Greg's 2007 Odyssey travel blog

Mountains north of Anchorage, AK

Mountains west of Anchorage, AK


THURSDAY, JULY 26 - DAY 24 - TRAVEL DAY

SEWARD TO HOUSTON - 179 miles

CAMPGROUND DESTINATION TONIGHT:

RIVERSIDE CAMPER PARK

Directions --From Wasilla - No. 20 miles on Parks Hwy. Milepost 57.5 on the left.

Milepost guide page 390

Travel day.

This is your Good Sam Club Tour Directors' favorite spot to have a potluck.

The George Parks Highway, named after a Territorial Governor, is the major thoroughfare between Anchorage and Fairbanks, 358 miles in total. But we're only traveling up to Houston today for a restful evening at Riverside Camper Park.

Houston has a grocery store, restaurant, Laundromat, gift shop, inn with food, pay phone, and a post office located in the grocery store. Homesteaded in the 1950s, incorporated as a city in 1966, Houston is a popular fishing center for anglers on the Little Susitna River.

Little Susitna River Watershed

From jumping and spilling over rocks with water the blue of glaciers, the Little Susitna River begins from the Mint Glacier at Hatcher Pass in the Talkeetna Mountains and flows 113 river miles to empty into Cook Inlet. Along the way, the Little Susitna matures from the fast flowing glacial river to being slower and wider with gravel and riffle areas near Wasilla and Houston. By the time the Little Susitna reaches Cook Inlet it is wide and meandering with many switchbacks and is affected by tidal action. The water has lost its blue tint to browns. The habitat areas have changed also from spruce and birch riparian areas to large expanses of wetlands. The Little Susitna watershed helps control flood waters, filters pollutants, supports recreation, and is a scenic landscape.

The Little Susitna is home to runs of Alaska's five salmon species (Coho, Chinook, Sockeye, Chum, and Pink) and its river habitat holds essential spawning grounds. According to Alaska Department of Fish & Game, the Little Susitna is one of South central's most-fished streams. It is second only to the Kenai River in number of Coho caught. In a report from Alaska State Parks, approximately 25,000 people used the Little Susitna Public Use Facility this past season. Needless to say, this high level of use has had some negative effects on the Little Susitna River with stream bank and habitat degradation.

The Little Susitna flows through the heart of the Mat-Su Borough, which since 1990 has seen the population base grow by approximately 16,000 people, a 42% increase. According to the Alaska Department of Labor, the Mat-Su Borough is Alaska's fastest growing population center. In many instances, development has been rapid and land use planning efforts have been narrowly focused and have not addressed resource sustainability. This could obviously have devastating effects to the Little Susitna and to the local economy.

***

I left Seward and headed out the same way I came in on Seward Highway 1. When I got to Anchorage, I topped off the fuel tank and retrieved my SUV & trailer from the RV park storage lot, where it was left for our trip to Homer and Seward.

After hooking up the trailer and loading the SUV on it, Socks and I were off to Houston. It's on the Parks highway 3 heading north to Fairbanks. I rolled in to the RV park about 1:30 PM, took Socks for his nature break and set up the coach for the night. I was able to park the coach with the trailer still attached by driving into one space and then across the separating green space into my final space. The trailer remained in the green space for the night.

After my nap, I decided to shampoo my coach's carpet. It was pretty filthy from the wet weather and prior usage. I bought a small portable Bissell shampooer and set about cleaning the carpet. It looks almost like new. The water suctioned up by the tool was black. I ran a small fan over the carpet all night to help it dry out.

Socks and I had our dinner and after reading a few chapters of the latest Harry Potter book, I headed for bed.



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