After exiting the tunnel in Whittier, we drove past Bird Point on our way to Anchorage to check out the bore tide. Dan got to surf the bore tide at the start of our tour through the Kenai Peninsula a month ago and he was hoping to the same again today.

Blog Alaska Anchorage 2

But unforently today was a no go. The winds were howling, causing so much chop on the water, making it almost impossible to catch. The local surfers were not either, but in their place were the wind surfers.

Blog Alaska Anchorage 2

Even though Dan didn’t get on the wave this time, it was still amazing to watch this lone wave make its way past us. We were also joined by our new friends Caleb & Ariana who were hoping to see it (and Dan) in action.

Blog Alaska Anchorage 2

We both ended up back at the Anchorage for a night at the local Moose Lodge. We ended up just hanging out together, grabbing some delicious food at Bear’s Tooth and meeting up with Tim & Kerri.

Blog Alaska Anchorage 2

Shawn the Sheepdog was a fan of hammock. This photo cracks me up. He’s like a real life muppet!

Blog Alaska Anchorage 2

After replenishing our food in town, we ended down the Glennallen Highway at the end of the day. Driving down that highway, we realized that not seeing it in better light was a mistake. Look at this photo I took out my window as we were driving by!

Blog Alaska Glenallen

We think it’s ridiculous to pay for a campsite when just driving thru for a night, especially since we have no need for hook-ups. These waysides along the highways here make the perfect spot for us to spend the night. I get a little freaked out by the denseness of the forests here. Not knowing what lies or hides behind the first few rows of trees scares me enough to start clapping and singing tone-deaf songs. Luckily, no bears have come close to our campsites (as far as we know).

Blog Alaska Glenallen

We are now officially on our way to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the largest national park in the US. We decided to stop at the Visitor’s Center before actually entering the park to collect some Junior Ranger books for the kids, watch the introductory film and learn a few things about the park.

Blog Alaska Glenallen

The park had free treats for visitors which we were all excited about. Coffee for the grown-ups and hot chocolate for the kids.

Blog Alaska Glenallen

Blog Alaska Glenallen

Too hot!

Blog Alaska Glenallen

Since the drive into Wrangell-St. Elias was going to take us most of a entire day to drive due to the roads not being paved, we choose to spend a night at Liberty Falls Campground outside of Chitina and get an early start the next day.

Blog Alaska Glenallen

Lucky for us, Dave and Ann of ADVO DnA just happened to be here after their exit from Wrangell-St. Elias and saved us a spot. This place fills up quickly and there’s only 2, maybe 3, spots that will fit our rig.

Blog Alaska Glenallen

Blog Alaska Glenallen

We got to finally get a tour of Dave and Ann’s custom interior, the kids made bracelets together and the adults enjoyed some chit chatting near the river’s edge.

Blog Alaska Glenallen

Before we took off for our long drive, we made sure to fill up all of our water jugs in case the campground in the park didn’t have water. Better be safe than sorry… and plus Luka loves filling up the jugs.

Blog Alaska Glenallen

The road to McCarthy, the town on the outskirts of Wrangell-St. Elias, is a long one. 60 miles each way, most of it dirt. We’ve heard horror stories of this road, knew the Airstream probably shouldn’t go down it, but it was calling our names. Loudly. So we listened.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

The infamous McCarthy Road. 60 miles of tumultuous washboard dirt road full of pot holes. Actually we didn’t think it was that bad. To tow a trailer in here you have two choices: 1. Drive under 10 mph to lessen the teeth-chattering bumps and hope you get there before dark. 2. Float over the washboards at above 35 mph and watch the awe-inspiring Alaskan landscape and historic roadside artifacts like this wooden trestle zoom past your window and get here in no time. (The way out was a WHOLE other story!)

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

After arriving at the campground outside of McCarthy, we opened the door to put Yoda inside the Airstream and found a little bit of a mess. Cushions all over the floor, gaucho couch turned itself into a bed, bathroom cabinet doors fell off their tracks, cat food bowl shimmied its way into the hallway and a thin layer of dust on every surface of the inside of the trailer. Not bad considering that we were expecting for our black tank to fall off. I guess there’s always the drive back out of here.

"Don't even try to blame this 💩 on me." - Yoda the #airstreamcat

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

And here’s our stop for the week. SO WORTH THE TROUBLE!!

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Our good buddies, the Bodeswell crew, pulled up right after we arrived. Perfect timing.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

I really doubt it’s 5 o’clock but I really needed a beer after that long bouncy ride. Cheers to us!

