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Kennicott

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  • Jun21

    Our Story about Alaska Part II

    June 21 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    In diesem Blogeintrag geht es heute weiter mit der weißen Welt von unten - u.a. auf unsere Schiffstour, vorbei an 26 Gletschern! Los geht's in Witthier.
    Die Schiffahrt ist mit 6 Stunden angesetzt. Wir haben Glück mit dem Wetter, weil es nicht regnet und die Sonne ab und zu mal "Hallo" sagt. Es ist trotzdem a**** kalt, aber wir sind tapfer und setzen uns nicht rein. Immerhin gibt es hier eine mini Chance Waale zu sehen. Es bleibt aber nur bei der Chance 😂... eine Flosse haben wir gesehen, dafür aber schwarz-weiße Delphine. Wir sind also an 26 Gletschern vorbei (teilweise auch nur in der Ferne zu sehen) und an 3 Tidegletschern haben wir gehalten. Die Eiswände sind wirklich gigantisch hoch. Wahnsinn, sowas mal zu sehen. Auf den Bildern erkennt man gar nicht wie impulsiv die Eisblöcke sind. Trotzdem hoffe ich, dass man auf den Bildern erahnen kann, weche Kulisse uns begleitet hat.

    Jetzt fehlt nur noch eine Wanderung auf einen Gletscher. Nach ein bisschen googeln und Tipps von Einheimischen, entscheiden wir uns für den Ort "Kennikott Mine". Es liegt ein bisschen Fahrt vor uns - aber das kennen wir ja schon. Außerdem sind die Fahrten auch immer wieder eine Mischung aus Highlights, Adrenalin (wenn der Tank alle ist), Wildlife und eine wirklich schöne Umgebung. Was wir bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt noch noch wussten, dass der Weg nach Kennekoth aus einer 120 Kilometern absolut katastrophalen Straße besteht. Sogar ein Schild warnt, dass man bitte ein survival Kit dabei haben soll und besser nicht hier lang fährt 😂.
    Ab diesem Zeitpunkt habe ich auch verstanden, warum Google Maps für 120 Kilometer 3,5 Stunden berechnet. Ein Abenteuer nach dem anderen ... 😉
    ABER: Kein Bus hat gehalten (mehr oder weniger). Die Reifen vorne sind zwar jetzt Slicks, aber es hat sich gelohnt 🤣.
    In Kennikott machen wir eine geführte 6-7 Stunden Hike Tour auf einen Gletscher, mit Spikes, blauen Seen, Gletscherspalten, dem längsten Eisfall der Welt (glauben wir), einer wirklich netten und lustigen Truppe und mit einem Highlight, womit keiner gerechnet hätte. Mitten im Eisfeld sehen wir aufeinmal etwas großes schwarzes. Verrückt! Ein Bär auf dem Gletscher. Die ganze Fahrt hoffen wir, dass wir einen Bär sehen - und, wenn man nicht damit rechnet, läuft der einfach an einem vorbei. Mega! Eine aus der Gruppe hat vor Freude so laut geschriehen, dass der Bär natürlich recht zügig wieder weg war.
    Tolle kleine Minenstadt, irgendwie besonders. Das einzige was hier wirklich eine plage ist, sind die Mosquitos. Selbst mit Mückenspray kann man sich draußen nur schwer aufhalten. Sobald man stehenbleibt, sind sofort hunderte von den Dingern in deinem Gesicht. Ich glaube, unser Rekord die Mücken in kein Bus zu killen, liegt bei 27 Stück an einem Abend 🦟. Wir sind trotzdem froh, dass wir diese Entscheidung so getroffen haben. Ganz so froh sind wir zwar nicht, wenn wir an den Rückweg denken - aber wird schon 😅.

    Unser Weg führt uns jetzt nach Haines! Ursprünglich sollte es hier mit dem Blog weitergehen, aber aufgrund der doch vielen Bilder, folgt bald ein zusätzlicher Eintrag. Ich darf ja immer nur 20 Bilder hochladen ... Also freut euch auf Alaka Part III 😉
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    Wolfgang Scherer

    👍👍🤩🤩😘😘👍👍 die II

    7/2/22Reply

    👍👍👍☺️ [Susanne Schefzig]

    7/3/22Reply
    Patrick Hübner

    traumhaft

    7/4/22Reply
     
  • Day330

    Alaska, wir kommen!

