Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Portage RV Park, Girdwood, and Whittier, AK

Exit Glacier
Monday, July 6, 2015, Portage RV Park, Girdwood, and Whittier, AK - 98.5 Miles Today, 4869.9 Miles for the Trip

A short drive to the Exit Glacier stop in Kenali Fjords National Park. We did a short (.9 mile) hike to the foot of the glacier. They have signs along the way noting where the glacier was during various years. For the 1800's, the signs are on the road, not the trail.

After the glacier, we drove to Girdwood & the Portage RV Park. Water & electric sites for $45.00 (they are the only RV park in tha area that has hookups). They don't even have bathrooms; just portapotties, although they do have free showers. WiFi is advertised, I was able to connect, but no luck so far posting photos or todays update. I did get my email...

After setting up, we headed for our goal for the day, a visit to Whittier. For a long time the only way to Whittier was either by boat. It is on Prince William Sound. During WWII they built the 2 1/2 mile Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel so it could be accessed from the mainland by train. All this was done so it could become a "secret" port during the war.

In 2000, they adapted the tunnel so that motor vehicles could drive through. Since it is only one railroad car wide, traffic is one way, and scheduled during the day to accommodate traffic each way as well as trains. This is the longest combined train/passenger vehicle tunnel in North America.

Two large buildings were constructed, the 14 story Begich Towers, which is now a condominium that houses most of the population as well as the post office, city hall, medical center etc. The Buckner Building, now abandoned, was the largest building in Alaska when it was constructed in the 1950's.

We wandered around Whittier, including a drive to the runoff stream from the ice field above the town. We were lucky on the way out of town - no line for the tunnel. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We are still thinking about dinner. It is almost too windy to cook outside, so it may be a meal of leftovers or soup.

Until tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. A tunnel in WW2? How did they think they could keep it secret?