Driving over to Tolsona




We left Wasilla and headed out the Glenn Highway toward Glennallen, AK.   Along the way we encountered the Matanuska Glacier just south of the highway.  The pictures don’t really do it justice, it was huge and right next to  the highway, curving its way back up the mountains.  The town, if you could call it that, was aptly named Glacier View.   Apparently it’s the largest glacier in the US that is accessible by car.

In a little while we were at our spot for the night, the Roadhouse Lodge & RV.   Upon first sight it was a bit sparse, but the owner greeted me in the parking lot and took me to our campsite.   That was service I hadn’t experienced before.

After we set up, I went in to pay for the night.   We had 50 amp service, water and sewer.   That was what I wanted so we could be fully ready for a week of drycamping on Isabel Pass.

The owner, Karen, said she would be telling the history of the place around 6pm tonight, so we went back for a bowl of chili and the story that evening.

We met her husband, Andy, that evening, and talk about a workaholic, he never really stopped working the whole time we were there.   I saw him dig a long trench and lay electrical cabling for 5 new sites he was creating over by the creek.    In the morning he was putting siding up on a new addition to the back of the roadhouse for a large kitchen and liquor store.   We heard he had moved the existing building over to the other side of the grounds and would use that for something later.  It sounded like it needed a lot of work so he found it would be quicker to move it and build a new structure.

He mentioned that the kitchen should be open when we come back here on our way to Valdez in a couple of weeks.   That was hard to imagine, but we will know soon enough.

I asked what Andy had done prior to retiring to this full-time job.  He said he was a demolitions contractor and he always worked alone, preferring to buy bigger equipment than hiring and managing workers.   He mentioned he worked on the World Trade Center demo but was fired as the unions said he had to hire workers and he wouldn’t.   Interesting.

There was some new looking 9′ diameter galvanized pipe sections over on the other side of the campground and I asked him what they could be for.  He said he is building an underground walkway inside them from his cabin to the Roadhouse so he doesn’t need to go outside in the negative 70 degree winter weather.   I guess there isn’t permafrost on the site.

We left in the morning to drive the 100 miles to Isabel Pass on the Stewart Highway.  Here is a picture of what trees grow on top of the permafrost.  Black Spruce is the type and they look very stunted.  When you see them you know to look out for the frost heaves on the road!