Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Last Frontier

Alaska has been on our ‘to visit’ list for ages, and this year we finally made it!   We flew into Anchorage and started our adventure.   Our first day was cloudy, showery and windy, we felt right at home!
As we drove along the Seward Highway, the sky was moody, mysterious and extremely windy.   I almost got blown away when I hopped out of the car and took this photograph of the Turnagain Arm.
The Turnagain Arm is part of the Cook Inlet and got its name after Captain Cook had to ‘turnagain’ after failing to find his way through to Prince William Sound.
Our first stop was the tiny town of Hope.   Originally a tent city called Whiskey, gold was discovered here in 1888, way before Dawson and Nome and before Anchorage even existed.   Gold was plentiful and at one time there was a population of 3,000.   The gold rush soon faded and the town dwindled to only 23 people.
This cabin is on Main street, but I’ve no idea how old it is.

The school house was used from 1938 until 1986.

As for how it came to be called Hope, well as I understand it a new name couldn’t be decided upon, so, it was decided to name the town after the next person who got off the boat, his name was Hope.   Today Hope has a population of about 200.
The Good Friday earthquake of 1964 lowered the Turnagain Arm by about 6ft and that spring quite a lot of Hope flooded.   Main Street ends at what are now tidal flats.
This road leads down to the tidal flats.

While it looks like open ground leading to the water, it’s all privately owned and is a haven for migrating birds.

The Seaview Café was once the General Store and the bar next to it was the home of the Manager for the Alaska Commercial Company.   The building was one of several moved to higher ground after the earthquake.

It’s about 16 miles from the Seward Highway along the Hope Highway, Sixmile Creek follows the road,

before joining the Turnagain Arm, needless to say there are some fabulous views.
One showery evening we were in the right place at the right time and saw this beautiful double rainbow.

When it isn’t raining it looks like this.

Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous!
Have fun, we are!

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