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Trail River to Wasilla (north of Anchorage), Alaska

31 August 2010 - Tuesday

We were all lazy bums this a.m., sleeping in until 8 a.m. It was a good morning for dog walking too -- well, actually dog playing in Kenai Lake!

Kenai Lake, Alaska
The morning was bright & blue looking to the south

In 2001, a forest fire burned the forest around the campground, including the point of land shown in the picture below. 

Tazz playing in Kenai Lake, Alaska
Westward view of Kenai Lake from Trail River USFS Campground with Tazz in the water

Tazz loved the lake and she loves retrieving sticks.  So we spent a couple of hours at the lake just hanging around.

Tazz playin in Kenai Lake, Alaska
Tazz loved the water which was a bit too cold for us humans!

I had the brainwave to attempt an image of a stick hitting the water with Tazz leaping in to retrieve it.  Steve threw sticks, Tazz jumped, and I clicked the camera.  This play remains especially dear to me because it was a few days before Tazz started to get sick.

Tazz playing in Kenai Lake, Alaska
Tazz fetching a stick from Kenai Lake

And another shot southward with the beach in the foreground.

View south on Kenai Lake, Alaska
View south on Kenai Lake from the Trail River campground

After a couple of hours of play it was time to head back to the campsite. 

View from Kenai Lake, Alaska
View eastward from Trail River USFS Campground

The notice boards around the campground have many, many warnings about bears.  Each picnic table also has a sign on the top warning of bears. 

Sign at Trail River USFS Campground, Alaska   Sign at Trail River USFS Campground, Alaska
I think they're trying to tell us something

Tazz rested while we decided what would be next on the agenda. 

Tazz at Trail River USFS Campground, Alaska
Tazz resting at the campsite after her play session in Kenai Lake

These damn feet were getting itchy again.  Don't know why we can't sit in one spot for a couple of days.  Just can't. 

So hitched up and headed out.  But rather than turn south and drive the 25 miles to Seward we backtracked towards Anchorage.  Steve wanted to get the oil changed on the truck and we needed groceries.

Stopped at Tern Lake to check out the bird & wildlife watching.  Hiked around a bit.  Didn't see a thing though.  Nothing.  So carried on.

Northbound on the Seward Highway, Alaska
Northbound along Summit Lake on the Seward Highway

Again we were both struck by how much this area reminded us of British Columbia's west coast and Vancouver Island.

Seward Highway, Alaska
View northward from Turnagain Pass on the Seward Highway

Seward Highway, Alaska
Carrying on north, descending from Turnagain Pass, this view from near Wolverine Creek

Back along Turnagain Arm/Cook Inlet the views was clear towards Skookum Glacier.  Byron Peak was in the clouds though. 

Seward Highway, Alaska
Skookum Glacier to the left

Seward Highway, Alaska
It was tempting to turn westward; we enjoyed the Whittier area a couple of days ago!

Seward Highway, Alaska
The blue skies and fall colours were brilliant near the Turnagain River

Seward Highway, Alaska
A lucky shot of the Alaska Railroad in action, along the Cook Inlet

Today's drive was much calmer and quieter than our trip southbound.  The traffic was much lighter.  Lesson learned was to NOT drive to the Kenai Peninsula on a Sunday when many others were driving out from the peninsula!

Seward Highway, Alaska
More mountains, more glaciers, more fall colours ... these near Glacier Creek

In Anchorage the oil was changed.  Steve noted a tire on the trailer was going soft.  He changed the tire while I grocery shopped at the Fred Meyer.

By now it was late in the afternoon because we had such a late start to the day.  We headed north out of Anchorage during rush hour.  We were already antsy from being in a city for a few hours and now the traffic! 

At one of the bridges across the train tracks, the highway patrol was pulled over and searching for something.  This caused everyone to hit the brakes at the last moment.  Steve was hitting our brakes too, but the pavement was wet!  The trailer started to jack knife a bit, so he let up, but the car in front of us was coming to a full stop.  So he had to get back on them.  We stopped, but it was close.  Too close.  Time for these country hicks to get outta town!

I began checking for camping spots north of Anchorage towards Wasilla.  Not much to choose from.  It was early evening when we got to Wasilla and the tire store was still open even though it was 6:30 p.m. so we pulled in to get the flat fixed.   I surely wish we had known of Wasilla's Mr. Lube & Tire (open to 7 p.m.!) before having the oil changed in Anchorage.  There was also a grocery store right next door, as well as a laundromat and an RV wash.   Next time we know.

We were getting tired.  It was late, about 8:30 p.m.  Saw an RV park and figured it couldn't be all that bad.  But it was that bad.  The full-time residents were nice folks, but there was some sort of rent dispute going on and rent was due tomorrow.  We stayed close to the RV and tried to mind our own business.   The fellow's trailer next to us seemed to be the headquarters for the protest ... sigh.    Neither of us slept well.

We won't stay at the Ice Worm RV Park again.

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