Rob and Syd's Western Canada and Alaska trip 2012 travel blog

Sydney's whispy clouds outside Palmer

Trees where moose have eaten the bark away

Matanuska glacier

A close-up showing the blue ice of the glacier

Day 47, Sunday, June 10, 2012

Palmer was colonized in 1935 as an experiment where social workers chose 203 families from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and sent them up here to begin an agricultural colony to get them off welfare resulting from the Dust Bowl and the Depression. Palmer is Alaska’s only community that developed from agriculture. Because of the long days and unusual microclimate here, they can grow some extremely large veggies. The record for a radish is 9.5 pounds and a cabbage was 105 pounds. We have seen a major difference in the landscape is just 2 weeks. The grass is long, dandelions are everywhere and some of them are over a foot tall. Wildflowers are blooming along the roads. Fiddlehead ferns are over 3 feet tall where there was nothing 2 weeks ago. Everything is green. It’s amazing.

We drove through the farming areas of Palmer with green fields, mountains, and rivers. It’s just indescribable how beautiful this place is. We drove east today along the Glenn Highway to the Matanuska Glacier about 50 miles from here and the beginning of the Matanuska River that flows near our campsite. This glacier is 27 miles long and once reached all the way to Palmer. We took a mile long loop hike to a view point of the glacier. There is no road access to this one either except through a tour company. It was still cloudy today. We haven’t seen much of the sun for awhile now. Temps are staying around 60 degrees, plus or minus a few.

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