Richardson Highway – Salcha, Harding Lake, Chena Lake, Chena River and North Pole

Kate and I went for a drive again, this time driving southeast on the Alaska Highway.  This is the same route we took into Alaska, but it was fairly overcast on the day we arrived so we didn’t see much.  On a clear day, like today the scenery is quite different;  The views of Mt. Hayes and the Alaska Range are phenomenal.  We stopped a few times along the Tanana River to take a few photos.  It was very windy, very cold.  There are already large chunks of ice floating downstream.

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Alaska Range shadowing over the freezing Tanana River.

We turned around at one of the scenic views and made a second stop on the way back at Harding Lake. This will be a great place to visit in the summer. The campsites looked really nice and the lake is beautiful. There were some fires smoldering just before reaching the lake. It looked like a controlled burn (or at least a well managed one).

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Harding Lake, just south of Salcha, AK and north of Delta Junction. Great views of the Alaska Range and surrounding hills. Supposedly there is good fishing here too.

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Leftover burn at Harding Lake. It looked like about 5 acres was left smoldering.

We went on to check out the knotty shop in Salcha. It’s kind of a giant Alaska gift shop. There’s a lot of touristy stuff, but also a lot of pretty nice Alaska made crafts. Watch out for the pure Alaskan gold vial (made in China). Then, while on our way back to Fairbanks we stopped along the Chena River. This shot was taken from a berm built by the Army Corp of Engineers as part of the Chena River Lakes Flood Control Project after a devastating flood hit Fairbanks in 1967. We spent some time exploring Chena Lake and the Chena River too.

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A really good reason to live in Alaska. The Alaska Range never gets tiring to look at. Here’s a new vantage point from on top of the Chena River Flood Control dam. There’s a nice park here, with lots of bike trails.

Most of the pictures are already on flickr, and I’ll be putting many of them in my Alaska page.

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