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September 22, 2021

Road Trip! ANC to FBX (PHOTOS)

The road from Anchorage to Fairbanks and back is spectacular regardless of the season. I recently posted some photos from an autumn ride which were rich in color and clouds. But winter holds a particular charm of its own, with stands of bare birches and aspen; snow-kissed spruce; sawtooth mountain ridges that somehow look larger clad in white; and expansive vistas of frost-covered valleys, dotted with lakes and rivers frozen solid and covered with snow. There are few signs that humans exist, other than occasional power lines, and the very highway that takes you from the beginning to the end of the trip. Add to this visual banquet a crystal clear day with bright blue sky and visibility of hundreds of miles, and you get this.

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Denali, Mt. McKinley, The Great One. Locals call it “The Mountain.” And on a day like this, they say “The Mountain is out.” North America’s highest peak was resplendent. Many visitors come to Alaska and never get to see it. This is as good as it gets.

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The abandoned and desolate Igloo Hotel is an iconic masterpiece. It was built in the 70s in the middle of nowhere as a spot for tired drivers to take refuge. Now, it’s just kind of cool and spooky, but “roomers” are flying that it’s in the act of being renovated by the owners of the gas station next door.

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Afternoon shadows create geometric wonders that shift and change from moment to moment.

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Spots along the drive were windy, and tendrils of dry powdery snow blew across the highway in mesmerizing patterns.

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A stand of birches just outside Fairbanks.

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Black spruce are a slow-growing evergreen trees that frequently pop up in Alaskan swamps and muskegs. Their shallow root system makes them susceptible to bending from the wind, and melting permafrost. Often a stand of black spruce will have an unkempt appearance. The wayward trees are sometimes known as “drunken spruce.”

 

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Sober spruce.

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The late afternoon sun played hide and seek behind the mountains.

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It doesn’t matter which way you look. Beauty is everywhere.

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Broad Pass is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

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The sun sets behind Mt. Susitna, also known as The Sleeping Lady in this view from Wasilla.

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Here, and everywhere, there be moose.

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Alpenglow on the mountains outside Wasilla.

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Downtown Wasilla and the iconic Mug-Shot Saloon.

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Twilight on the Glenn Highway.

 

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3 Responses to “Road Trip! ANC to FBX (PHOTOS)”
  1. Alaska Pi says:

    Beautiful, beautiful!
    We are more than a bit smug here in the Tongass about our huge lovely spruce and laugh about the northern drunken spruce but oh, how very jealous making those birches are. Even in winter they are gorgeous.
    Thank you AKM!

  2. Zyxomma says:

    Gorgeous photos-from-the-vehicle, Jeanne. I’m sure you’ll let us know more about your trip to Fairbanks. Happy International Day of the Woman.

    • Jeanne Devon says:

      Thanks, Zyx! I’m actually a little late in posting this, but see recent stories from Fairbanks including the Tea Party Day of Resistance, Interview with Joe Miller, and a certain upheaval re: Ms. Magazine. 🙂

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