Airstreaming to Alaska – Chapter 14: Glacier View to Anchorage

Posted March 12, 2023 – Narrated by Carmen
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Airstreaming to Alaska
“If the path be beautiful,
     let us not ask where it leads.”

It was time to come clean.

Pulling out of Valdez, heading toward Anchorage (in the rain, as always) my sore tooth throbbed to the rhythm of the windshield wipers.

“I have a toothache.”

The rig swerved slightly on the wet road as Jim turned to look at me.

“How bad?” he asked.

“Pretty bad. Root canal bad, feels like.”

“Since when?”

“I almost told you in Dawson City so we could turn around and go back to Whitehorse, but then I remembered the fires closed the road.”

“So, you’re in pain all this time?”

“Well, you know …” I said, calling on past experiences with other ailments which I ignored until almost too late.

Jim sighed deeply, sincerely. He was concerned.

My pain tolerance is extraordinary. I don’t acknowledge pain until it reaches a 9 and even then, ignore it. Due to a non life-threatening allergy to certain preservatives, I manage stitches and most dental work without anesthesia.

“I know. I’m a mess,” I apologized.

Poor Jim. Stuck in Alaska with a canary in a coal mine with a toothache.

I tried breaking the tension with humor.

“Can you even get a root canal in Alaska? Maybe they’ll just get me drunk tie me down and pry it out with an ice ax.” But Jim wasn’t biting. His brain was in disaster mode – silently strategizing solutions.

Clearing the air felt good. Knowing that Jim was fully informed actually cured me – just like Pico instantly recovers when we drive him into the vet parking lot.

I continued with the mixed signals.

“It’s absolutely not an emergency. Wow. This scenery is spectacular. Just thought I’d give you the ol’ head’s up, you know. Oh, look. A glacier. I’m fine, really. Quick! Take the turnout.”

We continued toward Glacier View.

We had planned to hike the countryside here, but rain and fog was predicted to last out the week. Even so, every tiny patch of clear sky held hope.

We take moose crash areas seriously.

Slowing down often pays off with sightings.

Glacier View

We continued to take it slow because this is one of the most beautiful scenic drives in Alaska.

The sky began to clear as we pulled into our reserved spot at Grand View Cafe and RV Park

where a trailhead led us into a meadow …

through the woods …

and over a hill …

where we spied a peek-a-boo view of Mataneuska Glacier in the distance.

For Pico, the fragrant forest was the real floor show.

That night Jim steamed the remainder of our salmon and spinach on a mountain of lentils – delicious, nutritious and easy on my sore tooth.

With the stars hiding behind the clouds, we went to bed early and slumbered like fed bears.

The next morning, under a clear sky, we followed the Mataneuska River

for a closer look at the glacier.

Spotting a trailhead, we pulled over …

for a celebration hike with our new friend …

The Mataneuska Glacier, which moves one foot a day through the valley.

The raft tour looked exciting, but whitewater is not for us.

Moving on along the river …

We stopped frequently to behold the paradisiacal beauty.

We were so grateful to be here.


We stayed in the free overnight parking at the Alaska Raceway Park where Jim relived his teenage years rooting for his driver friends, Les and Wes.

We had hoped to view Muskox in the wild, but the roads being what they are, the risk wasn’t worth it. So, to get acquainted with these arctic wonders, we turned to the Muskox Farm in the fascinating city of Palmer.

We took the tour …

and just as we were leaving, Eider, the muskox cow, locked eyes on Jim.

She stood up and steadily moved toward him chortling sweet muskox nothings as she batted her eye lashes like Scarlett O’Hara.

It worked. Jim was charmed. But, alas, it could never be.

Maybe for his birthday I will order him a luxurious scarf or cap made of Eider’s qiviut so they can be together. Qiviut, we learned, is a traditional aspect of Inuit and Yupic culture and the yarn is the ideal Alaska gift for knitters.

That afternoon we visited another nearby rescue farm where, again, Jim was wildly popular with the animals.

