One of the places that we went was out to the Kenai Fjords National Park where we saw the Exit Glacier. This is the only glacier in the park that you can usually get close to. You notice I said 'usually' - not today. The ranger at the park told us that in March and April they received ten feet of snow (yes, I said 10 feet!) and that they used their entire year's budget for snow removal just to get a one lane road into the visitor's center. They opened at 10:14 this morning. We couldn't get back to the base of the glacier but it was beautiful anyway.
One of the other places we went was to the Alaska Wild Life Conservation Center. They take orphaned or hurt animals and keep them - these animals are ones that could not survive in the wild any longer - but one of the things that I thought was neat was where the center was located.
On Good Friday in 1964 there was an earthquake in Anchorage - I knew about this earthquake because I had a cousin that was serving in the Air Force at the time and was stationed in Anchorage. Anyway, during this earthquake the bay in Anchorage completely emptied and the entire shoreline was changed. What I didn't know was that the small village of Portage was also affected ----------------------------
This cabin was destroyed in the earthquake - the village of Portage had to be moved because the earthquake caused the land to drop 6 to 12 feet and during a high tide much of the town was now underwater. Anyway, the center was located in an area that had been part of the village - many of the trees around were dead due to the saltwater on the roots.
Now, this is one of the animals at the center - it is a coyote that had been injured and was blind in one eye - there is no way it could survive in the wild. However, it was in the enclosure with three brown bears (which we didn't see because they were out in the brush). Anyway, we saw moose, musk ox, caribou, reindeer and wood bison (which are smaller than the bison down at Yellowstone). I enjoyed going through the center, but I get much more excited seeing the animals in the wild.
Speaking of animals in the wild - when we got back to the unit today this bald eagle was sitting in the trees. Pretty cool huh???
Well, tomorrow morning we leave for Tok. Dan wants to stay at Deadman's Lake tomorrow night - we'll see - I'm not sure, but I guess I can do anything for one night. Plus, guess who we meet today here at the park we are staying - our replacement hosts at Deadman's Lake. Isn't that a hoot - such a small world. Anyway, we talked for awhile - they left today to head on up to the campground and then they will be in Juneau the middle to end of August waiting for their ferry down to Bellingham, WA. We'll see how the summer went (this is their first camp hosting job!). Should be interesting.
Now, tomorrow is our one year anniversary of this whole new lifestyle. That is very hard for me to believe - May 18th of last year we pulled out of Dowling Park, Florida and started on our way to our first job in Idaho. Tomorrow we will start on the last part of our journey of this summer heading back toward Haines for our ferry trip to Juneau. So begins the next year of our two year journey (let's see if Dan sticks to the agreement).
Let me take a couple of minutes to give my thoughts on the interior of Alaska. This is probably some of the most beautiful scenery and country I have ever seen - the beauty of this place is unmistakable. However, ruggedness and vastness of this land is also unmistakable. Everywhere you turn you are stuck with beauty, but you realize that this land can be very unforgiving if you are not careful. Would I have missed the opportunity to see this land - no I wouldn't. Maybe you could say that the horrible road coming into the interior is the price you pay to experience all this beauty - if so, it is a very small price to pay. I hope that some of my pictures have shown some of this beauty.
Okay, enough of all that - I hope that all is going well with you - I don't think I will have Internet again until we get to Haines - so, if you don't hear from me in a couple of days don't get concerned. We will be set up in Juneau by Saturday afternoon - yahoo!!!! Take care and ------------
I'll talk to you in a couple of days!!!!