Monday, September 14, 2009
fall on the denali highway...
the girls anxiously await my return to the vehicle. there are frequent stops on any road trip with me. i must take pictures. not sure landscapes are my best. i think i do best with the details pictures...like those leaves the other day. stuff other people just step over.
i'm happy i have driven this road during another season. it's amazing how different things look at different times and in different weather. lots of rain and clouds this trip so lots of the mountain tops and glaciers not viewed. my focus was more on the leaves i guess. you can see the other pictures from the june trip if you look back in the blogs. funny that parts from there that were just green and kinda "dull" were the more spectacular parts this weekend. all of those boring green trees and brushes turned thier own shades of vibrant reds/oranges and yellows. was quite stunning. i'll post those tonight hopefully. we'll see...i've had waves of nausea since i woke.
some friends took this same road last week and got it at it's peak i think. different parts of alaska turn at different times so you can chase fall all over. anchorage is still fairly green. you can see in these pictures that the browns and oranges have taken over much of the taiga and tundra. (taiga is the brushy bits and tundra is above that i guess) you can see the dirt road. i was happy that again i had no flat tires. that would have been a drag, especially considering the weather. i've never changed a flat tire in my life. there is always a gentleman around to help a damsel in distress. i'm getting older now so i suspect i may not get as much assistance...i certainly don't get out of as many tickets as i used to. ( i lost track after i'd gotten out of over 40 tickets)
because of the rain and the light breeze, not much chance for cool reflection shots. oh well. this one above turned out nicely. the colours, though not at the pinnacle, were still lovely and dramatic at times.
below is the matanuska glacier.
before you can get to the denali highway you must drive to it. i opted to drive to the paxson side via glenallen and then the richardson highway north. the joy of road travel in alaska is that it is all lovely. the leaves from palmer to glenallen were actually at a nice colour change so i ended up stopping alot along the way. since i'd gotten a late start that meant i didn't make my original goal of getting to tangle lakes campground on the denali highway. above is a view of the matanuska river/valley.
when i got to glenallen i decided to check the old milepost and see where another closer campground was. i've stayed at the dry creek campground and thought i'd be able to stay there again..it's just a few miles north of glenallen on the richardson highway. i was getting pretty dang sleepy when i got there and was very sad to see it already closed for the season. drats.
not much else out there, especially along the richardson so i ended up stopping in one of the pull outs. not the best but i was really wiped out. i settled into the element and watched a movie, "milk". haven't seen it. liked the movie but found the main character annoying. he obviously did great things, but often people who are able to push boundaries and make changes can be actually obnoxious...you know pushy, loud. overall, not people i would really chose to hang with so watching a movie about them just brings out thier obnoxious personalities even if i really do appreciate what they were able to accomplish. he was the first out gay to hold public office and was inspiring to many gays across the country. they fought against prop 6 in california in the 80's i think. it was a bill that was trying to make it so gays couldn't be teachers. silly that the same battles for civil rights continues for the gay population still, minds are slow to change and often it takes generations for it to happen.
the scenery was quite lovely, but it is getting dark early and when it gets dark on the richardson highway it is DARK. i actually slept great for much of the night and awoke at about 4am. i must have had some nightmare as i quickly made myself all freaked out. i heard no cars pass somewhere during the movie. i felt very isolated out there, somehow i became anxious that i was prime canidate for some sort of serial killer attack. single girl on the side of the road in a car sleeping. at some point in my brain wanderings i decided maybe i should drive on and find a "safer" location to continue sleeping. i was really tired though and so i'm driving along and it's pitch black and foggy at times...finally, my sensible side woke up. i decided there was a much higher probability of my getting into a car wreck than getting attacked by a serial killer on this isloated road in alaska. so i again pulled into another pull out and fell into a deep sleep that lasted til about 8:30. i'm sure the dogs were baffled by the middle of the night activity.