Sunday, February 20, 2011

USA - Alaska - Turnagain Arm

Beautiful sunset over Turnagain Arm with field of Lupine.

Sent by Mollie, a Swap-Bot partner from Alaska, USA.

"The 45-minute drive from Anchorage to Girdwood along the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet is one of the world's great drives, ranking right up there with Italy's Amalfi Drive and the highway along the Rhine south of Coblenz. The Seward Highway linking Anchorage and Seward is a National Forest Scenic Byway and one of 15 roads in the United States that has been designated as an "All-American Road."

From beginning to end there are dramatic views of mountain scenery and the inlet. There's a good chance of viewing dall sheep, such as the one in the photo above, and a somewhat lesser chance of seeing some of Cook Inlet's 350 beluga whales and an eagle or two. There's the possibility, too, of seeing the tide come in. Turnagain Arm's bore tide is the second highest in North America, second only to the tide in Canada's Bay of Fundy.

The highway leaves Anchorage at Potter Marsh (shown in the fall in photo at right), which attracts migrating birds and waterfowl in the spring, summer and fall, and ice skaters in the winter. A long boardwalk at the north end of the marsh allows birdwatchers to get closer to birdwatchees.

Visitors are most likely to observe dall sheep during the first part of their trip from Anchorage, as the road follows the base of rock outcroppings. Occasionally dall sheep come down to the highway but more often they're visible partway up a rocky mountain slope. Watch for cars that have pulled to the shoulder. That usually means someone has spotted some sheep."(Read more)

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