Glacier views, reindeers, and abandoned mining towns in Palmer

I realize I am way behind on writing about Alaska! I got here Saturday night and will try to catch up on the other days’ adventure. So I will recount yesterday’s adventures first (aka Tuesday). Since this trip wifi is not a huge concern, I can let you know where I stayed and ate as well! So exciting for all…

So we are currently in Palmer, Alaska. Yesterday we decided to take on a “easy hike” as recommended by our innkeeper (we stayed at Butte’s Bethel B&B, adorable cabins on a farm…they have a garden you can pick produce from and they have horses too!). I think for city folk, I’d rank this hike as moderate to painful. Just kidding, but the last 1/3 of the trail was a series of steep stairs to the summit (ok, well, if there were no stairs, then that would be “difficult”). The views from the top were magnificent, and we could see a glacier off in the distance. IMG_3146.JPG

Afterwards, we visited the reindeer farm to learn about and pet the animals. Reindeer farm was a blast. Our guide taught us about reindeer and took us into two pens to interact with them. The female reindeer run up to you because, well, snacks. They were super cute and sweet. Our guide was hysterical, I liked when he referred to a particular reindeer as a “doofus”. We saw a bison named Dolly who insisted on back scratches and some elk as well. There were also bunnies to hug, chickens to pet, and a baby reindeer who was more interested in sleeping.

We had lunch at Palmer Ale House and I got to sample more delicious Alaskan beer. One goal of this trip is to try as many local beers as possible. French fries here were tasty. We then headed up to Hatcher Pass. We drove through the hometown of Sarah Palin (no, we did not stop to say hello) and drove up through beautiful mountains. This drive is what you expect to see in Alaska, fast moving rivers with bright blue glacier waters and majestic snow covered peaks all around. We stopped at Independence Mine State Historical Park, which was my favorite part of the day. There’s an old mine town that was abandoned in the 1950’s which you can hike around. While hiking, it was chilly and misty as the clouds moved in, perfect creepy weather for exploring this place. Most of the structures are deteriorating and some have been refurbished. The grounds look like the staging area for a Disney attraction, I felt like I was going to get on the runaway train. This place was very cool.

Today we are off to Fairbanks! We have a long drive ahead of us with some planned stops along the way.IMG_3275.JPG

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