Sunday, September 27, 2009

After the growling Grizzly wake-up call on July 31st we continued on to Chitina (at left on the map below) and got on the 60 miles of gravel road on the way to McCarthy, the Kennecott mine, and Wrangell-St.Elias National Park

Almost immediately upon entering the road, there was a large number of fish traps operating on the river. I presume they were all first nations harvesters.
A distant shot of the traps (click on any photo for a larger view).

And a closer shot of the traps, and the related shacks, RV's and vehicles on the gravel flats of the river.There were a number of impressive bridges along the road, all originally built as a railway link to the Kennecott mine.
Some, like this one, are now used by vehicular traffic.
At 238 feet, it is rather high.
You don't want to drive off this one!
Others, are extensive railroad trestles, some of which were routinely washed out each spring by the flood waters.

Finally, we reached McCarthy (just across the river), and trail heads for hikes into Wrangell - St. Elias National Park.
We had to walk across this bridge, then pay for a shuttle van to take us the 6 or so miles up to the abandoned Kennecott mine - which is now administered and being restored by the National Park Service.
The huge glaciers of the National Park are visible from miles away.
Up closer to the glaciers near the Kennecott mine site, the valley appears to be a mile wide; a jumble of ice covered in gravel and rock.
Next, the Kennecott mine.

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