💯DAYS in AK💚WHOOP WHOOP IN PALMER💚



THURSDAY

ALASKAN STOP #36


Finger Lake
State Recreation Site

In between Palmer and Wasilla, AK



Today was just a short 30+ miles down the road from Eagle River Campground. Our 3-night limit had been reached again so we had to move somewhere. So why not move to another State Park campground? This one is in between the towns of Palmer and Wasilla and it's named Finger Lake State Recreation Site.

We have several sightseeing opportunities from this location and if it stops raining long enough we should just be able to squeeze them all in during our 4-night visit here.


Finger Lake State Recreation Site's campground only has 24 campsites and a good number of those are only large enough for someone campng in a Class B (van) camper or is tent camping. We just managed to squeeze into one of the larger sites with our 27-foot trailer and had just enough room to park our truck in front.


Campsite #19 at the Finger Lake State Recreation Site


There would be plenty of room if someone didn't place that huge boulder in the way. 😏


We have some special packages to send off while we are still here in Alaska. So after we were all set up we took off into town to locate a post office, but first we have to find some more packaging tape to finish sealing the boxes.



We completely didn't notice while setting up earlier,
but the fall colors are already starting to show on the trees here and we're still in August.


The view heading into the town of Palmer, just stunning!



FRIDAY - Even with the forecast for rain all day today we're going out sightseeing! Our only other choice would be sit inside the comfort of THE POD and read books all day, that's not why we came to Alaska!

First up is a visit to the one and only Musk Ox Farm nearby here in Palmer. Muskox are native to Alaska, but by the 1920s they completely disappeared from the state. In 1930, 34 muskox captured in Greenland were transplanted to Alaska, and all muskox in Alaska today are descended from these animals. The Musk Ox Farm is working hard to make sure that there will always be musk ox in Alaska.


Here's a mother with her recently born calf. They look just like a shaggy cow with horns.


This little guys ancestors once roamed the earth with the now extinct saber-toothed tigers and woolly mammoths. Musk ox have roamed the earth for over 100,000 years. How cool is that!


Does anybody know what kind of sound a musk ox makes? Seems like a question for a first grader, doesn't it? Well make your best guess and then listen to the video, you'll be surprised!


YOU DIDN'T THINK THEY SQUEAKED LIKE A MOUSE DID YOU!


Next up on our sightseeing agenda for today is to revisit Summit Lake up in Hatcher Pass. While we were up there we decided to visit the Independence Mine, which we all elected not to do last time we were here with Rod & Sharon and Winston & VerJean on July 10th.



Summit Lake as we saw it on July 10th.


Just 6-weeks later on August 26th most, but not all, of the snow has melted.


One other thing we didn't see six weeks ago were the fall colors popping up everywhere.


The Independence Mine State Historical Park has several original buildings that have been preserved and turned into a small mining museum and the ever present gift shop and snack bar.

For a $5 parking fee you can do a self-guided tour through the museum and gift shop and walk all over the grounds surrounding the mine. For an additional $15 per person you'll have the opportunity to take a guided tour through more of the out buildings, but no one goes into the mine itself. We elected to do the self-guided tour today.

The original Mine Manager's House now holds artifacts and tools used during the mining days and displays information in a museum like setting. The original Mine Office and Commissary appropriately houses the gift shop and snack bar today.


This is one of the original bunk houses where the mine workers lived.


Now you know why no one enters the mine anymore.
It hasn't aged as well as some of the outer buildings have.



SUNDAY - We were both up before the 6:45AM alarm clock rang this morning. We have another early morning sightseeing adventure scheduled for today.

Neither Tricia or I have ever ridden in a helicopter, well that all ended today! This is not just an ordinary ride in a helicopter, we are going to land and walk upon a glacier, the Knik Glacier to be precise.

It wasn't until we were well on our way that we learned our young pilot had just received his helicopter license two years ago. I'm sure glad he didn't mention that to us while we were still on the ground!



KNIK GLACIER LANDING TOUR

with



Our private chariot awaits our arrival this morning!
I offered the front row seat with the huge front window to Tricia, our team photographer.
It wasn't long before we were up in the air and headed for Knik Glacier.
On approach we could easily see the dark streak running down the middle of the glacier.
That's what happens when two glaciers converge into one and each glacier has a dark pile of rock on both edges.
We've seen many glaciers in the last two months, but now from this perspective.
Here we are after safely landing on Knik Glacier.
The terrain is like another world up here
While we were on the glacier the sun actually came out of hiding for the first time in 24 days.


Here is a short video Tricia took with her cell phone of us landing on the Knik Glacier. The tour company mounts a GoPro camera in the cockpit and another one on the landing skid of the helicopter and videos the entire flight. In a few days they will send us the videos and when they do we'll upload them to YouTube and share the links with everyone.

In addition to getting up close and personal with a glacier we spotted a bear, three bull moose and a dozen of more goats on our return trip to the landing pad. I sure hope they were captured in the GoPro video because we didn't get a photo of any of that.



By 10:00AM we were safely back in ROVER and headed to our second sightseeing adventure of the day, The Alaska State Fair in Palmer. The Official Alaska State Fair has been held every year since 1959 when Alaska first became a state, that is every year except 2020 when COVID precautions prevailed and cancelled the event.

It's held during the last two weeks in August and ends on Labor Day. Palmer, AK is known for growing World Record Vegetables thanks in part to it's 110 day growing season with 19+ hours of sunlight each day. Throw in the fact that it has the most furtile soil in all of Alaska and you have the perfect scenario to grow massive sized vegetables.

How about a 138¼ lb. head of cabbage in 2012 or a 7′5½″ stalk of asparagas in 2018? Those are just a few of the more notable World Records that have been grown here in the Mat-Su Valley region of Alaska.

We saw some impressively large specimens today, but no new World Records.


Of course no State Fair would be complete without carnival rides and this one had plenty. This one just seemed to be set apart from the rest.



OUR ALASKAN CHALLENGE:
TO VISIT FOR 100+ CONSECUTIVE NIGHTS


COMPLETED

PROGRESS BAR

STILL TO GO
92 8



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Until next time

TWO PEAS