Glenn Hwy, Alaska – That’s Alaska: red slopes, white sheep, high mountains

Back to Anchorage, we are taking Glenn highway east. Again and again there are wonderful views to Chugach Mountains. Matanuska Glacier winds for kilometres through a valley, but its retreat is visible here as well. It is only accessible through private land and 20 $ entrance fee per person – way to much for people who have seen other glaciers before. However, the view to some orange-red coloured slopes is completely free of charge. Gypsum from volcanic origin mixed with copper oxide attracts Dall sheep due to its abundance of minerals. The sheep lick on the stones. They are related to the Rocky Mountain sheep, but they do not like warmth. They always follow the snowline. There is no snow at all, but we can find them with our binoculars lying on an exposed slope high up in the mountains. They pepper the slope like white spots a fly agaric.

The road ascends very slowly to the 1013 m high Eureka Pass and descends as gentle on the other side. A little black bear is getting a freight from our big tyres and is jumping off the road. On Glenn highway east you directly face Wrangell – St. Elias Mountains. Several times we can catch dramatic views to the 5000 m high snow-covered mountains lightened up with sunlight. In Glenallen we are heading south into another blind alley. Richardson Highway escorts Trans-Alaska-Pipeline to Valdez at Prince William Sound.  Temperature dropped from 25°C only two degrees, but the initially warm wind gets ice cold soon, and we are expecting a weather change.

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