Ack! I’m way behind on my posts! We have been moving a lot and living in the moment, enjoying Alaska and its scenery. I try to post pictures regularly on Instagram (@rivetingjourney-karen) and Facebook (Riveting Journey), but finding the time to write a blog and put together a video has not been easy. Carl will tell you that I have had plenty of time, but in my downtime I’ve chosen to read mindless novels instead of cracking open my laptop! Get ready for several posts over the next couple of weeks (wifi service and uploading permitted…)! (P.S. – The videos in this post are much shorter – about 5 minutes on one and 2 minutes on the other.)

Wasilla, Hatcher Pass, and Independence Mine

After our phenomenal glacier landing with Talkeetna Air (Denali National Park blog/video), we made our way south to the Wasilla/Palmer area. We enjoyed Wasilla’s Independence Day parade and mayor’s festival (free hot dogs, drinks, and entertainment!). We visited with some relatives in Palmer who picked up the hitch sway bar Karen found on Facebook Marketplace after we lost one on the Dalton Highway north of Fairbanks a few weeks earlier. And we took a day to explore Hatcher Pass and Independence Mine. The Independence Mine, now a State Historical Park, was a gold mining operation from approximately 1934 until about 1950. How in the world did people find these places and build huge mining operations that lasted just a couple of decades?

Eagle River and Anchorage

We then made our way to Eagle River and Anchorage to fuel up, stock up on groceries, and do laundry. A friend we met in southern California in early 2021, Mary DeSpain who is also a Travel Advisor (book your cruises with her!), is from the Anchorage area. She not only “virtually” introduced us to her friends, Phyllis and Brad, who live in Eagle River; she also offered her RV pad behind her house in Anchorage for moochdocking. We met her son and daughter-in-law, and it was a perfect spot to explore Anchorage and take care of chores. They live not too far from Kincaid Park, which has the start (or end) of a nice, paved bike trail. It is also along a bay that is part of the Turnagain Arm with nice views. Mary suggested we eat at Moose’s Tooth, and we did – delicious pizza. It is so popular that we had a 30-minute wait at 1:30pm on a Friday afternoon, and it is a pretty big restaurant!

Our favorite thing we did in Anchorage was watch seaplanes take off and land at Lake Spenard and Lake Hood next to the Anchorage International Airport. It is quite an active seaplane base. We also drove to Flat Top Trailhead, a steep and winding road up a mountain to a … wait for it … flat top! It had beautiful views of Anchorage and the surrounding area. Unfortunately, it is quite popular on a beautiful, sunny day and there was NO parking available. So we stopped on the side of the road to snap a few photos and headed back down.

After spending several weeks in Alaska with relatively little traffic, the traffic around Anchorage was a shock to our systems! And, believe me, it is NOTHING like the traffic in and around Raleigh, or on I-40, or anywhere that is over-populated. We have become accustomed to driving on two-lane “highways” that have little traffic. “Rush hour” would be when 5-7 vehicles pass us in a 20-30 minute timeframe!

Next  up … Whittier and Portage Glacier

For previous installments of our Alaska Roadtrip:

6) Denali National Park and a Peek at its Peak!

5) Driving the Dalton to the Arctic Circle

4) Summer Dog Mushing experience Iditarod racers Jeff and KattiJo Deeter of Black Spruce Dog Sledding

3) Driving the Alaska Highway

2) Banff National Park, the Icefields Parkway, and Jasper National Park

1) Alaska Roadtrip Installment 1 (Theodore Roosevelt National Park and more!)