got us moving which helped a little. He kept up a narrative of local history, biology, native customs and politics for the entire trip. He was very interesting and able to present his spiel in a way that reminded me of Paul Harvey. We left at 10:45am and returned around 7:30pm. I was very glad to see the dock, but felt weak and tired. Yes, it was well worth the price of the ticket, but no, I wouldn't go again. BTW: Alan didn't want to go in the first place. He has good instincts.

I was back to normal when the boat turned around and headed for the dock at a good clip. Diane was not doing well. When we made it back to the trailer, Diane went to bed and I ate some really great slow-cooker beef stew that was cookin' all day. Yum! I skipped lunch due to all the puking problems. All in all, it was an expensive and crappy day, but an interesting experience. Like in the movie Jaws: "You're gonna need a bigger boat". Fully stabilized cruise ship size maybe. Big boat. Or maybe a ship?

Day 35 Summary ~ We drove about 25 miles today which puts us at 5699 total miles into our journey.
It went down to 52 degrees during the night.

Day 36 ~ Wednesday, July 8 - We are staying one more day in this crappy campground in Valdez. Diane is not 100% yet and wants to work and sit still. I wanted to change the oil in the truck with the oil we purchased from Napa yesterday.

Now, here is the story I promised last week to tell about getting the oil changed north of the lower 48 states. Yesterday, when we were at the local Napa Auto Parts, I asked the man behind the counter, "Where can we get an oil change?" His answer was simple. You have to change it yourself. There is one shop in town that will change your oil and the owner just happens to be standing at the counter with us. So, I asked him, "How much for an oil change?" His answer was, "How much do you want to pay?" Well, I found out he wanted from 60 to 70 bucks. Just an estimate. For crying out load. You can't get an oil change here. The counter guy said an oil change could be had in Anchorage. I wonder if we can get an oil change for forty bucks. We're not waiting. We changed the oil in the campground. We were very careful and didn't spill a drop.

Today, we stopped in at the Safeway grocery store to pick up some food and postcards. I noticed that an 11oz bag of Doritos that cost at the most of $3 back home is $6.19 per bag. Most groceries are very expensive here. But, the taxes are zilch. Well, we are not moving to Alaska. Besides, it's too damn cold here.

Diane was feeling better by dinner time and her work was finished for another week. An after-dinner drink was in order to help thin the blood and smooth out the day. This is our last day here in Valdez.

Day 36 Summary ~ We drove about 28 miles today which puts us at 5727 total miles into our journey.
It is 54 degrees outside at 11:45pm Alaska time.

Day 37 ~ Thursday, July 9 - The weather first thing this morning is, once again, overcast with a misty rain. Our plan is to exit Valdez and the coast today and head more inland toward Anchorage. We're going back out the same way we came in. We have to, there's only one road, so we'll pass through Keystone Canyon and Thompson Pass and the Worthington Glacier again. Oh, the burden we bear for you folks.

We said good-bye to Bear Creek Campground and headed back into Valdez for one more look. Oil for the truck was cheap here at $1.99 per quart from Napa Auto Parts so the guys each bought a case to go. Gale and I found a couple gift shops that were open and then we all gathered at the Espresso/Ice Cream shack. This little pink (Everything was painted pink!) building was maybe 6’ x 8’, but they made the most wonderful milkshakes – a shot of espresso mixed with soft-serve ice cream with whipped cream on top. It was lunch. They had lots of other interesting combos and if we had found it earlier, I’m sure we would have visited more than once yesterday and today.

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The original Valdez was destroyed in an earthquake in 1964 and there is nothing here but a nice sign and a bunch of emptiness.
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This eagle at the Solomon Fish Hatchery says, "I did not kiss this gull." But, he's guilty. You can see it on his face. The gulls and eagles eat the stranded fish after the tide goes out.
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Okay, if we had to pick a favorite place in downtown Valdez, this is it. The espresso shake is really good. Six bucks a pop.
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The downtown campgrounds were not very appealing. Very noisy and crowded. But, convenient. Just a short walk to the stores.

Now, reloaded with energy to spare, we’re back in the truck and heading north on Richardson Highway (Hwy 4). We’re exploring as we go again – waterfalls, old train tunnels, going up and through Keystone Canyon and Thompson Pass past Worthington Glacier and north. We’re in and out of that truck all the time expending some of those calories and caffeine.

We passed by the little, dusty, dirt roads leading to the small fishing villages since we were back to pulling the trailer. We heard about the villages from Jim and Ruth, a couple we met from Nashville. They drove thirty-three miles through wilderness to get to the First Peoples villages where they fish the rivers with small dip nets. They saw small, private herds of Musk Ox and were pleased to have witnessed a more personal side of the "real" Alaska. They then completely unloaded the back of their pick up and ran it through a car wash to remove the thick layer of Alaskan dust that covered everything they brought and now have a warning light on the dash saying to service the engine soon. It would have been nice to explore those villages, but at what cost? We still have a long way to go and are very dependent upon our wheels. We’ll learn from their experience and pass for now.

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Our drive out of Valdez led us thru Thompson Pass again. We drove thru the clouds.