    September 4, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Der kleine Grenzübergang von Kanada nach Alaska (USA), auf dem Top of the World Highway, ist erstaunlich schnell passiert. Ohne lange Warteschlangen werden wir zügig von der gemütlich anmutenden älteren Dame kurz befragt und durchgewunken. Das Verstecken der frischen Lebensmittel war unnötig, denn wir wurden nicht durchsucht. Zuerst steuern wir den Kennicott Gletscher im Sűdwesten von Alaska an. Der 35 km lange Gletscher liegt im Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Auf dem Weg dorthin sehen wir noch einem kleinen Schwarzbären und eine Art Dachs. Am Fuße des Gletschers angekommen, stellen wir die Autos ab und wandern weiter. Wir kommen an einer alten Kupfermiene vorbei, die heute ein Museum ist. Die Gebäude sehen aus, wie aus einem wilden Western. Teilweise sind sie auch schon etwas heruntergekommen. Gute 2,5 Stunden wandern wir bis zur Gletscherzunge. Danach gehen wir auf das Eis. Unsere Wanderschuhe haben guten Grip. Wir laufen ein wenig umher und machen Fotos. Für 2/3 des Rückweges benutzen wir einen Shuttlebus, weil wir heute noch weiter nach Valdez fahren wollen.Read more

    Maria Klaus

    Mensch, vermutlich Wegweiser in alle Welt. Phantasisch!!

    9/21/19Reply
    Reisefreude

    Ja genau. Das waren sehr viele Wegweiser

    9/22/19Reply
     
  • Day55

    Foggy Morning Hike

    June 26, 2021 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 48 °F

    It rained all night ... on and off. The pitter-patter on the roof, however, was drowned out by the Kennicott River rushing downriver past our campsite, gurgling and crashing over rocks and boulders.

    Despite the continued drizzle and the fog, we went for an after-breakfast hike by the glacial lake on the far side of Base Camp. Trekking through the brush, we found a goat-path-like trail that was probably formed by the thousands of people who have probably done the same trek over the years. We followed the path along the ridge of lateral moraine piled high at the edge of the lake to see how far we could go. Not far, as it turns out as our way was blocked by a second lake.

    Though the beautiful white face of the Root Glacier was hidden by the fog, our efforts were rewarded by views of the toe. Those unfamiliar with glaciers probably dismiss dirty glaciers out of hand as a pile of dirt and rock. Not so. Under the surface moraine, there is usually a river of ice peeking through. That was the case today.
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  • Day55

    DIY Exploring the Mill Town

    June 26, 2021 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 54 °F

    During it’s heyday, the Kennecott Mill Town had a population of 494 people (1920 census). All those people needed services ... places to live ... places to play (although this latter was accomplished in McCarthy, which was about 4.5 miles down the road).

    Back then, aside from the mill works, there was a train depot, a post office and a general store, a school, a dairy barn, bunkhouses and outhouses, a sawmill and a machine shop, a power plant, cottages, and the Silk Stocking Row ... which, as the name implies, was where the few who could afford silk stockings lived ... the higher echelon, if you will.

    Some of the structures from when Kennecott was a bustling mining town remain and have been restored by the National Park Service. Others, such as the saw mill, are a pile of rubble. Yet others, such as the hospital, are in dire need of restoration ... which may or may not happen before they succumb to the harsh elements of nature.

    Many of the restored buildings are open for visitors to peek into. Several of them contain exhibits about life in Kennecott back in the day. There is a DIY movie theater in what used to be the post office ... with a touch-screen TV from which visitors can choose to watch a number of videos. We opted to watch the movie about the Kennecott Mill.

    (The images shared are from our visits to Kennecott over a period of three days.)
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    Nickie Wilkinson

    A lot of history right there.

