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Alaska - You Didn't Let Us Down!

Glenn & Richardson Highways

View Alaska or bust. Just Driving in 2016 on Johnash's travel map.

Room 129, Princess Wilderness Lodge, Copper River, AK
17.43 Thursday 10th May

With apologies for the number of pictures here today. It has been so difficult weeding them out.

We drove out of Anchorage after a motel breakfast, leaving just after 8 and joining the swirl of Anchorage traffic. (Bob just read a comment in Lonely Planet about Anchorage: "work in progress"!) My, what a busy place. And for 30 or so miles the traffic was still pouring into the city. As we got out into the "wilderness" we left most of the traffic behind and the road became remarkably quiet. The season is only just starting (handy hint, come early) so really very few travellers. We saw a few campers of various sizes, shapes and condition (a couple we saw were all-but falling apart).

Our first stop was the village of Eklutna, a small town inhabited Upik natives who were converted to Russian Orthodoxy by Russian missionaries. They have preserved/restored their church and other building for the benefit of visitors and for themselves.


We turned off the main highway onto the old Glenn Highway where we were held up briefly by various roadworks. Always fun to be leading a convoy, behind the pilot car, through the works. We returned to the main highway at the town of Palmer.


We really had expected the Glenn Highway to be much busier. It forms Highway 1, presumably the main route in from "The Lower 48", across Canada and into Alaska's biggest city. So we were really pleased that we had huge stretches of highway to ourselves.


The cloud had built up round the higher mountains and, for a while we could not see the tops. Gradually the clouds got higher and this part of Alaska, in all her glory, was revealed to us. Stunning. Yes, we felt stunned. We could not believe what we were seeing. Vista after vista was revealed to us. Lakes, rivers and shambolic huts and cabins. As well as a few smart ones. Then a young moose crossed the road in front of us.


We stopped constantly for photo opportunities. One particularly memorable stop was a viewpoint to admire the Matanufka Glacier.


We trundled on, craning our necks, staring up at the cliffs on our left in the hope we would see some of the Dall sheep that call those vertiginous slopes their home. But this time we saw nothing but rocks and trees.


Our dream catcher working overtime!

After the humble little town of Glenallen, we turned right off the Glenn Highway onto the Richardson Highway that, tomorrow, will take us down to the infamous town of Valdez.


We easily found (despite TomTom telling us to turn up a non existent track) our stop for the night. The extremely cosy Princess Wilderness Lodge at Copper River. Built by the cruise ship company to provide its passengers some light relief in the wilderness. Presumably they are bussed up from their boats, tied up in Valdez.

These views from the lodge grounds, including the Trans Alaska Pipeline, which terminates in Valdez. Here we are looking towards the volcanic Wrangel Mountains.


Looking forward to dinner in the comfy looking (but not cheap!) restaurant.

Why did the moose cross the road? Small prize for the best answer!

PS Just saw a dog sled (with wheels) pull off from in front of the lodge. 4 smallish dogs pulling 4 large and 1 normal person! And they were so happy about it! Pictures soon!


Posted by Johnash 23:54 Archived in USA

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REALLY beautiful photos! Thank you so much. As for why the moose crossed the road: He was looking for Rocky. (As in Rocky and Bullwinkle J. Moose).

by colette

Wow what place!

by Anth

Amazing and stunning, and much more! Don't apologise for fotos, more please! Don't know why the moose crossed the road. Where is his hoos?

by Lin and Norma

WOW and wow again,as already said do not apologize for photos, they are stunning
One wet moose and one dry moose, all alone, where we're their mates.

by Bren

wonderful photos and the moose wanted to see your car and get to the other side safely of course

by vivienne

A memorable day in your epic journey....really beautiful scenery and how wonderful to have it practically all to yourselves :)

...and the moose didn't want to cross the road at all.....he was merely standing there to wave as you passed! :) xxx

by Cherry and Chris

Thank you, thank you! What is the plural of moose, as we hope to see yet more? It's grey and rain/snow/sleet forecast for Valdez. We shall see.

As I said to Bob who is in bed enjoying his coffee made by yours truly, we shall see whatever we are meant to see and not what we are not, etc. I think the oldies are queuing for breakfast which started at 6am!

by Johnash

Absolutely spectacular no other word for it. I'm so glad it's living up to expectations. The photos are amazing, we can only imagine how wonderful the real thing must be. Can't wait to see more.

by Sue and Gordy

OMG...wow...abso-bloody-lutely stunning. What on earth has taken you so long to get your butts to Alaska?? The photos are superb Mr Ashplant. I'm sure bobs video footage will be equally as stunning. Can i make a small request in advance for your 2018 USA road trip please.... Hawaii ????. I feel like I'm enjoying your holiday from my sofa so thank you so much for allowing us all to join you. Keep up the excellent photography and history boys xx

by Antonia

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