Kennecot Road Trip

Early September, 2003
Explorers: Freak, Dajur
    On the way back to Fairbanks from Anchorage at the end of the summer, I persuaded Dajur to go on a road trip with me through Kennicot and some of the surrounding areas (pretty far out of the way actually, especially by continental US standards). The actual visit to Kennicot/McCarthy and the mines there is described on this and this page, these photos are of intersting stuff we saw along the way. We started when Dajur showed up in Anchorage near the end of August. Went to some bars and hung out in town for a while, Dajur didn’t want to go to the hostel, then changed his mind right when it closed, so we ended up sleeping in the car. Some cops came and told us to get the hell out of the library parking lot after we’d been there for a half hour, so we found some other place to park and sleep.
    On saturday we went shopping for gear, I bought some shit for the trip and got a discount on a new coat and some FRS radios. We drove up to Palmer to find that some asshats had sealed up the entrance I found into the satanist tunnels, I looked for others with no luck. That night we drove out to Chickaloon to camp, went to a bar there and explored a redneck car graveyard. We ended up using my extra tent since Dajur lost the poles for his somewhere.
    On sunday we drove back to Wasilla to get Dajur a new tent, which I paid for since he was broke already. Finally got underway and made it to McCarthy after driving all day, stopping at some scenic viewpoints and information areas, and checking out an interesting bridge on the old railroad grade on the McCarthy road. We also helped a guy named “Alabama” move his trailer out of the road where he’d gotten his RV in the ditch and blocked it. In McCarthy we camped in the “closed” state campground nearby since the others were expensive and we were broke.
    After leaving Kennicot and McCarthy we stopped in Copper Center to see the model of the CRNWRR in a bar (Dajur’s car lost some plastic bits in the parking lot and a weird guy in the bar tried to make us think it was a gay bar). We took pictures of the trains, had some beer and messed with the bar cat. Later drove to Glennalen and got some illegal fireworks, then drove to Tok hoping to see HAARP or a White Alice site (we missed both). Had dinner in TOK and got directions to HAARP from a waitress (she told us about an unguarded radio tower nearby that we could climb) but since it was behind us quite a ways we decided not to go. Camped at some lake campground.Wednesday: Got up early, packed, drove to Fairbanks. Vowed never to go anywhere important with Dajur again (we were both ready to kill eachother by then).

Dajur is a photographer, so there were lots of stops along the way for scenic moments.

Much ghost townage ensued along the way. There are several communities along the Edgerton Highway and McCarthy Road which are partially or totally abandoned, but for various reasons we never seemed to have time to stop long enough to explore any of them.

An old boxcar and several impressive bridges are reminders that the road we're following is actually the old CR&NWRR grade.

After less than a week of camping Dajur and I were close to murdering eachother.

The road is hard on vehicles.

This was one place we had to stop for, a bar in the town of Copper Center which has a large-scale model railroad depicting the Copper River railroad and the Kennecot mines. This is an impressive setup, and although we didn't get to see the trains running (the owner was out of town) we admired the layout and had a beer with the wierd locals (one drunk tried to convince us that it was a gay bar, and that he thought we looked pretty good :p )

The giant bar cat attacks a hotel. What I want to know is what the bartender is chugging in the background, I didn't notice that when I took the picture.

Dajur is popular with the bitches.

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