Greg's 2007 Odyssey travel blog

Mountain and glacier vista on way to Anchorage

Stunted and sparse spruce trees growing on permafrost

Stone Mountain (looks like Mt. St. Helen with the side blown out)

Abandoned car below; awesome view

Rust color on the side of the mountains

A decent roadbed toward a mountain with half of its face gone

A river of ice flowing from the mountains

The river created by the glacier melt


THURSDAY, JULY 19 - DAY 17 - TRAVEL DAY

MENDELTNA TO ANCHORAGE - 155 miles

CAMPGROUND DESTINATION TONIGHT:

GOLDEN NUGGET CAMPER PARK Directions -- From Jct Glenn Hwy. & Bragaw St., South (left) .8 mile on Bragaw. Turn left on DeBarr. Park is on right.

Milepost guide page 369

Travel day.

Dinner at Sourdough Restaurant.

Our campground tonight is Golden Nugget Camper Park. We'll also be treated to dinner at Sourdough Mining Co. a super experience! Save room for a visit to the chocolate factory after dinner.

***

A hosted continental breakfast was served in the lodge from 7:30 to 8:30 AM. We drove up to the lodge and I went in to retrieve a few sweet rolls for the road trip and headed west to Anchorage.

We left early because we were told about 5 miles of road construction, with possible delays of up to 1 hour. Since Ann's flight was at 4 PM and she needed to check in NLT 3 PM, I didn't want to be late for her flight. As it turned out, the delay was only about 15 minutes and we arrived at our Anchorage RV park about 11:30 AM.

Since check in at the park is 12 PM, I took the coach across the street into Costco's parking lot, dismounted the SUV, transferred Ann's luggage into it and went looking for a place to eat lunch, while heading for the airport. The route I took didn't have any restaurants along the way all the way to the airport. I decided to check out the airport so that I would be familiar with it when we returned. As we drove around the north terminal, we saw a float plane taxi across the road from his berth spot to the waterway "airport." It was pretty bizarre to see RR Xing type gates across the road and a float plane taxi across in front of you. We then headed into downtown and drove around for a good 30 minutes. We finally stumbled upon a Boston Pizza restaurant and ate lunch. We then returned to the airport, dropped Ann off and headed back to the park.

I got cleaned up and headed out to get on the shuttle bus taking us to the Sourdough Mining Company for a hosted dinner/show and a tour of the chocolate factory across the street. They have a huge waterfall on display of real chocolate cascading down from one large bucket into the one below it until the last one flows into a 10 foot round bowl for recirculation. It was pretty impressive - it took 500 lbs of chocolate bars (each bar weighs 10 lbs) melted to create this falls. While there, I contributed a little more to the local economy by purchasing a few more T-shirts and ball caps.

The show that comes with the dinner was a one man show by Dusty Sourdough. It seems that he was part of Glen Campbell's band and has been in show business for quite a while. He sung a few songs, told a few stories about AK history (he's a 3rd generation Alaskan), told the audience how to properly pan for gold (not how they show it being done in the movies according to him) and gave away some prizes for audience participation. He says that he does 2 shows a night, most days of the year (except when he has performance engagements in the winter in the lower 48 states) for the last 15 years. This is his retirement job.

We were shuttle bussed back to the park. Socks and I went for a walk and upon our return, I decided to do a load of wash and hit the sack.



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