Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Glenn Highway, Part 1

Before leaving Chugach State Park, we hiked some trails to find 6 Geocaches hidden there. These trails are actually ski trails in the winter.
 I call this "Pac Man," but you can make up your own caption.
We saw 3 Willow Ptarmigan (Alaska's State Bird) in the woods, but I was not able to get any good pictures.
On Monday, we drove east on the Glenn Highway, following the Matanuska River to its source,
 the Matanuska Glacier, where we spent the night in the state campground.
Birdie didn't particularly like the drive up and down mountains in her big RV towing a car, so we drove straight to the campground and then took her car, "Herbie" out to see the sights.
But to me, the Glenn Highway is by far the most picturesque in all Alaska.
 We took a side trip on Chickaloon Road to see this old bridge. It was originally a railroad bridge, built for trains to carry coal out of this coal mining region. 
The road itself is picturesque with mountains rising all around. 
Chickaloon is the name of a tribe of Athabascan Natives that still live in the area.
They are working hard to preserve their native culture here. Once you cross the Chickaloon River, the road becomes rough gravel and all the property is posted with No Trespassing signs, so we turned around.
This is King Mountain where there is another state campground alongside the Matanuska River. 
 We did some Geocaching there on one of their trails.
 More views of the highway.
This is Long Lake. Ack, we could have boondocked here and got out the kayaks on this beautiful day! But there will be other adventures...
 Across the road from Long Lake are dark cliffs above an aspen grove.
 The crystal clear waters of the lake...unlike the silty river waters.
Sometimes we pass right through the mountains. The black sides reveal the coal beneath the mountains.
Back at our campground we hiked the trail through an aspen forest,
 and we learned about the aspens and how they grow.
There were views of the river from the trail,
 gray with silt,
And we learned about that.
There were views of the valley,
And of course, the glacier that carved it.
All that learning made us interested. See that road that leads to the glacier? We decided to take that in the morning to explore the glacier close up.
Want to come with us? Good! In the morning...it'll be another blog post.


  1. Great photos Liz. I really like that one of the lake with the rock in it. It would make a beautiful blow up.

  2. I like the last photo, with the road seeming to disappear under the receding glacier.

  3. Gorgeous area. I was wondering if the aspens were turning yet. Love the clear water of the lake!