Departing Valdez Saturday morning was bittersweet. I could’ve easily stayed for several days, but this trip is all about travel, not destinations.
So I unhooked water and electric, tidied the rig, and stored away my mosquito plants, step and door mat. The road ahead would be bumpy, so I made sure everything was extra secure. After one last walk with Ronni in the grass of the harbor-side park, we were ready to bid a fond adieu to Bear Paw RV Park in Valdez.
With a brilliant sunny day drawing us, Rhonda and I looked forward to the drive up Keystone Canyon and back through Thompson Pass … eager to see all the beauty again – from the other direction. We were not disappointed.
I don’t recall the name of this river – I stopped because these milky green, boulder-strewn glacial rivers are special to me. They epitomize scenic Alaska.
Rhonda particularly enjoyed this roadside stop. Not only did it have a great view of the river, but it also had … rabbits!! 🐇
This was probably the worst argument Rhonda and I have had during our trip so far. The strength of her harness and leash were all that kept my little hunter from disappearing into the deep Alaska woods in pursuit of her prey. If the following (very short) Youtube video doesn’t pop open, click on it … she was madder than a wet hen!
We finally made it back to the junction of the Richardson Hwy and Glenn Hwy at Glennallen. After gassing up, grabbing a quick lunch and a potty break for Ronni (she had forgiven me and was back to her cheerful self), we chose to turn north and followed the signs that said “Tok, Delta Junction, Fairbanks” (in no particular order), ignoring for now the mileage listed for each. No matter! Off we go.
I slowed down and sighed deeply as we passed the turn that would have taken us to Tok … and across the border into Canada. That had been my original plan for this summer, denied me by the Covid pandemic.
Shaking my head sadly, I reminded myself of how very much I had to be grateful for – including this diverse and beautiful state I call home.
I haven’t driven the Richardson Hwy in several years and the last time, we were heading the opposite direction. It’s amazing the difference this makes.
Every curve in the road, and they were plentiful, brought into view another awe-inspiring snow-capped mountain vista (yes, in late June), glittering alpine lake or high expanse where you would swear you could see the entire state stretched out below you.
Probably only a 3-4 hour drive straight through; with all my stops for photos and deep, gulping breaths of beauty (it may not feed your body, but it surely feeds your soul), the whole day passed with my hardly noticing the time.
When I pulled into Delta Junction State Campground, it was 8pm. It had been a glorious day, but Ronni and I were both tuckered out.
Well, I thought Ronni was tuckered out … until she saw SQUIRRELS! 🐿🐿