Oh, good grief. It’s gotta be the beard.


Our Anchorage campsite at Ship Creek RV Park – nestled within an industrial area with no view other than train tracks – lacked charm and updated amenities …

But Ship Creek was downtown and downtown was precisely what we needed.

The Beast’s tires were due for rotation …

and we were hankering for culture.

Also, our Dolphin e-bikes needed a good spin on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

From here, it’s all a blur. If not for the photos I wouldn’t remember any of this. I had vanished into the pain.

Fortunately, Jim was looking out for me. He noticed the swelling in my face. While I slept he made a dentist appointment. I can’t recall many details, but evidently the words “dental surgery” stood out.

Within an hour I was at Dr. Anderson D.M.D.’s doorstep …

pulling up my big girl pants.

The procedure went well with no disturbing side-effects from the anesthesia. The thing was done. Reward was in order.

I admire independent solo RVers who manage their own affairs.

But Jim and I – though we as different as night and day – are a team.

There’s an old story about a garden …

and a man …

and a woman …

It all goes well until it doesn’t.

But the old dystopian story hits a wall in Alaska …

where everything …

from what’s beneath your feet …

to what is beyond your grasp…

all of it …

is Paradise.

Chapters in the “Airstreaming to Alaska” series

  • Chapter 1 – San Diego to Malibu
    • Sun Outdoors San Diego Bay – Chula Vista, California
    • Malibu Beach RV Resort – Malibu, California
  • Chapter 2 – Malibu to Morro Bay
    • Morro Bay State Park – Morro Bay, California
  • Chapter 3 – Morro Bay to Santa Cruz
    • Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park – Santa Cruz, California
  • Chapter 4 – Santa Cruz to San Francisco
    • San Francisco RV Park – Pacifica, California
  • Chapter 5 – San Francisco to Eureka
    • Vinnie’s Northbay Airstream Repair – Wilton, California
    • High Water Brewery (Harvest Host location) – Lodi, California
    • Harmony Wynelands (Harvest Host location) – Lodi, California
    • Van Ruiten Family Vineyards (Harvest Host location) – Lodi, California
    • Four Fools Winery (Harvest Host location) – Rodeo, California
    • Lawson’s Landing – Dillon Beach, California
    • Mia Bea Wines (Harvest Host location) – Redwood Vally, California
    • Johnny’s at the  Beach – Eureka, California
  • Chapter 6 – The Oregon Coast
    • Harris Beach State Park – Brookings, Oregon
    • Bay Point Landing Resort – Coos Bay, Oregon
    • Blue Herron French Cheese (Harvest Host location) – Tillimook, Oregon
    • Seaside RV Resort – Seaside, Oregon
  • Chapter 7 – The Strait of Juan de Fuca
    • Washington Land Yacht Harbor Airstream Park – Olympia, Washington
    • Salt Creek Recreation Area – Port Angeles, Washington
  • Chapter 8 – Victoria, British Columbia
    • Weir’s Beach RV Resort – Victoria, British Columbia
  • Chapter 9 – Victoria to Mackenzie
    • Riverside RV Resort – Whistler, British Columbia
    • Big Bar Rest Area – Clinton, British Columbia
    • Walmart Parking Lot – Prince George, British Columbia
    • Alexander MacKenzie Landing – Mackenzie, British Columbia
  • Chapter 10 – The Alaska Highway
    • Northern Lights RV Park – Dawson Creek, British Columbia
    • Former Prophet River State Park – Peace River, British Columbia
    • Hay Lake – Fort Liard, Northwest Territories
    • Northern Rockies Lodge and RV Park – Muncho Lake, British Columbia
    • Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park – Liard River, British Columbia
  • Chapter 11 – Yukon
    • Watson Lake Visitors Center Parking Lot – Watson Lake, Yukon
