Alaska Journals

A Couple of Wicked Wooly Trips Outside of Anchorage

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A May 2010 trip to Alaska by Wildcat Dianne

Fiddle Dee Dee for Ferns Photo, Girdwood, Alaska More Photos
Quote: My last five days of my Alaskan adventure were closer to our homebase in Anchorage. My adventures included a trip to the ski resort of Girdwood along with a fascinating trip with Larissa's friend Ed to a musk ox farm and pre-WWII gold mine outside of Palmer.

Independence Mine State Historical Park

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Attraction | "Hauntingly Beautiful Gold Mine"

Quote:
After Ed, Larissa, and I visited the Musk Ox Farm, we were on our way to the Independence Gold Mine outside of Palmer. As we left the lower elevations of the Musk Ox Farm, we encountered overcast skies and cooler weather going up the hilly twisted mountain road leading to the mine. Being late-May, there was also the remains of snow the higher we went. Goody, more snowballs for me to make!There was an old hotel at the turnoff we needed to take to go to Independence Gold Mine that Larissa had visited in the past, but signs of the recession had made its way all the way up here, and the hotel was still boarded up for the winter and showed no sign of opening up for the summer touri...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 26, 2010

Independence Mine State Historical Park
Hatcher Pass, Mat-Su Region
Palmer, Alaska 99501
(907) 274-8440

Musk Ox Farm

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Attraction | "Close Encounters Of The Wooly Kind"

Quote:
After lunch on the river, Ed, Larissa, Katie, and I headed to the Musk Ox Farm outside of Palmer. The Musk Ox Farm is a working farm where Musk Ox are raised for their soft underwool that is given to the Natives for the women to knit beautiful and expensive knit goods like hats, scarves, and afghans. Being an avid knitter (who will be picking up her needles once it cools off here in Florida), I knew I would enjoy touring this farm and learning more about this fascinating and HUGE horned animal that roams wildly in the Arctic areas of Russia, Greenland, and Canada and produces a somewhat coarse underwool called qiviut.Upon arriving on the farm, we had to keep Katie in the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 25, 2010

Musk Ox Farm
12850 E. Archie Road
Palmer, Alaska
907 745 4151

Quote:
Larissa has this friend named Ed who she takes hikes with sometimes. Ed is originally from Michigan but moved to Alaska after falling in love with the place while stationed there during a stint in the Air Force. Ed invited Larissa and I for a trip to Hatcher Pass near Palmer for the day, and we met him at his house on the other side of Anchorage. On the way to Ed's house, I went to look for my camera in my backpack and realized I didn't put it back in my pack after editing pictures I had taken the day before in Girdwood. We were going to a Musk Ox farm along with a trip to some of the most beautiful scenery in Alaska, and I forgot my camera! AUGGHHHH! I mentally beat my head on Larissa's dashboa...Read More

Chair 5 Restaurant

Restaurant | "Pricey and Mediocre Dining Option In Girdwood"

Chair 5 Restaurant Photo, Girdwood, Alaska
Quote:
After Larissa and I hiked the Iditarod Trail near the Alyeska Ski Resort, we were hungry. Larissa asked if I wanted to eat in Girdwood or go back to Anchorage, and I said we could eat in Girdwood because I was getting hungry. So off we went into Girdwood and the Chair 5 Restaurant. It was about 4:30 when we got there and it wasn't busy yet, so Larissa and I were seated immediately by our host and given menus. Too bad I didn't have a sneak preview of Chair 5's menu before coming here because I got a serious case of sticker shock when I opened it to the dinner entrees. The cheapest thing on the menu was the Halibut Burger for $12.50 and then it all went downhill from there. E...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 20, 2010

Chair 5 Restaurant
5 Linblad Street
Girdwood, Alaska
(907) 783-2500

A Snowball's Chance In. . .

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Story/Tip

Daffodils on Girdwood-Nome Trail Photo, Girdwood, Alaska
Quote:
Girdwood was on the route of the Iditarod Trail, a 1,000-mile historical dirt trail that runs all the way from Girdwood to Nome on the west coast of Alaska. Originally known, as the Seward to Nome Trail by surveyors who mapped the trail in April 1908, the Iditarod Trail became the main route for gold prospectors who came to the area after gold was discovered near Girdwood on December 25, 1908 in what became known as the "Christmas Day Strike." From 1910-1912, this area became home to over 10,000 gold prospectors who mined over $30 million in gold.Seventeen years later in the winter of 1925, the Iditarod Trail became famous for humanitarian reasons. A diptheria epidemic had rage...Read More

Alyeska Ski Resort

Attraction | "Girdwood, Alaska: Originally Known as Glacier City"

Alyeska Ski Resort Photo, Girdwood, Alaska
Quote:
As mentioned before, Larissa and I pretty much stayed local for the remaining five days of my Alaska vacation, but it didn't mean sitting on our butts in her apartment watching Inspector Morse episodes on DVD. On May 27, Larissa and I took a late-afternoon trip to Girdwood, Alaska, a small town and ski resort about 40 miles south of Anchorage. Larissa and I had passed Girdwood on the train going to Seward the day before, and Larissa said we could go there if I was interested on Thursday. Always looking for adventure, I said, "sure" and we headed down the Seward Highway from Anchorage later that Thursday afternoon.Girdwood was originally known as Glacier City when it was...Read More

Alyeska Ski Resort
1000 Arlberg Drive
Girdwood, Alaska 99587
(907) 754-2111