Gorgeous ride from Matanuska Glacier through Palmer to Anchorage. Spectacular views of the river valley and mountains behind. For a while the road became quite narrow and winding, then widened into an interstate quality road near Anchorage. We made a stop in Palmer for lunch near the visitors’ center that had a demonstration garden with beautiful perennials and the beginnings of cabbages and other vegetables that later in the summer will be the world-famous humongous vegetables they grow in this region with 18 hours of sun a day.
In Anchorage we stopped in the Saturday market that is full of Alaskan crafts, tee shirts, prepared food, and some farm produce. Anchorage could be anywhere USA – McDonalds, Target, Walmart, Sears, …
Then we headed out to the southern suburbs to meet Paul, a young man we met on the Sportsmobile forum who is interested in purchasing one. He is a fascinating fellow who is currently a fire fighter and EMT but has fished in the Bering Sea and off the coast of Australia, dived for sea sponges, taught skiing to the disabled, and sold insurance – among other professions. In his personal life he has traveled a great deal on the “outside” (out of Alaska), rebuilt a modest shack into an elegant three story home, and was married 3 times in the same day to his current and only wife – the last wedding took place in the royal palace in Bali. Even he admits when you hear all of his stories, they are over the top, but he has pictures to back them up. Asked how he came to live in Alaska, he told us he had visited here as a child in the family Winnebago and had always wanted to return. When he graduated from high school and “was messing around the way some high school boys will,” his father gave him $500 and bought him a one way plane ticket to Alaska. Currently he and his wife are preparing for retirement – preparing to sell their Alaskan home, purchase a condo here (summers) and one in Arizona (winters), and buy a van conversion for playing in the deserts and mountains in the lower-48.
We spent the night in Paul’s driveway.