    • Teslin Rest Area – Teslin, Yukon
    • Norsemen RV Park – Atlin, British Columbia
    • Hot Springs Campground – Whitehorse, Yukon
    • Real Canadian Superstore Parking Lot, Whitehorse, Yukon
    • Gold Rush Campground – Dawson City, Yukon
  • Chapter 12 – Top of the World Highway to Chicken, Alaska
    • Downtown Chicken Cafe and Saloon
  • Chapter 13 – Tok to Valdez
    • Tundra RV Park – Tok, Alaska
    • Gulkana River Rest Stop – Gulkana, Alaska
    • Bear Paw RV Park – Valdez, Alaska
  • Chapter 14 – Glacier View to Anchorage
    • Grand View Cafe and RV Park – Glacier View, Alaska
    • Alaska Raceway Park (Harvest Host location) – Palmer, Alaska
    • Ship Creek RV Park – Anchorage, Alaska
  • Chapter 15 – Kenai Peninsula
    • Heritage RV Park – Homer Spit, Alaska
    • Marathon RV Campground – Seward, Alaska
  • Chapter 16 – Whittier to Talkeetna
    • Williwaw Campground – Whittier, Alaska
    • Talkeenta Camper Park – Talkeetna, Alaska
  • Chapter 17 – Denali
    • Riley Creek Campground – Denali National Park, Alaska
  • Chapter 18 – North Pole to Chena Hot Springs
    • Riverview RV Park – North Pole, Alaska
    • Chena Hot Springs Campground – Fairbanks, Alaska
  • Chapter 19 – Tok to Haines
    • Fast Eddy’s Restaurant Parking Lot – Tok, Alaska
    • Gravel Turnout – Beaver Creek, Yukon
    • Gravel Turnout – Destruction Bay, Yukon
    • Haines Hitch-UP RV Park – Haines, Alaska
  • Chapter 20 – South to the Lower 48
    • Gravel Turnout – Haines Junction, Yukon
    • Teslin Rest Area – Teslin, Yukon
    • Jade City Parking Lot – Jade City, British Columbia
    • Mehan Lake Rest Area – Bell II, British Columbia
    • Fort Telkwa Riverfront RV Park – Telkwa, British Columbia
    • Walmart Parking Lot – Prince George, British Columbia
    • 100 Mile House Municipal Campground – 100 Mile House, British Columbia
    • Mt. Paul Golf Course (Harvest Host location) – Kamloops, British Columbia
    • Crowsnest Vineyards (Harvest Host location) – Cawston, British Columbia
  • Final Chapter – Lessons Learned
    • Philosophy
    • Preparation
    • Planning
    • Mileposts (the book)
    • Roads
    • Weather
    • Camping
    • Cash and Currency
    • Clothing
    • Food
    • Wildlife
    • Bugs
    • Fuel
    • Dump Stations and Potable Water
    • Pets
    • Internet Connectivity
    • Hiking
    • Cycling
    • Kayaking
    • Damage
    • Dangers
    • Canada Border Crossing
    • US Border Crossing
    • General Observations
    • Serendipity
    • Final Thoughts
    • Our Camp Sites

If you want to see our exact route, click here.

*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.

50 thoughts on “Airstreaming to Alaska – Chapter 14: Glacier View to Anchorage

  1. It was a stunning adventure last summer in our Classic 30 covering 5 months round trip and 17,000 miles.

    1. Hey Ralph! Great to have you with us. From San Diego we only covered about 11,000 miles from start to finish. Where did you start from and what was your itinerary?

      Alaska is a definitely an accomplishment. But, last year, RVers earned our Fire and Rain cred didn’t we?

      Wear it proudly.

      Safe & Happy Travels!


        1. Glad to hear it, Ralph! Thank you for sharing your experience of Alaska 2022!

          Safe & Happy Travels!


    1. Hey Vicki!

      Alaska is definitely The Big Out There. We will always cherish the memories. We are proud we did it, grateful that all three of us got through it and are back home.

      Go get’m!

      Safe & Happy Travels!


        1. Got it! If we were to do it again, we would fly to Anchorage, rent an RV, drive to Fairbanks and return the RV in Haines. Then take a short 2-day shoreline cruise. Fly out.

