|We left Valdez debating whether or not to head to McCarthy and Kennicott, two copper mining towns that our fellow RV friends Paul and Carol had told us about. We decided to skip these as it would have required about a 200 mile (roundtrip) detour off of the Richardson Highway, with some of the trip on a gravel road. I think we both were starting to feel vacationed out. Plus, after the spectacular scenery of Valdez, we didn’t know if the mining scenery would be a let down. Maybe it’s just knowing how far we still have to drive to get home. We were glad that we had two days of sunshine in Valdez with no rain for a change.
We stopped to look at a roadside viewpoint of the Wrangell-St. Elias mountain range. A few miles up the road was the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve Visitor Center. This was a must stop, since we needed lunch and planned to stop here on our way back from Valdez.
After lunch, we went into the visitor center and watched a movie about the park called “Crown of the Continent.” It had amazing scenery of glaciers, icefields, and remote canyons as deep as the grand canyon. The only problem is, this park, which is described as being the size of 10 Yellowtones, with a few active volcanoes, is not easily accessible.
We listened to a ranger talk, took a short nature trail walk, then got back on the road.
Our final stop for the night was Tok, where we stayed on July 17, when we first entered Alaska. After filling the RV and Liberty with fuel, we parked in their free lot for the night.
Curious how the little husky puppies were doing, we walked over to the Burnt Paw to find out. When we passed through here a month ago, there were 4 or 5 little husky malamute mix pups, born June 1, that were for sale for $250 each. Now there was just one little guy left, but he had a SOLD sign on his pen. The sales price was now listed as $100. It was so sad to see the poor pup all alone, but knowing he would be going home soon to hopefully a happy home made us feel better. As we walked up to his pen, a little girl had just arrived to play with him too. He sort of whimpered as he ran to the side of the pen to let her stick her fingers through the wire fence. She gave him a lot of attention and seemed as smitten with him as we were; he was just soooo cute. She was from Juneau, staying in the cabins with her mom, dad, brother, and her dog, a golden retriever. I think she would have loved to take this puppy home with her. Once she left, Bryan took over scratching the little guy and roughhousing as much as he could through the fence. Pretty soon three more people showed up, so I guess the pup wasn’t going to be alone for too much of the time.
We went into the little gift shop to see if we could find any bargains since it seems like the tourist season is nearing the end; things were very quiet in Tok.