Wednesday, July 14, 2010


A punishing 58 mile dirt and gravel road is about the only way to go by vehicle into Wrangell St. Elias National Park, and so off we went in a shuttle driven by a skilled guy named Edward. We crossed a footbridge and were taken by another shuttle to the Kennicott Glacier Lodge, a large but simple operation. We had a room with bath down the hall. We were comfortable enough. Our time was divided between hiking along the glacier and examining the remains of Kennecott Copper Corp's initial and fabulously rich copper mine. The above photo was taken during a six mile hike we took this morning.
This picture is one of several taken of the the mill constructed to take most of the non-copper content out of the ore. We toured the inside of this mill, guided by a nice young graduate student from Virginia named Neely. It was a three hour extravaganza, starting at the tip and descending stage by stage through the mechanisms used to refine the ore. A good use for an absolutely miserable rainy day. Check Facebook out for more pics.

On our way out we were rewarded by this wonderful sight of a Moose with her calf, placidly munching trees and acquatic vegetation.

This strange picture was taken along the Copper River. Alaska residents and natives are allowed to use fish wheels to trap salmon. There was not a lot of activity today, because the salmon are between runs. It is amazing that these fish can come up this glacially fed, silted up river.
More later. We are most likely headed to Valdez next, of Exxon spill fame.

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