My traveling friend, Liz, has wanted to go to McCarthy and Kennecott for a very long time. It is full of history and is just huge. I had told her that I wouldn’t drive out. It is 60 miles on a gravel road in a suspect kind of condition. We were on our way to somewhere – you know how jello plans are? – and we stopped at the Visitor Center at Copper Center. While there we saw and asked about a day trip out to the National Park and Preserve at Kennecott and McCarthy. It is actually Kennecott National Historic Landmark. So we also asked about a place to park our RV’s and had 4 choices. We opted for Kenny Lake. We called Kenny Lake and reserved our spots with power – whoo hooo! Then we called and made reservations for a van ride out to the foot bridge – that is worthy of another whoo hooo!! We headed for Kenny Lake about 25 miles away. Got some gas and was excited about $4.499 price because it was $4.639 in Glenellen, but saddened because we had been paying $3.629 in Eagle River. Oh, well it is what it is! (as my friend says).
We were to be picked up at 8:00 a.m. for our ride. They actually got there about 8 or 10 minutes early. That’s a good sign. So off we go, 7 of us in the van and 2 more to be picked up in Chitina (chit eh nuh). The road to Chitina was black top all the way and it was a good road – narrow but good repair.
Our stop at Chitina was at the B&B and we picked up 2 guys. The interesting thing was the three turkeys in the front yard. It appeared that there tail feathers and possibly the flight wing feathers had been either removed or trimmed.
After Chitina it was gravel and you could tell it had been graveled fairly recently. We passed through the narrow (one lane) rock walled ‘exit’ from Chitina proper and were on our way.
We drove over the bridge to the river (I forget which one now) and on the left were a lot of fish wheels. These are quite interesting and are used by the native indians only. On the way back we stopped at the river with the fish wheels. I have a neat video but it is too large to upload until I get a better connection. So for now enjoy the stills.
The scenery is quite beautiful, as I am sure you will agree. This bridge did not used to have the railing you see.
Ugh the road!!
A nice reflective lake.
This railroad trestle was built in 8 days and was finished in -50* weather!!
The driver was quite competent but made me very nervous as she talked all the way going up and that’s three (3) hours and she tended to use her hands to make a point. She also liked to look at the people she talked to both in the passenger front seat and the next seat back. That is a little unnerving. Made me nervous enough to go to sleep coming back. Liz probably has a photo of that. Meanwhile here are some dusty photos – dusty because that gravel road was only good gravel about 5 of the 40 some odd miles. “Road construction R us” is still the name of the game in the remote areas of AK. Lots of employment and $$$$’s in that business. The work is usually way later coming. They were putting in culverts and making roadside ditches as well as getting stuff that was growing away from the road.
Lots of trucks and cars which give you dust and rocks!
We are there! Here is the river that we will walk across - using the foot bridge!
The shuttle leaving to find a parking place.
Liz treking across the bridge toward McCarthy then Kennecott! A dream come true!
Next post will describe the visit to Kennecott the mining town.