Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Drive on the Hatcher Pass Loop

Today we packed our lunch for a drive to Hatcher Pass on a loop that goes between Palmer and Willow, Alaska.  We started off from the Palmer Elks lodge where we’re camping and picked up the Hatcher Pass Road a little north of Palmer.  The road parallels the Little Susitna River and this next photo was taken from a viewpoint looking back at the bridge crossing the river.


The area we traveled today had some spectacular sweeping views and I tried experimenting with the panoramic feature on my new camera.  With the camera set on panorama, I took my first shot, then standing in place it shows a plus sign in the viewfinder that I move to and it automatically clicks on the next photo, and then the same thing again for three photos that it combines into one.  Looking at the photo I can see the obvious three photos where there is a slight point in the road base.  I’ll have to work on that a little bit more.


We arrived at the Independence Mine located close to the summit of Hatcher Pass and took a few photos of the mine which is now a State Recreation Area.




This hillside had a very interesting texture to it.


Continuing on up and over the pass we stopped at Summit Lake.


And here are a couple of scenic shots along the Willow Creek which originates from Summit Lake.



Coming down the pass and into Willow, we had a terrific view of Mount Denali aka Mount McKinley.


It was still early afternoon when we got down to the Parks Highway, so we took a side trip on Big Lake Road and drove into Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Kennels.  We didn’t have our toursaver coupon book with us and didn’t want to start a tour anyway, so we continued on down the road.


When we were in Seward over the 4th of July, we camped next to a retired teacher who had written a book about Joe Redington, Sr. that was due out in 3 weeks or so.  We stopped by the Iditarod Headquarters to see if it was available yet.  In asking about it, it sounded like she might be there for a signing during the time we’re scheduled to be in Denali National Park.  We picked up a few things in the gift shop and then drove into Wasilla to get stocked up on groceries for our trip to Talkeetna and Denali National Park.  There were a few puppies outside doing their puppy thing looking cute and cuddly.


We will be leaving Wasilla tomorrow and have reservations in Talkeetna Camper Park for the next three nights and are looking forward to seeing that area again.

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