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
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
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
Dajur is popular with the bitches.
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