Monday, April 18, 2011

Alaska Day 4

 The minivan we had rented for the month was having a small problem, so the only vehicle 
available that would seat all of us was a 12 passenger van or a stick shift Dodge pickup
with a crew cab.  The boys voted for the truck.  It was a good thing we did.
We had decided the night before we would try to drive up to Hatcher Pass, a recreation area not too far from the house.  An elevation of over 2,000 feet would probably mean lots of snow still.  The road was paved only the first part and then it was dirt/gravel/mud/slush.  It was a beautiful drive none the less.
 A moose we saw on the way up.

We stopped numerous times on the way up to take photos of the breathtaking scenery.  We only saw a few other vehicles, some parked along the way, others where one of us would have to back up to let the other pass on the one car width road.  

We stopped at this old bridge to look around, the kids loved the deep snow.

  After walking around and taking a few pictures I thought, this would be a great place to hide a geocache, hmmmm, sure enough there was one under the bridge somewhere, but I couldn't find it.
Most cache pages here don't have any logs between the end of October and the beginning of May, I guess it's just too hard to find then.  Oh, well, looking is half the fun.
Onward we drove going up higher and higher, stopping to see moose tracks, and get a snow fix for the kids.

Then the snow on either side of the road began to get high, we fishtailed around some, and even had to coast back down one stretch when the tires just spun on the packed snow covering the road.

Finally we made it to the top.  Well as far as we could go.  There was a locked gate at the entrance to the Lucky Shot Gold Project and that was as far as you could go.  I guess to get to Hatcher Pass Rec. area you need to approach from the Palmer side.  So we decided to get out enjoy the view and then go back down.  

 Only problem was we had no traction to back around.  Stuck halfway around.  So John and Ryan tried scraping out behind the back tires to give it some grip.   Ice was underneath.
 John sent me up past the locked gate to see if I could find any scrap metal to help dig, or put under the tire or something.  I found something much better.  Scott.  He lives at the mine with his wife and father year round.  He said it was to protect the equipment they have there.  They are more than 15 miles to a paved road.  There are no other houses around, for miles.  There is nothing but snow.  I think we are not the only ones Scott has helped out.  He said he charges $200.  He's probably rich.  He quickly saw, we just needed to all push while John angled the truck in the right way and we were again headed in the correct direction.  Out of there.

We made it back down, and into town to eat at the Big Lake Family Restaurant.  Lots of food.

A day that memories are made of.

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