On the Road Adventures

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July 7 - Williwaw Campground, Portage

We packed up and headed out this morning, along the Seward Highway that runs along the edge of the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet. I do mean right along the edge. There are places that have just enough space carved out of the mountainsides for the highway and the Alaska Railroad track. The view was sadly obscured by the smoke from fires in the interior of the state that has drifted down south. I guess if it was raining, the views would be obscured by clouds. Can’t win. It is, nevertheless, an amazing stretch of road. The tide was out, so the mud flats extended out for hundreds of feet into the middle of the channel. I know they are treacherous because every third entry in the Milepost warns not to go out on the mud flats lest you get sucked into quicksand and gobbled up.

We are staying at a Forest Service camp called Williwaw, and it is excellent by any standard. Wide, level spaces separated by a line of trees and undergrowth, so you can only get a glimpse of any neighbors through the greenery. There aren’t any hook-ups, but I would still rate this a lot higher than some places that have cost a whole lot more. We went to the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center just a mile up the road, and saw their very good film on the glaciers of Chugach National Forest. Then we went back up Turnagain Arm to try and find a good vantage point to see the bore tide. The tide here is so high and the arm so constricted that the tide comes in as a literal wall of water. The “bore” today wasn’t terribly high – about a foot – but at an extremely low tide it can be as much as 6 feet high. What we thought was really interesting was that it was so noisy. It sounded like an enormous waterfall as it passed, and then all was quiet again.

It’s great to back on the road again

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