Sunday, July 16, 2017

Chugach State Park - Part Two - Hope and beyond

Day 69 - July 9 finds us on a Sunday, not in a formal church building, but the wonderful outdoors our Creator made for us to enjoy. It was a great hike down a creek, then back for Sunday brunch. Our Sunday drive took us to the historic town of Hope. We stopped at a few scenic sites along the way. Pretty views of Sixmile Creek. At a pullover spot on the Hope cut off road, we met a young couple - Justin and Kim. They reminded us of our kids. Fun to visit with and reminded us of how we were when we were that age - ready to travel! Hope is a really neat place. Very picturesque. Was a gold rush in 1896. Didn't last long. But Hope City persisted and it's one of the best preserved gold rush communities in south central Alaska. Enjoyed some good bluegrass music at the Sea View Café and Bar. They have the best museum here - Hope and Sunrise Historical and Mining Museum.

Another view of Turnagain Arm from the Hope side. At the crow flies, Hope and Anchorage are 20 miles. As the highway goes, it's 90 miles.

Really good music

Flowers everywhere!

Spooky body in the truck
Came back to camp. So pretty outside so took another hike. You can catch the "Trail of Blue Ice" here and it is awesome.  It's a combination of pavement, boardwalk or really good gravel. We even walked over two well built pedestrian bridges. The Forestry Service here has done an outstanding job!
View from our campground

Another view

Creek behind our site

One of the pedestrian bridges

One of the boardwalks

Another very well built bridge.

Purple flowers

Day 70 - July 10   Well, our plan today was to take the Portage Glacier Tour at 10:00.  Just so happens they took their boat out of service yesterday, so no tours today nor the rest of the week. Oh well, just so happens that Plan B was pretty awesome.  Down the road was the trail head for Byron Glacier, a 2 mile round trip hike to the base of the glacier.  It winds along beside Byron Creek.  So, so pretty!  Things always work out for the best as we most likely avoided a crowded boat of "tour-ons" (tourist moron ha!). Forgive me for saying that, but just seems to be a lot of folks that left their brains at home when they started their vacations.

Getting closer to the glacier!

At 1:00 we had a train reservation for the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop. It was great! The train was so comfortable!  Our ride was only 20 minutes. We got off and it's about a 3 to 3 1/2 mile round trip hike to Spencer Lake and the foot of the Spencer Glacier.  Awe inspiring beauty for sure!  This is a great excursion if you want a little train ride, a great hike, glacier beauty - not to mention seeing a moose and black bear!

Standing at Spencer Lake with the glacier in the background.

I don't know about kayaking by an iceberg. Pretty but those things can roll.

Bridge over the Placer River

Spencer Glacier

Placer River

Our train

Back at camp, my Fitbit says we did over 8 miles. It's never right so probably add another mile. We have a good tired! Ended our day relaxing and listening to the waterfalls all around us.

Day 71 - July 11   We moved camp today on down the road to Trail Lake NFS campground. We found a site close to the banks of Kenai Lake. There is so much wind today that the lake has whitecaps. No canoe opportunities here. We went and explored a little at Moose Pass. Stopped for a bag of ice at the little store and there are our new friends we met at Hope - Justin and Kim - eating ice cream. Caught up and wished them well. Again! Back at camp we met neighbors who were camped near us at Eklutna. Small world. We're memorable with our big black truck and blue canoe strapped to it.  Really like this area!
Water wheel at Moose Pass

Moose Pass

Trail River

Trail River

Kenai Lake

Kenai Lake

Trail River

Up next.....Seward and a little fishing!

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