Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kennicott Glacier Lodge

September 7. Very shortly after we arrive at the McCarthy airstrip, a van from Kennicott Glacier Lodge arrives to take us to the lodge, five miles away. Also on the van are four people from Taiwan who drove in, apparently either with a more understanding rental car company or just taking a chance with their car. We all have a nice chat. It is cool to meet people from another place so far away.

This lodge will be home for three nights, and we really enjoyed it. Our room, in this building

is large and comfortable, and we got one with a private bath, which comes in handy several times for hanging soaked clothes. As things turn out, it rains most of the next two days, and we end up with only a hint of the spectacular scenery that surrounds us, like this view from our porch when you can see it:

The meals at the lodge, three a day, are wonderful – the best meals by far of the trip, save one fabulous dinner in Fairbanks that was amazing. Dinners are family style, and you have assigned seats at a different table each night, so you get to chat with people from all over. For our first dinner, for example, we sat with a couple from Austria, one from Argentina, and one from Israel. They all spoke English very well, and we had great conversations. After dinner each night, there was a slide show of some local feature. For example, the first night we were there, St. Elias Mountain Guides did a show on some of their excursions. I’d love to come back and do a pack trip with them. It is amazing country around there, and so remote.

Breakfasts might be buffet or from the kitchen. Every day, they had these incredible cinnamon buns that have been known to make strong men weep with ecstasy. I love pancakes and French toast but never ordered them because the cinnamon buns were just too good to pass up. Lunch was also a sit-down buffet, but I was hiking both days and instead got a nice sack lunch to take along. Mary had the regular lunch the day she didn’t hike with me, and said it was great.

Just down path from the lodge are the remains of the Kennecott company town, where so many men labored to mill copper. The work they did was so difficult as to be unimaginable. We would be seeing much of it in the next couple of days. In the meantime, here are a few more photos:

The main building includes the dining room and kitchen, guest rooms with shared baths (separate sex), and some lounge areas:

View of the main lodge from our building's porch:

I really like the Alaska State Flag. I bought a small one in 2005 when I was there for the Midnight Sun Marathon, and still have it. Alaskan's are very proud of their flag:

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