Sunday, July 31, 2005

What is the Forecast for Today?

The sun was poking through the clouds this morning so we decided it was a good omen so we should get out of the trailer. Margaret had told me about a garden at the visitor’s centre in Palmer so that became our first stop. The garden was a mixture of perennials, annuals, fruits and vegetables. For some reason the colour of the flowers seem to be more vibrant in Alaska so the garden was outstanding. The raspberries, black currents and red currents were ripe, the zucchini was prolific and the cabbages looked ready to pick. There were even red sunflowers! A highly recommended scenic drive is the Hatcher Pass Road, so we decided to give it a try. The first part of the drive was paved. As we neared the summit the road conditions changed dramatically. We were now on a twisty, hilly gravel road — yeah Ed was in heaven again!! Near the summit is a lovely little lake aptly named Summit Lake. Unfortunately the weather had changed and we were in fog and rain. On the way back from the summit we stopped at the Independence Mine and State Historical Park. This mine operated between 1938 and 1941 — gold mining was prohibited when the US entered WWII. Some of the buildings had been restored while others are slowing falling down. Some of the original mining rail cars were displayed. As it is apt to do in Alaska, the sun came out so Zaph happily led us on a hike around the mine.

View of Summit Lake on Hatcher Pass

Hatcher Pass road --- very twisty

One of the gardens at the information center in Palmer.

Red sunflower.


One of the buildings at the Independence Mine.

More of the buildings at Independence Mine

Mining rail car --- Zaph's in the picture to show sizing.

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