Saturday, August 1, 2015

Alaska Day 5 - Hatcher Pass and Matanuska Glacier

Saturday, July 25 was the 5th day of our trip to Alaska.
 We started the day in Palmer.  Just north of town is an overlook across this wide valley with mountains all around.  The photo does not give the sense of scale and distance - it's an impressive landscape.
 On a whim, we took a left turn and drove up into the mountains beside this turquoise-colored stream.
 I want to give 'honorable mention' to these unknown pink-purple flowers that were all along the highways in Alaska during our trip - a nice bit of color to go with the green trees and grey rocks.
 Way up Hatcher Pass is an old gold mine.
 This sign shows how it looked in the early 1900's before it was closed during World War II.
 This is how it looks today - nothing that a little paint won't fix.
 Next, we traveled north to Matanuska Glacier.  This is the view from Highway 1.
 For a fee, you can walk out on the glacier.  When you first start walking out toward the glacier, it looks like a gravel pit.
 But, after crossing a mud pit on a bridge of boards, you look down through the gravel and realize that you're already on the glacier.  It's cool, looking down through the clear blue ice.
 You've got to watch your step out there - it is criss-crossed with crevices.
 It's a strange landscape to explore.
This girl is doing a bit of ice climbing - looks like fun!
After that, we went back south and stopped in Whittier for the night.  It's a beautiful drive - mountains all the way.

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