Thursday, May 09, 2013

Uraling in Alaska - Day 30: Hatcher Pass and Eklutna


Good day of riding and plenty of photo opportunities as the clouds stayed away today and didn't obscure the mountain peaks as in the last couple of days.

First up was a ride to nearby Hatcher Pass, it's just minutes from Wasilla and the road was dry to the furthest parking lot that leads to the trails leading to the Independence Mine.

There's videos to be processed, but it won't be tonight.

 A picture of Sharon and Bob, my gracious hosts, in Valencia's mirror

 Bob and the rigs, you can see the buildings belonging to the 
Independence Mine way in the background.

 A bit more snow, and the rigs would be parked under threat of avalanche!

 Valencia at the lower parking lot where snow machines (snowmobiles)
are unloaded for running up and down the hillsides.

 Views of nearby mountain peaks from Hatcher Pass Road

Bob and I had lunch at the Mad Hatcher Diner.  We were the first customers of the day and so it took a bit of time for the food to arrive as things had to get heated up in the kitchen.  Still, drinking sodas and resting at a picnic table under the warm Alaskan sun was not a bad way to wait for the food.

 Some of the wood work and signs one sees at the Mad Hatcher Diner


After a leisurely lunch, we motored on down Alaska Highway 1, aka Glenn Highway, towards the village of Eklutna.  Bob wanted to show me the Russian Orthodox Church and the Spirit Houses sitting on top of graves.

 Some of the gorgeous mountain views visible along the Glenn Highway

 Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Eklutna

 Spirit Houses, are small house models built atop graves, to give
the spirit of the person buried there a place to live.  I'd
never heard of such things before, interesting stuff.

 More Spirit Houses

The old church

Bob and I then motored down towards Eklutna Lake which also serves as Anchorage's Water Reservoir.  The road leading to the lake has sections that are akin to a rollercoaster!  Twists and turns are combined with dips and climbs for an enjoyable ride.

Mountain view from Eklutna Lake

It was now time to head home by way of Sharon's school where we watched her teach/rehearse her students.  Before we got to the school in Wasilla though, Bob made one more stop along Alaska Highway 1 to allow me to capture this one last mountain shot:

I believe this is Pioneer Peak

Sharon, Bob and I then went out for dinner at a local Chinese restaurant, the food was good but no shots of it as I didn't bring my camera.  Dinner was enjoyable, a token of my appreciation for Bob and Sharon's willingness to let me stay in their garage, aka the Enchanted Cottage.

Tomorrow, I hope to be able to make it all the way to Homer on the southern coast of Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula and work my way back to Seward; returning to the Anchorage area on the weekend.

Update:  adding videos


Unknown said...


You sure lucked out with the weather today, lots of snow covered mountains and Valencia posing.

I love hamburgers. Two days in a row, so far, for fast food hamburgers but doesn't look as good as the one you had.

Would you say that the terrain is similar to CO ? or perhaps there are so many more mountains compressed into a shorter distance.

No mechanical update so must presume that all is working as it should

Riding the Wet Coast

SonjaM said...

These are the kind op pictures we are waiting for. We have visited the area and also the cemetery with the spirit houses.

Again, the orange looks mighty pretty in front of the snow covered mountain range.

I have something orange soon, too... (not a hack though)

whythedevilnot said...

Wow! It just looks stunning there (including lunch)! Good to see things are running smoothly again.

RichardM said...

Looks like you found mountains, though nothing like Colorado. Looking forward to pictures of the Kenai peninsula. (Watch for moose as the moose density is pretty high!).

redlegsrides said...

Hi Bob, yeah, we had good weather finally...the burgers were juicy, quite good!

The mountains here in Alaska so far seem more spectacular as they're more of them and they're quite close to you. As to mechanicals, nothing significant to report! :)

redlegsrides said...

SonjaM, glad you liked the, what's this teasing you're alluding to as to having your own orange thing?

redlegsrides said...

John Snelson, couple of small items remains, but no showstoppers! Thanks for commenting.

RichardM, the Kenai Peninsula's view of the mountains seemingly rising out of the water is amazing stuff! Saw no moose however, which I guess is good.

redlegsrides said...

Oh, I added three videos to the posting.