Trains, Hanging Baskets, and Snack Breaks

Day four of our trip found us on the long drive North from Seward through Anchorage to Tok.

As we rolled back up the Kenai peninsula toward Anchorage, we came across a Southbound train. I was very happy my sister was driving, so I could grab a few quick shots for my train friends.
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When my parents came back from their first trip to Alaska, one of the things my mom couldn’t stop raving about was how big and lush the hanging baskets that line the streets in downtown Anchorage were.  She was right.  They’re huge!

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We almost stopped at this nice little place for lunch, the name escapes me, but the door handles did not escape my iPhone (the other door is a spoon).

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Unfortunately, the wait was too long, and our available time for lunch too short, so we went to Denny’s instead.

The Eureka Lodge was a good place to stop for a restroom break and a snack.  It looked like they had pies almost as good as the view.

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Speaking of views, the sights along the Glenn Highway between Palmer and Tok are not to be missed.
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… including the Matanuska Glacier…
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This was a real surprise. It’s easy to spot on Google Maps, but you’re driving along through forest and glen, all summery and Rocky Mountain-like, and then you sort of round the bend and BAM! you’re staring in the face of this massive glacier coming down from snowcapped peaks.

There wasn’t really a great place to stop, so I actually shot the above pictures while cruising at the speed limit. The day was bright enough for adequately fast shutter speeds, so they worked, though they probably aren’t sharp enough for a “real landscape.”

As we approached Glennallen, where the road turns to go around the Wrangell Mountains, the weather began to sour, and we drove through some of the only rainy weather we encountered on the trip.

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By the time we reached Tok, though, the storm had cleared and we enjoyed a quiet, restful evening after the longest driving day (445 mi) of the trip.

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Next up: Canada!

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