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Sunday August 4, 2013- Eagle River to Copper Center

We got up and did our usual Sunday chores, bill paying and budget updating. At around 10:30, we drove out of Chugach State Park Eagle River Campground driving north to Palmer. Chugach State Park is 500,00 acres, surrounding the city of Anchorage bowl. We really liked this campground, right on the Eagle River. No mosquitos this visit!

I drove the CRV and Bob drove the motor home. We stopped at the same place we had stopped before for diesel( $4.19)  and gas( $ 3.94), still the cheapest around. We hooked up the car and took the back road out to the city of Palmer and turned onto Hwy. 1, the Glen Highway, towards Glennallen. Friend Nona( and fellow Alfa owner) had noted on Facebook that this road was worse than Top of the World. I had to agree.

The highway was paved, but as Mileposts stated, there was 25 miles of narrow, winding road. Ugh, it was a long way down! Make note, if  you are ever traveling in Alaska, go from Glennallen to Anchorage, not Anchorage to Glennallen! We were traveling on the outside lane with a very steep drop-off and few guardrails. Do I need to tell you we traveled slowly!

Glenn Hwy. Palmer to Glenallen AK

Glen Hwy. between Palmer and Glenallen AK

Glen Hwy. between Palmer and Glenallen AK

Glen Hwy. between Palmer and Glenallen AK- Matanuska Glacier

Above and below is Matanuska Glacier. It heads in the Chugach Mountains and trends northwest 27 miles. Some 18,000 years ago the glacier reached all the way to Palmer, 53 miles away. The average width is 2 miles and at its terminus it is 4 miles wide. the glacier has remained stable for the last 400 years.

Glen Hwy. between Palmer and Glenallen AK- Matanuska Glacier

Glen Hwy. between Palmer and Glenallen AK

Glen Hwy. between Palmer and Glenallen AK

We eventually drove through the worst of it and continued on to Glennallen, turning south onto Hwy. 4 towards Valdez. We stopped in Copper Center, 11 miles on Hwy. 4,  at the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Visitor Center, America’s largest National Park. It is equal to 16 Yellowstones,  huge with 13.2 million acres.

We parked and went into the Visitor Center. We asked if we could stay in their parking lot overnight. Nope, they lock the gates. That would not have bothered us, but they could not allow it. 

We watched the movie, which told us a little about the park. After the movie, we returned to the motor home and took the dogs for a walk on the Copper River Overlook Trail, about 1/2 mile and a lot of mosquitos later, we returned to the motor home. We knew that there was a pull-out on the way into the Visitor Center, so we pulled in there to spend the night. This was just outside the gate.

Glen Hwy. between Palmer and Glenallen AK

Above is from the Visitor Center viewpoint looking at Mt. Wrangell. You cannot see most of the mountain/volcano due to the clouds.

We notice there were quite a few people who drove into this area, wanting to stay the night there also. They could have, but they chose not to. The gate closed at 6 PM, after the employees left.

We ate dinner and watched Clint Eastwood in Absolute Power on DVD.

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