July 24, 2015 – Matanuska Glacier, Alaska – Last night I drove out of Anchorage through Palmer and up the Glenn Highway a bit. I parked the trailer in a big pullout and got a good night’s sleep. I’m on my way south now, and I’ve planned this part quite as well. Traveling along the Matanuska river, several viewpoints made the bright morning a pleasurable drive. Further along the road I stumbled upon a viewpoint for “the longest glacier accessible by car”, the Matanuska Glacier.
This view of the glacier and surrounding area shows things from a perspective where you can appreciate the 27 mile long river of ice. From the road you are only seeing the toe of the glacier on the other side of the river extending a couple of miles to the left and a couple more miles to the right. You can see where rock and gravel completely cover the ice near its end. Water flows out from underneath and feeds the river. From this vantage point you can just barely get the sense of the winding path above. Many options to see the glacier from local tour companies are offered on signs along the road. I see at least one small plane heading up the valley. Trees sometimes take root in the soil at the edge of the Glacier and live their whole lives surfing down the river of ice.