    1. Hey A!

      Thank you for being with us. It helps us to watch our steps. Knowing we have to be careful for everybody is a prevention strategy 😉

      Our time is your time.

      Safe & Happy Travels!


    1. Hey Amy!

      It truly was an adventure. More than we signed up for, actually. We are happy to back in the deep south with all of our familiar comforts … warm weather, crawfish, my Daddy …

      Alaska taught us what is truly important.

      Safe & Happy Travels!


    1. Hey Lizbeth!

      The pics do look better when the sun comes out 😆

      How wonderful to have you with us. It is confirmed. We have a sane person on board. If you ever hear us say that we want to drive to Alaska again, STOP US!

      Safe & Happy Travels!


  2. Can’t wait for chapter two in the dental saga — “It Came From the Deep”
    Beautiful pix. They remind me of our helicopter ride out of Juneau airport to the Mendenhall Glacier. Alaska is a unique land of beauty and wonderment.

    As always great vistas expertly photoed and coupled with charming and memorable prose. You are an artist C-Dog
    Love ya more than my luggage
    J and S

    1. Hey Funniest Man In San Diego!

      This one should have been titled Toothache in Paradise.

      I wish you were here in NOLA for St. Patrick’s Day. I can only imagine what you would wear to light up the night ✨☘️ ✨

      C-Dog. Thank you. I like it. Martin calls me Carmen-bob or C-Bob. You two need to meet up, work this thing out.

      It’s 80 degrees here in the deep south. We’ve broken 4 100 year-old heat records in 9 days. I would say that I love you more than my ice machine but that would be a lie. I will think of something.

      Hugs to you and Sam.

      Safe & Happy Travels!


  3. Thank you for sharing! Gorgeous pictures! (And glad you were able to get into the dentist).

    1. Hey Sherry!

      Thank you for reaching out, and thanks also for being with us!

      Onward! 🦷

      Safe & Happy Travels!


  4. I have zero pain tolerance and dental pain is the worst. You’re a trooper, but I’m glad you’ve got Jim there making sure you get the care you need. A good marriage really is all about balance – one partner doing all the crap the other partner refuses to do, and vice versa. LOL.

    I really can’t express how stunning these photos are. So many of them simply don’t look real. And I looooooove the animals! They have so much personality and you capture it so well. Even if they are hitting on your husband. 🙂

    1. Hey Laura!

      Exactly. It’s not “pink and blue” jobs. It’s about what jobs you like to do. I like to clean the exterior of the trailer. Jim likes to cook. We even each other out. Keep the other from being overburdened and we’ve been together long enough to move past the awkwardness. We get on with whatever it is without fanfare about who’s idea it is or who is to blame or who’s job it is. To quote Kevin from your Trafaria blog, “Book it.”

      That was a moment when a mostly-wild animal experienced love at first sight. It happened so fast I didn’t think of video. Maybe Jim looked like a person she’d met before? or maybe it was his beard which is the shape and color of a muskox skull? Even the guide said she’d never seen this behavior before. It was sweet.

      Great to hear from you and we can’t wait to find out about the new digs in Lisbon. BTW, I loved the photos of Thor on Costa de Caparica. What a happy boy!

      Safe & Happy Travels!


    1. Hello Marion!

      How wonderful to hear from you! Jim and I hope you and Hartmut are well and your travels are happy!


      Carmen and Jim

    1. Hey Linda!

      I had a root canal. It all went well. So sorry if I wasn’t clear about it. It’s not a great memory though, so maybe that’s why this was a difficult blog to write and maybe was a bit obtuse.

      Great to hear from you though 💕

      Safe & Happy Travels!


    1. Hey A!

      I’ve never been in labor but I trust you on the comparison.

      It was scary to go to a dentist and dental surgeon who are not familiar with my issues. Dental is one of the reasons we go back to San Diego every year. I wish my problem had been caught when I was at my regular dentist. Oh well …

      Glad to hear you got the help you need in Atlanta.

