Shane and I have a bad problem of not planning anything, especially our little trips we take. We are never prepared. We just get in the car and we go. That usually leaves us without proper clothing, shoes, water, girls more clothes in case they get wet or dirty which they always do, etc. This time was to be different. We had our little backpack packed with snacks, water, girls extra clothes, our hiking boots, sweatshirts, etc. We were prepared, so we thought. Our trip to Matanuska Glacier should have taken about 1 1/2 hours to get there. Needless to say, it took us about 7 hours. You may be wondering WHAT?? Yeah, that's what I said when we stopped at mile marker 102 and saw no mountain and no glacier. What happened? What did we do? So we drove a little farther and finally found a store. Surprise Surprise! We had taken the wrong way when the interstate split. We were 2 hours away from where we should be. So, we laugh it off, get back in the car and drive the other way. The girls in the back, "Mommy, are we there yet?" "Mom, please let's get out of the car!!", "Mama, WHEN ARE WE GONNA BE THERE?" Then, I say, "GIRLS!!! PLEASE BE QUIET!!!" Anyways, Shane thought he was gonna be smart and take what looked like a little short cut on the map through Hatchers Pass. I told him, "Shane, this says it's a dirt road." We turned on the road which was paved for ohhhh....a mile or so maybe. And guess what....it turns DIRT!! And you wanna know how long it lasted? 50 MILES!!!! Yep, 50 miles on a dirt road through mountains, up mountains, and down mountains. I have never in my life seen anything like it. I can not describe it and the pictures do no justice to the beauty of this place and how actually in the mountains we were. This little dirt road was a little scary at times, especially considering we were not in a 4 wheel drive car. Finally, after 50 miles a paved road and a tiny restaurant were in sight. HOW EXCITING!!! We were starving. We go in, get a menu, and look at one another. A grilled cheese sandwich was $9, a PB&J was 6. So, we order a plate of nachos which was $14. After this, our journey continues, determined to find Matanuska Glacier. We finally got on the right road, which lead us into a construction site. We had to sit 20 mins. waiting on a pilot car to lead us. After another 2 hours after leaving the restaurant we finally made it to our destination...at midnight. We go in, and the guy suggest we come back in the day time, but Shane insisted we go out on the glacier. So, here our crazy family goes out on the glacier at midnight. But not before we get in the car to drive down to it to find I had left the lights on and the battery had died. We sucked it up and laughed. We finally got to the glacier, walked on it for a little while and left. It was way to slick and we didn't have ice spikes on our shoes. Shane was going to camp out in the car and tried to "flint nap" to start a fire using some rocks we had picked up from the glacier. Needless to say it didn't work. Around 2 am we begin our journey home. We again, get stopped by the construction site to wait on the pilot car. Then Shane ran over a fox and a huge moose ran out in front of me. Shane pulled over on the side of the road in a tiny little hole in the woods and was gonna sleep there for the night. I was a little spooked and told him I would drive home. In Alaska, people do this. Pull there campers, tents, or cars on the side of the road next to a river and sleep. We finally made it home around 4 am Sunday morning. Shane and I were talking about everything that went wrong and my little Kaley made the trip by saying, "Mommy, I'm gonna tell my Na Na that we went on a FAM-A-LY trip" For those of you that know my girls, know they have a very strong southern accent and the way she said it was priceless. What a wonderful end to a crazy but amazing day!
A family picture on the glacier at 1 am
Our $14 Nachos
So excited we finally made it
The amazing drive through Hatchers Pass
Can you see the dirt road down in the valley that we traveled on for 50 miles?