After the beautiful day we had yesterday we can’t complain about the rain today. This is only the second time since we left home that we had to put the tent away in the rain. We did laundry and then headed away from the coast for a few days and hopefully out of the wet weather.
First stop on our agenda for today was the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage. The center is home for orphaned and injured wildlife including black bear, grizzlies, moose, bison, musk oxen, deer and a bald eagle. It is a drive through park, but you can get out and walk if you want and seniors over 55 get in for $5 each. It was more than worth the price when you can get with 10 feet of bears and moose and still be safe. Once we were 15 miles out of Seward the rain stopped. It was 39 degrees at 10 am this morning in Seward. Good-bye coast.
Hearing so much about the trip to Whittier from several of our friends and relatives, we decided to pay the $12 and go through the tunnel. The Anton Anderson Tunnel that leads to Whittier is
2.5 miles long and the road bed and the rail bed are one in the same. We traveled through this tiny, one lane tunnel which was bored through rock and contained “Safe Houses” every 1600 feet in case of fire or other emergency. It was pretty scary for me, being claustrophobic. During a power failure they shut the tunnel down completely. You are allowed to enter the tunnel once per hour, per direction. We had to wait about 20 minutes to go through to Whittier.
Once in Whittier, we found a great place to eat, Café Orca. Dave had a grilled halibut sandwich which was out of this world and I had New England Clam Chowder which was better than I can get in New England. As soon as we exited the tunnel in Whittier we were back in the rain. It was miserable here and people in the restaurant were complaining about the weather. Cruise Ships stop in Whittier, we really can’t figure out why. There is nothing in Whittier worth seeing.
Heading north on the Seward Highway toward Anchorage we quickly left the rain on the coast on the other side of the tunnel and actually
saw blue sky once again. The temperature was 57 degrees. Palmer is our next destination, just a little east of Anchorage. We found a great campsite at the Homestead RV Park and decided to stay 2 days. When you leave your RV at home and are camping in a tent, you judge campgrounds by the cleanliness of the restrooms. We have seen some real “Rat Holes” on this trip, places you wouldn’t go into to brush your teeth. Dave thinks this campground is by far the best. He says he could live here.
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