We did stop at the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Visitor Center and made a quick pass through their many interesting exhibits – animal pelts and critter facts and history of the area, huge topography map and critter skeletons. They also feature a theater, but we arrived just before closing and had to hurry through what we could. We will have to re-visit this 13 million acre park again someday.

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We had to make a quick stop at the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Visitor Center on highway 4 just south of Glennallen, Alaska.

We soon arrived back at the junction with Highway 1 (the Alcan) and our stomachs told us it was way past time for dinner. We had just settled into a restaurant when Gale realized she did not have her small coin purse with her ID and credit card. Gregg and Gale retraced our path back a little further than the Visitor Center, but had no luck. They’ll have to cancel her cards and replace the ID. She still has her passport. What a blow. We don’t know if it was stolen or if she lost it.

After a very late meal, we drove westward on highway 1 and found Tolsona Wilderness Campground a few miles down the road. We pulled in for the night. The campground had an okay Wi-Fi connection so Gregg and Gale checked their emails and there was a message from their daughter that someone had called to say they found Gale’s wallet – in Valdez. What a relief! Arrangements will have to be made to get it back, but at least it has been located and by someone honest enough to contact her. Thank you, God, for traveling with us and blessing us everyday!

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Our campsite in Tolsona Wilderness Campground. Now this is camping with lots of mosquitoes.

Tolsona Wilderness Campground is just lousy with mosquitoes. A few sprays of Off helped a lot. This place is really old; maybe from the sixties. The restrooms were cleaned maybe last week. But, it was real camping in wooded campsites right on a creek with fishermen. Pretty cool, but the mosquitoes were a real nuisance. I had fun with the electric fly swatters. Four fingers of Apple Hooch from Kevin and Lori was a great nightcap.

Day 37 Summary ~ We drove about 141 miles today which puts us at 5868 total miles into our journey.
As usual, it was in the fifties at night.

Day 38 ~ Friday, July 10 - We left the campground a few minutes past 11 and were back on the Alcan Highway and heading west toward Palmer and Anchorage. The road was smooth and new for awhile but has returned to dips and bumps – 55 mph is plenty fast. We're passing numerous small lakes and ponds and through spruce and aspen forest – lots of stunted trees due to the permafrost. There are also lots and lots of cyclists. We've seen 75 or more in less than an hour. They have some kind of event going on other than a simple death wish.

There are some nice homes and a lot of shacks and abandoned house trailers left to rot. It's sad but no one will ever come back to clean them up or remove them. It's horseback riding time again. The road is blacktopped and better than dust and gravel but not much. We just came over a rise and the magenta colored fireweed is thick and beautiful – long stretches of it.

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Highway 1, Alcan Highway, from Glennallen to Palmer is really pretty with all the fireweed.
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Highway 1, Alcan Highway, from Glennallen to Palmer is one of the nicest chunks of asphalt.

The highlight stop for today was at a Musk Ox ranch. Musk Ox are an Ice Age mammal that once roamed the earth alongside saber tooth tigers and woolly mammoths. We treated ourselves to a tour and followed our guide right out to the paddocks to see the bulls and cows, both old and new. There were three calves born only 2 months ago still in a smaller paddock with their moms. There were also separate paddocks for the one-year olds, the 2 and 3 year olds, etc. Musk Ox usually live to around 18, but there was one bull that was 22.

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When visiting Palmer, Alaska, a tour of the Musk Ox Farm is a must ox.

Musk Ox have two layers of hair - the soft, warming hair underneath called Qiviut (Kiv-ee-ute) and the long protective hair on top. The warm underneath layer of hair is 8 times warmer than wool and therefore a premium commodity here. The farm hand combs the animals in April and May to collect the under layer. It is washed, carded and spun into yarn and then the local knitters get busy whipping up scarves, hoodies and mittens to sell at what seem to be exorbitant prices. A scarf goes for around $300 and a hoodie is a mere $200. Then again, think of it this way, a large male Musk Ox can deliver between 4-7 pounds of under layer hair each year. This will make about a mile of yarn or maybe 10 scarves. Ten scarves at $300 each is $3000.00. Now you have to feed and care for these creatures for an entire year and put in all the work of collecting and preparing the yarn and then actually knitting up the end product AND we were told that each animal costs about $80,000 to begin with (They are no longer endangered in Alaska). Now that $3000 doesn't seem like quite so much. These people are farming and protecting these animals for the love of the animal and definitely not for profit. They do ask for donations and Alex Trebeck has adopted 4 animals and donated large heavy gates for the paddocks. They have even spotlighted the Musk Ox Farm on the Jeopardy show and featured questions about the farm and animals to help bring them into the public eye. This was a very interesting and informative tour.

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Hello there Musk Ox on the Musk Ox Farm. A real prehistoric creature, with short legs.

We're stopping a little earlier today and pulled into Mountain View RV Park in Palmer, AK - much like a KOA without the swimming pool. Twenty foot wide parking spots with a view of a mountain or two. The restrooms are nice. All unisex full-size bathrooms with shower, basin and toilet. I think there are 7 of these rooms about 1000 feet away. Gonna have to walk fast in the morning. Can't pee on a tree 'cause there ain't no trees.

