Of all the accidents Cat Herder imagined could happen on this tour (bear attack, capsizing in river, carried away by mudslide, disappearing into a crevasse on the Root Glacier), fracturing an ankle while halibut fishing was not among them.
While we knew it was bad, nobody imagined it was quite THIS bad until Kathie arrived home and got it x-rayed.
Oh, and this was 12 DAYS AFTER THE FACT. She chugged through the tour like a champ. Here's to a full recovery in that stylish boot!
But not before we finished up our fun time in Fairbanks, saw all 92 miles of the Denali Park Road (twice!), marveled at incredible wildlife and awe-inspiring scenery, shared many hearty laughs, and exchanged some heartfelt goodbyes. It was a great group! Until next time...
We reversed course over the McCarthy Road (a bit smoother and certainly less dusty due to the rainfall), and made our way back out to "The Rich", and northward to Fairbanks. We made several stops en route, for picnic lunches, pipeline views, a mosquito bite in Delta Junction. A couple of easy days in the Golden Heart City is just what the group needs right now.
Much like the epic free day we had in Valdez, Kennicott--aka Wrangell-St. Elias National Park--treated the MSR2 gang to a fantastic day. Some hiked glaciers, others explored the National Park interpretive trail, others clambered around the nearly-dilapidated and nearly-century-old mill structure from the copper heyday. And some of us went flying over the vast, icy wilderness of the Last Frontier.
We're off to Fairbanks tomorrow and the official Midnight Sun. The sun rises tomorrow at 3:15 a.m. and sets the following day at 12:23 a.m. Crazy amazing, this Alaska!
Halibut hunters Mark, Kathie, Chester and Suzanne set out for 12 HOURS on this gorgeous Valdez summer day and scored one halibut per person. Well done, gang!
How can I describe a day like today
Driving the roadways of Alaska while on holiday?
Okay, so Cat Herder IS working, let's not forget that fact.
But having some fun while on tour, is something she's never once lacked.
Departing Alyeska, via the Seward, and the Glenn Highway New and Old
Arriving at the Rich: "head south," the Milepost told.
We saw rivers and glaciers, moose mommies and calves;
We lunched at the Matanuska, shared quite a few laughs.
By the time Valdez loomed in the windshield ahead
The numerous sights we'd seen began to throb in my head.
I told Dede: "No More! I can't bear one more view."
For today's many scenic moments had started to stew.
Too many vistas of snow and glaciers and so many moose
Swirled in my head, something I didn't want to lose.
So when we spied that last waterfall down the mountain, spilling forth
We said, no more stops today (and, besides, we'll see it again heading north!)
It's been the best of Alaska days, under this now midnight sun.
I think the MSR2 tour (so far) gets a Thumbs Up from everyone!
The gang's all here, the weather is divine, and the food up top of Alyeska Mountain at the 7 Glaciers Restaurant was outstanding. Off to a great start for this MSR2 - 2018.
Chinooks 1-8 will launch for a day outing to Hope tomorrow. Look out Alaska, the Parkwest Road Rally has arrived!
Joshua Tree National Park's Oasis of Mara suffered some devastation this week at the hands of a suspected arsonist. Burned are the famed "29 Palms" planted by the Native Americans in the desert oasis, located at the Park's Visitor Center in 29 Palms, California. More at the Desert Sun.
This Monday, March 26, 2018 photo provided by Steve Raines shows a fire that broke out at Joshua Tree National Park, damaging a historical landmark. The National Park Service says the fire that broke out late Monday damaged the Oasis of Mara, a site settled by Native Americans who planted the 29 palm trees that inspired the name of the city of Twentynine Palms. (Steve Raines Photography via AP)
Cat Herder (aka Marisa) has been guiding pilot tours in the American West for over a sixteen years. Keep tabs on your Parkwest pilot friends, National Park news and other tidbits here!