Back to Tok. We left at 8:30 am and arrived 3:15 pm, traveling 5.75 hours to go 282.7 miles with a brief scenic stop.
After all our distress from the breakdowns, the financial and emotional drain, we are done. We are in going home mode. The others will continue on their own.
By 10:00 am we climbed to 3,300’ with spectacular views of the huge Wrangell-St. Elias Mountain Range and the Matanuska Glacier to the south and the Alaska Range to the north.
Naturally we came across lots of road repairs and delays. We got to witness the building of the roadbed at one point. Packed with new dirt to fill in where it washed away (brought in from another area or from the sides of the highway), packed down, then a layer of plastic sheeting rolled out. Then very thick layer of rocks and boulders, more dirt packed and then the road surface. The area we passed must have had one heck of a wash out to build the road base up this high. They have to put several culverts in first before building the roadbed, to allow for drainage.
We stopped at a viewpoint for some shots of the Mantanuska Glacier; at 27 miles long by 4 miles wide, it is the largest glacier accessible by car in the United States. Its terminus feeds the Matanuska River. It lies near the Glenn Highway about 100 miles north-east of Anchorage. Matanuska Glacier flows about 1 foot per day.
Interesting factoid: The English place name Matanuska derives from a Russian term spelled in various ways, but all meaning "copper river people", perhaps referring to an implied route from Cook Inlet to the Copper River.
When we arrived in Tok we went to the Tesoro fuel station were we filled the motorhome and power washed the road dust from the coach & car for an hour and half. When we checked into Tundra RV, we were bushed. Time to do lots of laundry then relax in the bar and enjoy the locals.