Alaska, the Last Frontier - Summer 2012 travel blog

huge highway

musk ox


We had planned a nice day in Palmer yesterday. We wanted to visit the musk ox farm, the reindeer farm, and hike to the top of butte which offered scenic views of the mountains in the area. But once again, the weather did not cooperate. You can't control the weather and we try to make the best of it, but overall since we left the lower 48 the weather has been abominable. By my unscientific calculations, we've had rain 80% of the time. Without some sunshine the temperatures never make it to 60º and with a drizzle, we're cold and uncomfortable. We waited til the afternoon to try the musk ox farm. It stopped raining, but by the time we walked around and learned about this amazing creature that shared the earth with the dinosaurs, we were chilled to the bone. We chucked the rest of the plan for the day and went back to the motor home and cranked up the furnace. There are people camping in tents here - we dare not complain too much.

The sun finally came out about 9:30pm illuminating the newly fallen snow on the peaks nearby. It feels like seeing the sun in Alaska this summer is about as rare an occurrence as seeing an eclipse at home. The sky stayed clear for about 12 hours, but as we neared Anchorage, thick clouds returned. We had plans to ride the coastal bike trail here today. We started riding; it was about 55º. Then some drops began to fall and we turned around and headed back to the campground. Very frustrating! Here in the big city there are some interesting things to do indoors, which is a good thing, because the forecast for the next week continues to be cold and overcast. This is true for most of the state most of the time, except for the far northern Eskimo towns near the Arctic Circle which have had considerably more sunshine and consequent warm temperatures. Who would have guessed?

Most of the drive to Anchorage was on four lane divided highway, which became six lane. We haven't seen six lanes since Calgary. It felt good to see some urban sprawl. Half the people who live in the state live here. Big box stores like Best Buy and Target looked appealing as they never do at home. We are camped right down town which is very convenient, but our beds are inches away from train tracks. The switching yard is nearby and the trains going by shake the ground like an earth quake. Hopefully they aren't as busy in Anchorage as they are at home.

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