I started the article just siting in my car a few kilometres from border with Alaska while working on the pictures from there. I planned to visit Skagway but I spent longer then planned in Whitehorse and because apples I bought there could not enter with me and would need to be destroyed I rather turned back and checked surroundings of White Pass.
Now to continue where I left in my last article. I reached Denali National Park where I got mine annual pass for all federal parks in US for $80 and checked the visitor centre as well as their movie about the park. Also I checked here weather forecast and they were promising two cloudy and rainy days. So because of this I didn’t feel like starting something bigger and just hiked on two trails near to visitor center and drove to the end of road up where you can take your own car without special permit or paying for bus. Then I left National Park and reached the state park where I slept and in the morning hiked to surrounding mountains for a half of day. After lunch I took direction to Anchorage with short stop at Talkeetna where most expeditions to Mount Denali (McKinely), the highest mountain in the North America begins. I saw Denali peak only once from the southern viewpoint as otherwise it was hiding in the clouds.
I didn’t found Anchorage so interesting but it have amazing surrounding where you can go to enjoy nature and leave the city life behind you. So once I hiked there (also to Flattop mountain and further) I set off for Kenai. There I spent night in front of Walmart and in the morning went to Homer where I walked to their famous spit (one of the longest in earth) and had a nice lunch. From there I drove to Seward where I based on earlier recommendation went to Caines Head State Park. It has remaining of port defence system and also two great beaches so I swam in the Pacific ocean at South Beach. There was a lot of blueberries and cloudberries which I ate and it looks like nobody else is picking up berries there. The trail there leads on stoney beach so it is recommended to walk it only during a low tide and spent a night at one of the camp sites at the end of head and I did that as well. On my way I saw a lot of salmons jumping out of water as well as a Bald Eagle and in one creek also salmon run in shallow water so you could go and touch them but fishing there is prohibited.
My next destination was Valdez and the road there was for me the best I have driven so far but city itself I did not found anyhow interesting. There is a lot of to see around and if you are fishing probably also a good place to start but because I didn’t came for that reason I left the same day.
From this moment I was getting closer to the border but first of all I took a side trip to McCarthy, a little community in the hearth of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The road and other establishment were due to copper ore of unusual purity which was found at nearby mountains. So there was build a Kennecott Mills Town where the ore was processed and separated before transportation by CR& NW railway to Cordova and from there to smelters in Washington. There used to be five mines up in the mountains connected by tram ways to the mill and I hiked to one of them and was surprised how much remaining you can still see there and also the view from there was great. Also it make me wonder how they build everything in those conditions while the mines were operating year round as well as the railroad. Unfortunately I have made decision to camp in McCarthy and walked to Kenicott (five miles one way) while it would be just easier to take all needed things to simple camp there and I would say myself 10 miles trips to the start of all trials. There is an option to use a shuttle for $5 one way but I didn’t wanted to use that one. While I was preparing to leave I got invited to campfire of locals and thanks to that I learned a bit how they live here now and how much they like it.
From there I went to Nabesna the second possible road to park while this one is less developed. In the morning at parking lot to old gold Rumblers Mine I met a girl from California travelling north and we walked up there together and then hiked also near to Skukoom Volcano Pass and after that wished to each other fare well as we were going to the different directions.
I found a beautiful spot at the shore of Kluane Lake where I had a lazy day just reading and hanging around as it was supposed to be raining. It was cloudy and windy all day long but not much of rain. The next day I went to check Sheep Creek Trail where I met two Czech guys as they returned form longer hike to glacier and this was the northernmost place they planned to reach before heading south again to Vancouver to catch a plane to Peru. Then I walked also to Kings Throne where I met another guy from the Czech Republic and later also his girlfriend and because we spent quite some time talking under the summit we rather walked down to Kathleen Lake. We made a fire on shore and had some sausages and potatoes while waiting if we could see the northern lights and eventually we could see it but it was only a weak one. Still it was a nice touch to this nice day. In the morning we went together to check Rocky Glacier and then we each took our own direction as they needed to return back to work and I went to Haines. Haines itself I have not found so great but again what lays around is amazing and worth to do the extra distance. Also I found out that ferry would cost me about $74 and I could drive around for less so I rather contacted a friend in Whitehorse and next day we met at Otter Falls where he showed me how to flyfish and I catch and released my first fish ever – Arctic Grayling. Then next day we went for walk to Fish Lake and found a lot of mushrooms. The good thing here is nobody mushroom picking like in Czech so it’s fairly easy to find a lot of them.
I also had oil changed in Whitehorse and then wanted to go to Skagway but you already know how that one went.
Once this is being finished I’m already in British Columbia somewhere close to Prince George next to nice river.
I have seen just another black bear on the road but rather then that nothing special happened to me.