    7/3/21Reply
     
  • Day55

    Lunch @ Meatza Wagon

    June 26, 2021 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 50 °F

    Following our hike, we walked back to the footbridge, crossed over the Kennicott River, and took the free shuttle into McCarthy. At the mercantile, we switched over to the McC/Kennecott shuttle for the 4½-mile drive on the road that was originally the railroad bed that connected the mill town with Cordova, the port town from which the copper ore was shipped to smelters in Tacoma.

    As we still had time before our tour, we decided to have lunch first.

    There are essentially two places where one can get a bite of food in Kennecott — the Kennecott Glacier Lodge and a food truck called the Meatza Wagon. We opted for the latter.

    It was still raining steadily, but the Meatza Wagon has a small covered area with a couple of picnic tables. The food was very tasty — again, expensive considering all we ate were a couple of sandwiches ... but you are out in the boonies of Alaska after all.

    I ordered the signature dish on their menu — the meatball sub. Mui got the Copper River salmon BLT. Both were excellent ... both served with kettle chips. We took our time over lunch, chatting with an Australian family ... traveling around Alaska as part of a longer trip to explore the USA ... possible only because they are currently living in Malaysia since Australia has completely shut its borders during the pandemic.
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  • Day55

    Kennicott OR Kennecott?

    June 26, 2021 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 48 °F

    Eagle eyes may have noticed in recent posts that I sometimes write Kennicott ... and I sometimes write Kennecott. Both are accurate, but the latter is due to a typo that was made some 120 years ago.

    What is the easiest way to know which spelling to use?

    Use the “i” word for natural features such as the glacier, river, and valley. They were named after an early Alaska explorer by the name of Robert Kennicott.

    Use the “e” word for the mining company that started it all, the mines, and the mill town. In other words, use it for the man-made features in the area. That said, the locals have started using the “i” word to refer to their community. I’m going to use the “e” word as that is still the officially recorded name.
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  • Day54

    Kennecott: A Quick Looksee

    June 25, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 59 °F

    Our main reason for going to Kennecott today was logistics. Though, deep down, I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the mill building that I’ve been wanting to see since I saw a photo of it back in 2001.

    At the time I made our reservations for the Mill Town Tour, we were planning on just two nights at the Base Camp. Then our plans got jiggled. Now that we had an extra night — thus, an extra day — we wanted to see about shifting the tour from the 27th to the 26th. To do that, we had to go to the St Elias Alpine Guides’ office.

    Long story short, the outfitter — which partners with the National Park Service to operate the tours — was able to get us in a group tomorrow afternoon.

    Since we had about 30 minutes before the last shuttle back to McCarthy at 7:00p, we went for a short wander around the old Mill Town and I got my wish. I took advantage of the blue skies and sunshine for a few quick snapshots of the 14-story mill building. After all, you never know what the weather will be like tomorrow.

    I’ll write about both the town and the copper mine operations in another post.
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    mohotravels

    wonderful angles and shadows.

    7/3/21Reply
    Two to Travel

    I was happy with the colors in this direction more so than the other direction. Glad I took the photo ... almost didn’t because of the truck parked on the road and the shed.

    7/3/21Reply
     
  • Day55

    Kennecott Mill Town Tour

    June 26, 2021 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 54 °F

    The mill town and mines are an amazing relic from the 1900s. That the 14-story concentration mill, built on a steep, slippery hill, is even standing today is a testament to man’s ingenuity as it had to be stabilized by pulling it back with straps during the time it was in operation.

    Kennecott was founded after copper ore was found in the mountains against which the town sits. The prospectors who found the ore vein just wanted to make a buck — a million or so in this case — so they sold their stake to three families, including the Guggenheims and JP Morgans. They, together with Stephen Birch, a mining engineer, formed the Alaska Syndicate, which later became the Kennecott Copper Corp.

    The owners of the copper mine pulled up stakes in 1938 ... after the ore was played out. Then, a local man apparently started operating tours of the town and mill. This did not sit well with the owners of the mine, so they ordered the entire operation to be razed to the ground. Luckily, the contractor did little more than take away some of the machinery and defaulted on the rest of his contract.

    Kennecott is one of the private properties surrounded by the 13,000,000-acre Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve. The National Park Service began buying up and restoring some of the buildings, including the concentration mill that is the jewel of the operation.

