Kenai Peninsula and the Denali Highway

After the Dalton Highway, Adric and I detoured through the Denali Highway on recommendation from my old high school friend Amanda now living in Denali National Park. Another entire day of driving, but worth it, as always for the continually changing beautiful views. By day’s end we were on Kenai peninsula in the south of Alaska, where we spent our last couple days of the trip.

These are a few of the highlights.

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The Susitna River from the Denali Highway. The Susitna winds it way over a long glacial plain in south-central Alaska and drains much of the Chugach and Alaska mountains
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The Alaska Range viewed from the Denali Highway
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The Alaska Range viewed from the Denali Highway. Mt Hayes, one of the tallest mountains of the Alaska Range at 13,800ft, is obscured somewhere in the clouds
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Heavily Glaciated landscapes south of the Alaska Range in the background. Somewhere along the Denali Highway.
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The Denali Highway heading east eventually leaves the Alaska Range, and joins the Richardson highway. The road continues past the Wrangell & St Elias Mountains. Pictured here is Mt Drumm, a 12,000ft stratovolcano
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Sunset on the Matanuska River
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Exit Glacier in Seward, Kenai Peninsula. The people in the foreground are standing at a plaque marking the edge of the glacier in 2005. Exit Glacier has been rapidly retreating, and the people in the distance are standing at the plaque and area that shows the 2010 edge of the glacier. Exit Glacier has since retreated about another 300yds.
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McCarty Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park. The glacier’s scale is hard to grasp, but the initial face of the glacier is about 2-300ft tall, and the sharp spires on the back horizon of the glacier are close to 2,000ft above sea level
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A “bloom” of jellyfish in the waters off of Kenai Fjords National Park
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The USS Healy in Resurrection Bay just outside of Seward, Alaska. The Healy is the US’s most technologically advanced ice breaker, and became the first American vessel to make an unaccompanied trip to the North Pole.

 

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Dense foliage in Earthquake Park in Anchorage Alaska. Earthquake Park was part of a neighborhood that was completely destroyed after the 9.2 magnitude earthquake that struck southwest of Anchorage in 1964. It was the second most powerful earthquake in recorded history. The incomparable force of the quake, along with its five minute length caused mass liquefaction of the ground soil, moved blocks of clay and soil the size of school buses hundreds of feet, and caused much of the southern Alaska coastline to drop several feet. Although Earthquake park is now densely wooded, on closer inspection the landscape is tremendously warped, with small, steep mounds of land that rise and drop into small ponds. These mounds are what remain of the school bus-sized blocks of land.
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One thought on “Kenai Peninsula and the Denali Highway

  1. Hi Dawson, Heard that you are on your way back to Iraq.!!!! Blessings as you go.
    As you state, the drive down the Denali Highway was worth it. Most of us can hardly imagine actually seeing all the scenery that you show in your blog. Amazing and thank you for sharing. I look forward to hearing from you as you begin the next part of your venture.
    Dolores

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