The train arrived in Anchorage fairly late on the 14th of June and we barely got to our hotel in time to have dinner before the dining room shut down. The next morning we picked up our rental car and did a little touring around Anchorage. We had lunch at a cool brew-pub called The Glacier Brewhouse. Their Amber Ale was great! After that we stopped at Resolution Park which is right downtown overlooking the Cook Inlet. They claim you can see Mt. McKinley from there but, in my opinion, it would have to be an awfully clear day.
The next morning we encountered one of the few negative things about traveling in Alaska – Tour Buses! When we got up we thought we would have a quick breakfast at the hotel and head out for our next stop. Unfortunately the hotel was jammed to the gills with people on bus tours, all wanting breakfast before the buses left. We decided to postpone eating until we found someplace less over-run. This turned out to be good as we found a neat little place for breakfast down the road called the Noisy Goose Cafe.
Notice the wonderfully restored old Ford sitting in the parking lot. We noticed many well (and some not so well) preserved vintage cars all over Alaska. Don’t know the reason but they were common.
We continued east on Alaska highway #1 from Palmer. The scenery was fabulous. Almost every direction we looked it was beautiful. Here is a typical scene of the forest and mountains along the highway. I believe these were the Chugach Mountains.
We were supposed to stay at Copper Center AK that evening (06/16) but we were much too early when we arrived there. We elected to drive down to Valdez on AK hwy #4, only about 100 miles from Copper Center. I’m very glad we did. The scenery got better and better with mountains , waterfalls and scenic Thompson Pass along the way. Here is Jan in front of Bridal Veil Falls.
The town of Valdez turned out to be a charming place with plenty of shops and places to eat. It was turning into a tradition that we seemed to find the coolest places to have our meals. We had lunch at the Edgewater Grill down by the harbor.
We returned to Copper Center where we had reservations at the Copper River Princess Lodge.
This turned out to be another Bus Tour Mob Scene. Luckily we found a corner in the bar and were able to enjoy a nice dinner away from the hub-bub of the regular dining room. We were spending two nights there and had intended to sign up for some local tour. Unfortunately the activities desk was overloaded and we decide that we’d make our own plans for the the next day.