    Visitors can tour the mill town on their own. Many of the restored buildings are open to the public and have interesting exhibits. But, if one wants to enter the 14-story concentration mill, one must take a guided tour operated by St Elias Alpine Guides, the NPS concessionaire. So, that’s what we did today.

    Our two-hour tour included a walk through town and a hike up a hillside trail up to the top of the concentration mill. In places inside the building, there were no walls left ... leaving one with the odd sensation of looking out into thin air. The floors were rickety ... some at odd angles. There were steep ladders to negotiate as we made our way down 14 floors ... two of them were best navigated by going down backwards. No wonder one must be guided through the mill.

    There were about 30 people signed up for today’s 1:30p tour. We were broken into groups of 7-8 however ... down from the usual 15 due to pandemic precautions. Our guide Katie did a great job of not only explaining the mill operations, but also bringing alive the characters involved in the story of Kennecott.

    Here’s the gist of how it all worked.

    * The ore — an average of 1,200 tons per day — was mined out of five mines connected by tunnels, including the Bonanza and Jumbo mines, and brought down to the concentration mill by an aerial tramway system.

    * Since shipping of the ore was expensive, the material first went through a gravity concentration process to remove impurities such as limestone. This included a series of crushers and sorters that got finer the further down the process the ore traveled.

    * After the waste was removed, the concentrated ore was packed into burlap bags and stacked on open train cars, layered with salt to keep it from freezing. The trains then traveled across the valleys and mountains to Cordova where the bags of ore were put on ships bound for smelters in Tacoma.

    * For lower quality ore, ammonia leaching and flotation methods were used, thus getting the most out of everything that was mined.

    The mining operation — including the building of the mine and the railroad — cost over $100 million dollars. Was the operation profitable? Yes ... thanks to the by-product of silver that was separated out of the ore. According to Katie, about $100 million in copper was produced out of Kennecott ... and an equal amount of silver.
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  • Day56

    Day 56 Ends With a Hike to Root Glacier

    June 27, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 57 °F

    After our flightseeing excursion, the Wrangell Mountain Air transport for clients dropped us off in Kennecott.

    The plan was to go hiking, but first we stopped to get a bite to eat. Initially, we were considering having lunch at the Kennecott Glacier Lodge, but a picnic table with a view encouraged us to grab some sandwiches from the Meatza Wagon and dine al fresco instead.

    The Root Glacier Trail, which starts from the far end of the road that runs through the mill town, is only two miles long ... each way. Easily doable. I think we knew we were making a mistake doing the hike, however ... almost from the get-go.

    For one thing, it was hot. The temperature gauge showed only 74F, but the brilliant sun was blazing hot. There was very little shade along the way ... no cooling breezes were getting through the brush on either side. And, as it turns out, when we stopped to leave our backpack in an empty food locker, we realized we were short on water.

    Nonetheless, we persevered, but we didn’t go all the way to the toe of Root Glacier as planned. Satisfied with seeing it from a distance, we walked just a short distance down the access spur, which is at mile 1.5 on the trail. At least we got some exercise along the way.

    When we got back into McCarthy, our first stop was at the Meatza Wagon for some ice cold drinks. Then we walked to the shuttle pick-up location near the NPS station. Just as we were about to board the 5:00p shuttle, the driver came up to say that he’d broken the key. Oh oh!

    Long story short, another van was called ... but that was 20 minutes away. No matter. We found a bench to sit on. Happy that what was flying in the air was just pollen and not mosquitoes (for a change), we made use of the public wi-fi while we waited.

    By the time we got back to the Cruiser, it was 6:30p. Too drained to do much more than crash, we sat out by the campfire for a while, enjoying a glass of wine and some snacks to wrap up our visit to the McCarthy/Kennecott area.

    Tomorrow we head back on the McCarthy Road. Where we will overnight before our next destination is TBD
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    mohotravels

    umm...nope. but maybe when I look on something bigger than the phone. or maybe your caption is covering them up.

    7/3/21Reply
    Two to Travel

    Not on my screen ... there are also people on the glacier. They look like ants!

    7/3/21Reply
    mohotravels

    I'll keep trying

    7/3/21Reply
    4 more comments
     

You might also know this place by the following names:

Kennicott

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