Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sterling Highway to Soldotna Alaska

Before we leave Palmer, I have one more picture to show from there. It is of the stained glass windows at the "Church of a Thousand Trees". That stained glass sure looked beautiful set in the log walls!
We probably need not have gone into town for services as there was a non-denominational church service held in the park on Saturday evenings. Everyone was appreciative that my brother Wayne could play for those services. He travels with his keyboard. Sunday was a very wet day, the rain did not let up hardly at all. It has kept the temperatures in the low 60s. Today we left for Soldotna, taking the Seward highway out of Anchorage. That highway went along the north shore of Turnagain Arm through Chugach National Forest. We could see across the inlet to the south shore and the Kenai Mountains on the Kenai Peninsula. It was an awesome panoramic sight of mountains and ocean. Many of the mountains are still snow covered. Also ethereally covering some of the mountains were low lying clouds.
Mud flats of the ocean came up close to the highway. The tide was out, had we been there later in the day we would have been able to see bore tides. There were quite a few turnouts along the way for viewing of the scenery. Beluga whales are often spotted from the highway. We did not think there was much of a chance of our seeing them today because of the cool overcast weather. Below is a picture of the highway with the Alaskan rail line next to it. A train trip through this area would certainly be awesome.
On the other side of the highway, in the foothills of the mountains, were patches of snow left from the winter. There were road signs warning that we were in an avalanche area so we figured that perhaps the explanation for the snow still being there was that the it was more concentrated in those avalanche areas. Leaving the coast and driving further into the peninsula was also quite scenic with the presence of many rivers, lakes and small waterfalls. Fisherman could be seen standing in those waters. This is the time of the year for the sockeye salmon to be running. Outside the city of Sterling was a medical clinic which had a large sign in front of it: "Fishhooks removed here". 

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