July 3rd 2013
Happy Fourth of July, from Alaska
I have not made it very far into the interior of Alaska. I came across a section of Wrangler Saint Elias national park I had never seen before so I decided to check it out. The Nabesna road starts off of highway 1 at the town of Slana near the Copper River; not much of a town but it has a national park ranger station and an RV park where I am staying for now. There is no cell coverage but they do have a little bit of internet connection which comes handy to keep in touch with the World.
The "Chuck Mobile" is taking me everywhere, good friend!
The road goes 46 miles into the National Park, first ten miles are paved, the rest is dirt, with multiple river crossings and there are no services what so ever; it is not like other national parks, here is just a road and there are no bridges to cross the rivers so it has been fun getting my car wet. Of course no Japanese here… no anything here. I have been driving the road everyday taking time observing how the landscape changes through the day or with the weather. It is being an interesting experience to stay put in such a small area.
One of the many lakes along the road, I call this one "the lake about half a mile past the only one toilet in the road"
The mosquitoes are horrible, so the idea of hiking in the bush is pretty much out of the question, but I found a trail that actually goes up into the hill sides pretty quickly so you only have to put up with the bugs for a mile or so, that is tomorrow. My forehead is covered with mosquito bites, it took a couple of minutes standing outside my car in front of my tripod to figure out that I needed protection, so bandana, hat and mosquito net is a requirement if you want to take your time taking pictures in this area.
I have not come across a lot of wildlife so far, a young moose today, but that is it
At the end of the road there is an abandoned gold mine that is a total chemical disaster. I drove all the way to it yesterday. Alaskans do not really care too much about rules and road signs, the “Road Closed” sign does not apply to them, so I follow their advice and kept on going on the road to the mine.
The abandoned gold mine, a total chemical disaster nobody is taking on to clean up
I love the Alaska's skies
Today I took a small two seat plane to check out the glaciers from above. You really do not comprehend the dimensions of Alaska until you get above the mountains. The pictures will give you an idea but still cannot get you close to the amazing feeling of flying above the glaciers and close to the ice covered mountains.
The Nabesna Glacier, third largest glacier in North America
"Hulk" our plane
Today is day three at the Nabesna road, tomorrow July 4th I am moving in to mile twenty to a free campground with no services. I will celebrate our country’s birthday there.
Life is Good! Carlos out