Blog Alaska McCarthy

This is the outhouse here at the campground.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

When you pull a string inside of it, a little window opens up and you get to look at the glacier. Haha.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

From the campground you can walk into the town of McCarthy via a few bridges and dirt paths.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

People keep talking about a reality show currently being filmed here but we know nothing about it. We are here to grab a bite to eat.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

We happened upon their funhouse prom night here. The kids were really amused by the staffs’ costumes. Someone forgot to smile when I said cheese. (DAN!)

Blog Alaska McCarthy

The tents set up at the other side of the campground belong to a tour company. We had a few drunk New York pharmacists come over to our side and drink some of our wine. The funny part of the evening happened when they proclaimed they were taking the Bodeswell’s plastic cups with them as souveniors. Ummmm, we are not part of the attraction?!?! Give those cups back!!!

Blog Alaska McCarthy

The cloudy weather here isn’t keeping us from enjoying some campfires.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Huge slingshot time!

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Luka’s turn! I better watch out.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

The kids have really bonded with Bode over the course of the summer. Ans thanks to him, Ava has really started to love reading books. Here they are reading books under the picnic table to avoid the drizzle.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

And when the drizzle turned into rain, they moved their reading party indoors.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

This post is getting long. I’ll have to make a separate post for the actual national park. So this one will focus on McCarthy only… and Dan with his pink guitar.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

The weather has been a little crappy this week again. Summer is coming to an end. The fireweed blooms are all spent and fall is approaching.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

But we’ve got a roof over our heads and plenty of blankets to keep us cozy.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

And bacon. Plenty of bacon.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

During our stay here in McCarthy, the girls had their official first day of the school year. Special outfits were picked and photos were taken.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

The first thing we did was an ‘About Me’ page to commemorate the start of 3rd and 1st grade for these two.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Mila was a little sad that Ava didn’t pick her as a best friend as she did. We had one sad middle sister and one confused older sister that didn’t realize that she could write her sister’s name. Oops.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Luka got into the school action too. We drew french fry monster together.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Our dining table got messy fast with our new school supplies that we picked up back in Anchorage. Sorry Dan, you’ll be working on the kitchen counter today. Stand up desks are all the rage, I hear!

Blog Alaska McCarthy

The fish that Dan caught in Hope, and that we didn’t eat, were thrown in the freezer for a rainy day. Well, today was the day.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Instead of cooking the fresh fish, we opted to make sushi.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Not the prettiest sushi we’ve ever made but probably the most delicious.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Even Yoda the cat tried to get in on the sushi action.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Luka happened to find a clean rolled up pair of socks near our site. He soaked them with water and had the best time.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

HI-YA! I’m a ninja!!

Blog Alaska McCarthy

The other kids didn’t think it was very funny to be chased around by a ninja.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Just kidding. They loved it.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

There are no trash cans at the campground of McCarthy. All trash must be carried out. Well, these two tried their best to burn as much trash as they possibly could to lighten our loads. Overheard by me: “This is the most homeless I’ve ever felt.”

Blog Alaska McCarthy

In town, there was also a cool breakfast and burger joint called The Potato.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Boxes of potato heads to pass the time.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

After days of off and on rain, we decided to make our escape out of McCarthy on a semi-clear day.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

This 60-mile road coming out of McCarthy is barely recognizable as the same one we drove in after 3 straight days of rain. Earlier in the summer, they would have re-graded the dirt to make it easier to pass. It now too late in the season for that.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Don’t worry. Luka was there to help.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

We had to take it much slower on the way out and all that bouncing around caused one of the electric trailer brake’s adjustment nut to loosen. Fortunately we heard it and caught it in time so the only damage we had was to the electric brake hardware.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Less than a half hour later we were back on the road asking for more.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

By the end of the road, we had a few more problems. Our camper top bounced forward so it was touching the cab of the truck.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Causing the back of the camper top to stay open. We lost a bag of rain gear. The Airstream took a little more of a beating too. Broken light switches. Four to be exact. But at least we still have our black tank!!

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Was all this trouble down the dirt road to McCarthy? For us, it was! We’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Blog Alaska McCarthy

Thanks for reading,
Marlene

Categories: daily

2 Comments

Angela Muller Rehm · December 13, 2015 at 6:41 am

Forgot about the ‘sock touch’!….hope Luka has been cured. Miss you guys!

Meg · December 13, 2015 at 6:31 pm

We watched the latest Vlogs last night and we just love them. Your kiddos are so sweet and Alaska is incredible. It was just the thing we needed to keep us motivated on our Airstream renovation. That sushi looks incredible! Doesn’t get much better than that! Oh and I am totally stealing the All about me page. My kiddos are getting new sketch pads for Christmas and this will be an awesome way to start off the book!

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