AlaskaPosted by Malin Thu, June 10, 2010 23:24:09

Since last blog we have changed our plan a bit and instead of travelling back to Petersville from Talkeetna we travelled south again to Palmer where we visited a friend that works for National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Alaska. Our friend had a few days off before she is starting another course and we had time to do some fun. Together with some more NOLS instructors we had a nice Sunday float in a raft down the Matanuska River, grade 2. There were a few waves and we managed to get a bit wet, but no one had to swim. Finished of Sunday and another week with a bike ride around in Palmer.

Monday morning we were ready for a trip to the Matanuska Glacier. We had a quiet walk on the glacier and also tried a bit of ice climbing, before our friends had to return to Palmer and work the next day. Espen and I had really no plans so we camped up by the glacier and the next day we were back on the ice and did a longer hike up on the glacier. After spending three months living on ice this winter first in Antarctica and then Arctic it was good to have ice underneath my feet again.. J Matanuska Glacier is huge and beautiful and we were just able to see a small part of it in the few hours we had there.

Instead of starting our trip north we headed south to Valdez from Matanuska. It was a beautiful drive down Richardson Highway from Glennallen to Valdez and there were also some wildlife along the road. Since we crossed into Alaska there has not been much wildlife compared to what we saw along the roads in Canada. Since we have always thought of Alaska as the wildest of wilderness, we had probably expected more, but maybe there is just more hunting here, or the animals do not like standing next to the road as much as the Canadian animals. Who knows..?

Will do some sightseeing in Valdez today before we finally (and for sure, as we can’t get further south from here..) start our drive north with a detour to the east and hopefully all the way to McCarthy. We have been told that the road to McCarthy is not the best, and that the risk for a puncture is pretty big as the road used to be a railroad until the 1960’s. It is known that old railroad spikes do surface every now and then. Filled up the car with food and water so if we have to camp while we fix tires we are ready.

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Into Alaska

AlaskaPosted by Espen Sun, June 06, 2010 03:04:52

Hey All!

We have now reached Alaska and Anchorage on our way up to the Beaufort Sea on thew northern tip of Alaska. The stay we had in Whitehorse lasted quite a bit longer than what we had planned, but the time there was great. The reason we got stuck there for a while was a minor administrative problem with insurance. Or, well, IF we are being honest, it could have ended with disaster. After buying insurance from a Norwegian insurance company which we were told was valid for USA and Canada, we shipped the car over, drove almost 5000 kilometers (3000 miles), and got through Canadian customs (“of course we have insurance”). After several attempts to try to get an insurance certificate in English, we finally get an email saying that the insurance, after all, is not valid in America. Acquiring quotes from other insurers is quite time consuming as they need all kinds of documentation. After about a week of “office work”, we have now three insurance companies to choose between. Still, we are not very happy about this, as it set us back by almost two weeks. That is quite some time when you are on a holiday…

The drive west from Whitehorse was stunning. The first part is pretty much as the rest of the Alaska Highway; trees, trees, and trees, but the part from Tok in Alaska and south to Palmer and Anchorage is breathtaking. Kind of reminds me of the Norwegian west coast, but the landscape is just “bigger”.

Glimpse of the Pacific Ocean... unURBAN has now officially crossed the American continent from east to west!

We spent a couple of days in Anchorage, and then we drove south towards Seward in the Kenai area.Was a lot of people doown there for the weekend fishing for Halibut, and we were even invited over to some other campers for a tast of the catch!

Crossing the border to Alaska went without any drama. The customs officers were both helpful and curious about our trip, and with the comment “of course we have to let you through with a car like that”, they stamped our passports with USA AND a bear stamp.

We are now in Talkeetna, and the plan further is to spend a few days in this area before heading north. Had an interesting drive up to a place called Petersville here the other day, and we have been thinking about going back up to see if it is possible to drive a loop from the Roadhouse at Peter’s Creek (starting on the left fork) and over to the mining area past Petersville.

Interesting area. Notice the bullet holes...

Denali National Park is also on our to-do list, but unfortunately (probably for the best) the road going into the park is only for park busses. Still, if the weather and forecast is not too bad, we’ll try to do some backcountry hiking and camping without the roof top tent. If we are still going strong after these events (not ended up as bear snacks..), we aim for 71 degrees north and Dead Horse.

More later.... :-) E & M

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