Monday, May 21, 2012

The Tok Cutoff

May 21
Instead of taking the road on from Tok to Fairbanks, where there is now 24 hours of light, we head off into the wilderness. The road is called the Tok Cutoff to Valdez.

The morning started poorly with the RV park hot water not working in the showers and my laptop being balky. But eventually the water heater came on and the laptop issues resolved.

The road is fairly bad with miles under construction. Alaska has a ready made road sign that indicates when you are going from paved to gravel. The only pieces of road equipment we saw were a lone road grader smoothing some gravel and a water truck.

More lovely boreal forest. The trees have a malevolent look. They remind me of the trees when Snow White is first lost in the woods.

But we see some magnificent mountains, part of the Wrangell Saint Elias NP. Mt Drum has its head in the clouds, but Mt Sanford is exposed. William stopped on the bridge over the Chistochina River. Put on his hazard lights and took pictures. No one came by. Not a lot of traffic here.

We stopped at the Hart D Ranch, Slana, AK to visit an art gallery. One woman who looks close to our age is now running an RV Park, lodge rooms, nearby park campground and the town post office by herself now. Her mom, who used to run the post office, and her husband are dead now so she is hanging on by herself. Though she has a for sale sign on the front. We bought a tapestry bag that I can make into a pillow cover. The pillows she had in the same design came already stuffed and we have room for only small souvenirs. Her bronze statuary is lovely, but too pricey for us. She took us into her rooms to run the Visa card. She has a huge beautiful macaw named Yukon in the living room. He said bye, bye to us when we left.

We made a blistering 121 miles today and are spending the night at the Gakona Alaska RV Park by the Copper River.

 The river looks very silty from the winter run-off. But I guess the fish don't mind as there apparently are a lot. Fishing season won't start until June 1, but the directions for fishermen say that because of bears you must clean your fish at the river and throw the guts in the river. It will get down to freezing tonight. That is fine with us. The breeze and the cold keep the mosquitoes at bay.

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