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The Mountain View RV Park in Palmer, Alaska, is a lot like a KOA. Tight parking spots with very clean restrooms and laundry room. But, no swimming pool or billiards. We did have a picnic table.

Let's see, a beer with dinner and maybe something harder before bedtime. Jack Daniel's on the rocks, yes. Good night.

Day 38 Summary ~ We drove about 127 miles today which puts us at 5995 total miles into our journey.
It is 71 degrees outside at 9:30pm Alaska time.

Day 39 ~ Saturday, July 11 - Well, Palmer, Alaska, is in back of us as we zoom southwest down highway 1 (a.k.a. Glenn Highway) toward Anchorage, our next major stop. It is a simple, boring drive with scenery that is not worth writing about. A stop at The Reindeer Farm, not far from Palmer, is a must. Who doesn't like reindeer?

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The Reindeer Farm in Palmer, Alaska. Why don't they call it a Caribou Farm?
Fact: Reindeer are called Caribou in North America and are a member of the deer family.
So, Santa's sleigh is pulled by caribou in North America. Interesting...
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The Reindeer Farm in Palmer, Alaska, is a working family farm.
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Feeding the kids is important.
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Attack. They really are very gentle and have no front teeth in their skull only in their jaw.
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One lazy Bison. This is Betsy or maybe Bessie. She's an Alaskan Bison-slightly different from the bison in the lower 48. She's well cared for: clean, combed and fluffy looking. She was born in captivity and her mother died shortly after her birth. She does not know any other bison-only people and reindeer and caribou. She's very people friendly and will let you scratch her back and ears.
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Caribou feeding time. We could only coax one cow to the fence with some fresh, organic grass. The others were resting in the 68 degree heat. They don't do well in warm weather.

We waved goodbye to the reindeer and got back onto highway 1 heading southwest toward Anchorage. As we got close to the big city, we realized that we were back into civilization as we passed Kohl's, Lowes, The Home Depot, Sam';s Club and Best Buy on our way into the northeast side of Anchorage.

Our choice of campgrounds gets worse and worse. Here in Anchorage the pickings are slim. All the BS on the internet about lots of campgrounds in Alaska, just that, BS. A bunch of one-star parking lots at best. We are parked in a one-half-star parking lot called Ship(t) Creek RV Park which is right next to a railroad track and under a small airport main flight path. A bunch of youngsters are playing really loud rap at 10:30pm and the office is closed with no management around to throw the bums out. The promised Wi-Fi doesn't work. This is the worst piece of property; Oh, let's put a campground here! Can't do anything else with it. There are high-voltage power lines above our parking spot and other wires all over. Well, we did want electric. I hope our brains don't fry overnight. Maybe the metal on the trailer will shield us. This place was our second choice. We should have taken pictures of the first place we checked out, Centennial Park. It was nasty.

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Do you want electric with your one-half-star parking spot? Ship Creek RV Park has the power.

There's a Farmer's Market and Festival not far from the campground so we all jumped into the truck for the short drive, parked, and walked the booths seeing the locals with their home-made goods, pictures, jewelry, knitted items, wood crafts - all with an Alaskan flavor. There were spice blends and food booths and live music - much like the open markets we have back home, but with slight differences. Instead of sausage with peppers and onions, they have reindeer or caribou sausage with peppers and onions. Instead of hamburgers, they have halibut or salmon or buffalo burgers. Instead of tacos, they have fish tacos. I managed to find one place with dry rub chicken and pork BBQ with rice. Delicious. Alan, Gregg and Gale loaded up on deep fried, beer-battered halibut, french fries and corn fritters. Yum! This place was fun.

We drove to Elderberry Park at 5th Ave between M St. and N St. and walked that Carny Food meal off by taking the trail by the shoreline - and got slightly lost. Actually, we knew where we were, but we ran into some construction detours. We got to see some nice neighborhoods up close with gorgeous views of the bay from Bootlegger Cove Drive. A lot of the houses here along the bay's shoreline were destroyed in the 1964 earthquake. The cliffs along the shore are all sand that doesn't make a good foundation for a house.

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The view of the western shoreline close to Bootlegger Cove Drive is pretty ugly. It looks like this for quite a distance north and south.

We zigzagged our way back up to N St. and found the truck right where we left it. Anchorage is quite easy to navigate with numbered avenues and lettered streets so we weren't really ever lost, just off of our paper map for a bit. We were less than two miles from the campground and it was starting to get dark, so back we went to call it a day.

Holy cow! It's about 11:30 at night and a train is going by making the entire trailer shake up and down. The track is maybe 150 feet away. A lot of the campgrounds we stayed at on this trip are next to railroad tracks. It's a un-written rule - "put the campgrounds next to railroad tracks".

Day 39 Summary ~ We drove about 64 miles today which puts us at 6059 total miles into our journey.
It is 64 degrees outside at 10:40pm Alaska time.
This is the end of Week 6 ~ Tomorrow is Sunday and start of a new week, so you'll need to Click Here to Go to Week 7