Monday, July 13, 2009

Yesterday's road trip

Yesterday's destination was the famous Hilltop Cafe, known for it's pancakes and the last cafe before you hit that looooooong road that the Ice Truckers travel. Here is a little information about it.

The Elliott Highway
Excerpted fromThe Alaska Highway: An Insider's Guide by Ron Dalby
This road leads to some fairly wild and remote country. It also passes through active gold mining areas where owners are often adamant about their private property signs. Specific regions of gold-mining activity include the settlement of Livengood (no services available) at 71 miles from the road's start at Fox, and Eureka, 131 miles from Fox.
There are few services available at any point on this road except at the start and finish. Travelers should therefore start this trek with a full gas tank.
These liabilities aside, this is a beautiful drive through the heart of interior Alaska. Most of the route is forested with scraggly black spruce and stands of birch. There is some fairly open country at roadside about 100 miles into the route, country heavy with extensive fields of blueberries.
The Elliott HighwayLength: 152 miles (253 km)Gas Available: Hilltop Cafe, 5 miles (8 km); Manley, 152 miles (253 km)Lodging: Manley, 152 miles (253 km)Campgrounds: Lower Chatanika, 11 miles (18 km); Tolvana River (unimproved), 75 miles (125 km); Manley, 152 miles (253 km)Wildlife: Black bears, moose, wolves (rarely)Fishing: Northern pike and grayling
At the start of the road is a picnic area by Fox Spring. Area residents have long cherished the sparkling water that comes from the ground year-round at this point. Many make regular trips to the spring for drinking water, ignoring the relatively pure water delivered to the taps in their homes. It's well worth a stop to fill water bottles or just for tasting the water.
From the spring, it's little more than 4 miles to Hilltop, a cafe and gas station on the left side. This is a favorite stop for Haul Road truckers, and at any given time there will likely be several rigs parked out front. This is also the last gas available before reaching Manley at the end of the road, some 147 miles distant.
The first 73 miles of this road is an extension of the Haul Road, and truck traffic can be particularly heavy at times. Be exceedingly careful during dry periods, because these 18-wheelers kick up blinding clouds of dust. The majority of the northbound truckers turn off on the
Dalton Highway 73 miles from Fox, leaving the second half of the Elliott Highway relatively free of traffic.
Prior to reaching the Dalton Highway junction, the Elliott crosses both the Chatanika and Tolovana rivers. There's a splendid campground and picnic area next to the Chatanika River bridge (11 miles). Fishing here is mediocre at best, except for a few brief days just after breakup when grayling are moving upstream to summer spawning and feeding areas

Sadly we didn't make it...........someone, thank goodness it wasn't me, didn't check the gas tank and we started out on this little trip with only a half of tank of we will try this little trip another time. We did see some beautiful country and pulled off the road and went down to this little are some photos for you to enjoy.
I know for some of you, that the combination of the water and trees is something that you see often..........for me, well it is a true blessing and wish come true. Can you see far off on the left hand side of the picture, the area that has the purple tinge to it? That is a field of Fire weed. The saying goes, that 90 days after it starts to bloom we will have our first snow !!!!!!!!! So that would put us right about the end of September - first of October. Now for WY, that has happened before........but these kids have been Florida - Texas living for the past 7 years........and the boys have never really been in snow will be interesting. Here is a picture of the Fire weed up close.
Here are a few more snapshots.........
I like this one too.........don't know why, just do..............

This is a picture of the river that wound it's way into this little lake.......the boys took off their sneakers and socks and went wading.....for all of 1 minute!!!! My daughter gathered up some river stones and placed them in the sink of our downstairs 1/2 is having an outdoors look starting in it........they actually give it a little atmosphere.........I like them.

I am having quite a good day today.........getting a few more things accomplished, the sun is shining and visited with another young wife that lives this street. I sure wish there were a few more old coots for me to hang out with - but let's face it - unless a bazillion more Nanas, Grandmas, Memaws, Gigis, Mimis and any other name that we go by, do as I have done, the chances of two of us ending up on the same post is slim to nothing......tee hee. I have smiled and let out a giggle too.........hope you have too.

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