It was cloudy and a bit wet in Valdez when we left but mostly we were worried about fog. Close to Thompson Pass we did encounter fog, but it was gone within half a mile past the pass. As we headed north on the Richardson Highway we were seeing more and more clear sky. By the time we got to Willow Lake we were getting glimpses of the Wrangell Mountains:
This car isn't going anywhere for a while (it is just below the viewpoint):
Mount Drum peeking out:
The view south at Willow Lake:
An informative sign that someone disagreed one sentence of and scratched it out:
Further north we stopped at another scenic viewpoint and this is how Mount Drum looked by then:
More wildflowers (July 10, 2006 - Bill's sister has an Alaska wildflowers book and this is probably a yellow oxytrope):
The fireweed is just starting to bloom here:
Another shot of Mount Drum, with Mount Sanford just showing itself on the left:
At Glennallen we turned west and Mount Drum showed really well in our mirrors so we stopped at a scenic viewpoint with this sign:
Here is what Mount Drum looked like to the east:
Then the clouds came back in and the rest of the trip was not as scenic.
After 197 miles we stopped at Grand View RV Park and Cafe and here is our campsite:
Sometimes Dall Sheep are seen here, but we were not so lucky. We caught a few glimpses that told us the view really is grand here when the clouds are missing. When we came in the campground was half full, but by the time we went to bed the campground was full.
.On July 1 we headed west to Anchorage. We did stop at the Matanuska Glacier and took this photo:
After 102 miles we came into Golden Nugget Camper Park in Anchorage, AK, where we had a reservation for two nights. The campground was full the 3rd and 4th of July so two nights was all we could stay. As Diane drove the motorhome to our campsite we saw our friends Diane and Rich Emond, http://www.roamingamerica.com/, and had a quick hello as they had friends with them and were on their way out.
Our campsite was a tight fit and we were glad our friend Gypsy John had warned us to disconnect the CRV since we had to jockey the motorhome a few times to get into the campsite and get settled. Here we are setup for two nights:
We were just across the street from Costco so it was convenient for shopping. We also shopped at Fred Meyer, Wal-Mart, and Carr's (supermarket chain owned by Safeway). We only ate out a couple meals and Flo's Pancake House was a fun diner/pancake house with a chatty waitress. We had a nice visit with the Emonds, but did not match up with other people we knew camping in Anchorage due to our short time here.
July 3rd we headed to Bill's sisters house in Kenai, AK. We drove this road in a rental car in May 2000, so it looked familar. The Seward Highway was quite busy and many of the viewpoints were full so we didn't get many stops. It was also a bit hazy, but here are some of the photos we took:
Even more wildflowers:
At our lunch stop you could just see some mountains over the low trees:
Once we got into the crowded Sterling Highway we didn't make any more stops. They were "combat fishing" for salmon on the Russian River, where they are casting in formation and people do get hooks in them. When we turned up the Kenai Spur Road at Soldotna we called Bill's sister, Tanya, on the phone to let her know we were close by. Tanya lives about 30 miles north of Soldotna.
After 178 miles we were at Tanya's house. It took some maneuvering and branch trimming to get us parked, but here we are. The first picture is just after making sure the sewer hose would work and the second is after bracing the sewer hose. We had 20AMPs, sewer and could fill up the water tank when we needed to. This will be where we are for a couple weeks:
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