Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June 12, 2018

The last few days have just been doing a little touring, and hanging around. It is really nice to be settled without the pressure of moving down the road.

Over the last few days, we spent a little time in Palmer, Wasilla, Anchorage, and today down the Turnagain arm of the Cook Inlet.

One of our nicest hikes was up the Bodenburg Butte. We rode horses up in 2014 and 2016. The hike is pretty steep with around 300 stair steps. The hike up is well worth it as views are spectacular. I even took a hazy picture of Mount McKinley (Denali).

The next day we went downtown to Anchorage. One touristy thing we had not done in the past was to take the trolley. It was OK, but there was not a lot of photographic opportunities. We tried to go to lunch at Humpy's, but after over an hour waiting for our orders, we just left. They were having some difficulties.  I guess one of the cooks just walked out. Go figure.

We spent the entire day today with the goal of seeing the bore tide around 4PM. We drove down to the Portage Glacier area (Chugach National Forest and State Park). We had an awesome lunch right on the Portage Creek.

We stopped at a couple of the visitor centers just to see if there was anything new before heading back up to our pre selected viewing area. We based this stop on some internet searches and suggestions. The prime spot was to be the pullout just south of Bird Point.

The parking lot filled up pretty quickly as this was supposed to be a pretty significant Bore Tide. After hanging around a while, I noticed that about a half a dozen surfers were getting ready just south of us. This increased our excitement. However, when the tide arrived, we just saw a rush of water. Immediately looking south, the Bore built up to at least 4 feet based upon my estimation.

We were one pullout too north!!!! Oh well. We did get to see the guys surfing. It is supposed to be a little stronger around the 15th. If we have time we may go back down and pick a pullout further south.

We did get a video of it in 2016, but it was just a couple feet high. I was really hoping on something huge.

The hike up Bodenburg Butte:

 Pioneer Peak

 Matanuska Glacier

Mount McKinley a long ways off

Some of the Stairs on Bodenburg Butte

Flowers in Palmer:

Downtown Anchorage:
On the Trolley

Visitors Center

This is an underground house

Down the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet:

Lunchtime view from Portage Creek

Yellow Warbler

 Surfers on the Bore Tide

Friday, June 8, 2018

June 8 2018

Update on the roads: The Tok Cutoff to Glennallen was in really really bad shape. We were running maybe 15 to 20 MPH most of the time. Once we turned off toward Palmer in Glennallen it got much better.

We got to our campground in Wasilla pretty early and set up camp. We were a little put off as they decided to seed between the sites and have roped the entire site off until June 20th. With our slides out, we have less then 12 inches to walk around. We have set up chairs in front of the site so we can at least sit outside.

We were to move anyway on the 19th, so we decided to go up to Denali for three days leaving on the 18th. When we return for our last week, the site should be open.

On the 7th, we drove as far as we could up Hatcher Pass which put us at the Independence Mine. The rest of the pass is closed to Willow until the 4th of July. There was quite a bit of snow still. The views were awesome.

We had lunch about halfway down where it was a little warmer.

After lunch we drove to the Thunderbird waterfall between Wasilla and Anchorage.

Unfortunately, we got the results back from the Whitehorse Veterinarian. Mallory does have a very bad bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics. Today, we are headed back a Vet in Palmer (third Vet so far). We hope to get a stronger antibiotic that will knock it out permanently.

Mount Sanford from the Tok Cutoff (Wrangell St. Elias NP)

Mallory up at Independence Mine

Lunch time view from Hatcher Pass

Unknown waterfall from Hatcher Pass Road

Top of Thunderbird Falls

 Bottom of Thunderbird Falls

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

June 5, 2018

We made it to Alaska!!!

The highway from Destruction Bay to the border was in really good shape. Actually no construction what so ever. In 2014 and 2016 that section was under significant construction and made the trip pretty miserable.

Unfortunately, once we crossed the border, the road was horrible almost all of the way to Tok. That section was pretty good in 2014 and 2016. Alaska must be running out of money.

The really good news is we caught up to our 2016 bear count where we stand at 14. All four today brown bear. It was really nice to see mom and two cubs.

We also stopped for the first time at the Beaver Creek Information Center and got another Gold Passport Stamp. We now have 12 stamps so at a minimum we will be entered three times into the 1 ounce giveaway.

Tomorrow we head down to Wassila where we will stay for 22 days. Woohoo.

Monday, June 4, 2018

June 4, 2018

Internet has been spotty at best. But that is expected.

We spent our last two days in Whitehorse hiking and running around getting as many stamps for our "Gold Passports" as we could. Yukon has been putting on a gold giveaway for many years now. No... we have not won. However, it is fun to enter. We will need to visit at least ten places and get stamps or a "code" number to be entered into a 1 ounce gold drawing. We will need at least 20 stamps or numbers to enter into a 2 ounce drawing.

The "stamp hunt" does not begin until June 1st. On June 1st we stopped by the Whitehorse visitors center to pick up our three passports. We then spent the day visiting various places to get 9 stamps in Whitehorse.

It was kinda fun, but all of the places we went to other than the wildlife preserve were visited by us in past years.

We then spent our final day hiking up on the Canada Trans Trail.

On our way up to Destruction Bay we got two more stamps in Haines Junction.

The bad news is we were blanked on the bear count. So we stand at 10 bear to date. We are now tied with 2016 but will most likely not catch our 2014 count of 21 bear to this point.

We are now spending our last night in Canada before crossing back into the USA. Destruction Bay is a great stop as we love spending time with Loren and his friends. We had a few beers with Loren catching up on the local gossip. And by the way we struggled with Loren's new email address as Z "Zee" is pronounced "Zed" in Canada... Aay...

Blue Billed Duck

You don't see these in the lower 48

Temptation Island. Don't eat the bane berries.

 Canyon Creek Bridge 

Destruction Bay Yukon

Kluane Lake  

Mallory chasing sticks in Kluane Lake