Saturday, June 19, 2010

Glenn Highway to Anchorage

The Glenn Highway is what we turned onto from the Alaskan Highway to reach our final destination of Anchorage. It is a scenic road with many mountain vistas and, most importantly, glaciers. A little fact which I learned yesterday is that glaciers all over the world cover 30,000 miles, of which the majority are in Alaska. Also 75% of the world's fresh water comes from glaciers. Yesterday we had the privilege of viewing their beauty.  The best way to show you some of the spectacular sights we saw yesterday is just to post some pictures here. How about this for a sight to look at while eating lunch?
After lunch we were back on the road again. Soon the highway descended into a long straightaway toward  an large oddly formed rock formation with a dome on its top. According to MILEPOST  tour book this rock is called Lion's Head.  It marks the area of Glacier Point where a glacier comes down from a mountain toward the Lion's Head. Again, a picture best shows this beautiful view.
Lion's Head is off to the right and the glacier is coming down off the mountain in the distance on the left. While we were standing there we noticed a man with a binoculars looking up a mountainside across the street. He pointed out to us Dall Sheep grazing up on the hillside. It was fascinating to watch them move with agility from one rocky ledge to another. Even the very young ones seemed to be very surefooted. We were able to come  closer to the next glacier we visited, called the Matanuska Glacier. There was a park off the highway from which we could view it, and also a trail which took us through a boreal forest to viewing platforms.
What an awesome chunk of ice! The glacier is two miles in width and at its terminus it is 4 miles wide. The glacier has remained fairly stable for the past four hundred years. Some 18,000 years ago it reached all the way to the Palmer area. The town of Palmer is where we are going to stay for a week. We are meeting up there with my brother Wayne and wife Mary Jo. Palmer is about 50 miles east of Anchorage. It will be great to be parked in one spot for awhile.

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