After a crazy late night/morning with our friends we hung out and a friend of mine from high school(!!!) came over to catch up. I'm pretty sure the last time I saw her was in 1997 at her wedding!
It was fun to have a couple of friends locally that I could meet up with after many years.
The men engaged in an epic game of Axis and Allies down in the cabin on their property...
And there was morning and evening on the beautiful mountain range view. It's funny because as I'm editing these photos I can't get a lot of clarity on the mountains. And then I realized it's because they are really really far away. There were lots of little planes taking off and landing on the gravel bars in the river, but after the first day I didn't even bother to take any photos of them because they would look like tiny white specks against the hillside, if you could even find them. So the haze is just from the atmosphere, so much of it, between me and them. According to Google Maps probably about 5 miles across the valley bottom, which is a lot farther than you think!
After a beautiful day on Sunday, on Monday we decided to drive up to Hatcher's Pass and the Independence Gold Mine... in the rain.
We were essentially in the cloud layer as you can see, and unfortunately while some of the buildings have been redone, it wasn't open on Mondays. So we walked around in the rain (and just missed some friends from home!) and read the few outdoor signs. The big building with the red trim was a dormitory building.
The remains strewn down the left side of the trail above are where the ore was dumped in from the track above, then sorted/shaken into different sizes, and then smelted. I've forgotten the process already, but it was a long series of buildings down the hillside.
Pretty mountain stream... I wonder just how polluted it is.
The entrance to the water tunnel (above) was just to the left of the stream. You could only go in about 10 feet, but there was running water below the boards and some holes that Noah conveniently stuck his foot in. Big enough for a small child to fall in, too!
The track that came out of the mountain and dumped the ore. The view of the processing buildings and camp from above.
Looking down the valley pretty much straight south. The dark line on the horizon is the mountains on the south side of Palmer. I really couldn't believe how wide and large the valley/river bottom was there.
We had planned on doing some hiking, but in the rain and the fact that Brian broke his toe while playing Axis and Allies (something about a cast iron chair down in the cabin) meant that we just had snacks and went home again. We thought about trying to go again, but ran out of time. Next time!
Dahlia found rubber chickens and flamingo flyers. Taval is here demonstrating how one fits on your nose. Maybe it's a rubber dinosaur? Kids!
And then there was much late night entertainment while the guys put together a new 3D printer. David plans to use it to make a 3D topographical map of his property, and maybe more!
Ah Alaska, so many fun adventures!