      Safe & Happy Travels!


  5. Another great episode from the master story teller. Glad you got your tooth taken care of. It made my teeth hurt just reading about it.

    1. Hey Pete!

      Jim said the same thing – the pain came through a bit too realistic. Sorry about that 😬

      Thanks for sharing the burden of it. I guess that’s what friends are for, right 😉



  6. Ah, I’ve been waiting for the next installment of your Alaska trip. Pictures are fabulous as usual! Isn’t it just the pits how dental issues can get in the way of the traveling life??

    1. Hey twonatravels! I guess we were overdue for something. In the last seven years our luck has been better than we expected. The important thing is to journal the experience we had, not the one we wish we’d had.

      Thanks so much for being with us!

      Safe & Happy Travels!


  7. Beautiful scenery and photos. I’m glad the weather cleared up for you three (at least for a while) and that Carmen, eventually had her tooth “fixed.” Being in pain and uncomfortable while traveling is no fun!

    I’m surprised non of the white water rafters had paddles; just the guides. Good to read you are a team. You have to in this lifestyle. 🙂

    1. Liesbet! Hola!

      Wonderful to hear from you. Jim gave me second-hand news about your latest blog but I still need to check it out for myself. Wow!

      As a girl I suffered with car-sickness and chronic earaches. Most family vacations were interrupted because I got sick. Unconsciously burying my symptoms is the side-effect.

      You are sooooo right. Partnership is essential for the mobile lifestyle. It’s not just about being attracted to one another and learning to live mobile together – when problems, disasters and tragedies arise you learn the true meaning of partnership.

      Wonderful to hear from you Liesbet!

      Safe & Happy Travels!


    1. Hey Tom! I agree. Two months is the least amount of time it takes to see Alaska – and that’s keeping a good, fast, steady pace.

      Thank you for sharing your experience of Alaska!

      Safe & Happy Travels!


  8. There is no place like Alaska! We have not been there since 2016 but we plan on returning next summer. As for the tooth, I feel your pain after spending several days in Mexico a few weeks ago and getting everything patched up!

    1. Hey Jim and Barb!

      Many of our SoCal friends have all of their dental work done in Mexico. RV parks along the border are full of medical tourism patients who cross the border for imaging, tests, surgeries and treatments. Medicine is certainly global now.

      Glad to hear you are taken care of and ready for summer in Alaska!

      Safe & Happy Travels!


  9. I was right there with you till I had my own “It’s The Tooth” story…2 root canals and a bridge… did I win this game or are you still ahead!! 🤔 😆 It was a great story, beautiful and I really loved it all. Your pictures are absolutely fabulous…. as always…and really Carmen, who or what can resist that Jim B. charm!!! Love you both, oops… all three! We hope to see y’all soon!!

    1. Margie, thank you for your compliments on the photos. We work hard to capture the beauty around us. Hope to see you soon. Jim

  10. Way to go Team!

    Just an observation
    Were those Reindeer and friends so taken with Jim because of his WHITE Beard and Jolly disposition?

    Just thinking about your location and proximity to North Pole?
    Perhaps a case of mistaken identity?
    Might you have stumbled upon the summer pastures of, No, it couldn’t be.

  11. Stunning pictures and I always enjoy your writing. I’m curious about the allergy. I’m allergic to preservatives in the Isothiazolinone class. I encounter them most often in soaps, detergents and cleaning products but recently had a shoe polish reaction. I have to read labels on everything 😬 but I’m not sure where these preservatives might be hiding in the medical products. You’ve made me curious. My reaction is normally horrible swelling around my eyes. When it subsides (usually after steroids) the skin peels off like I’ve been sunburned. Preservatives can be very evil.

    1. Hey Laura,

      You and I have the same allergy. My major symptoms began with my toenails falling off from using polish (applying nail polish and putting closed toe running shoes and socks on over the polish caused the cuticle to soften and lift my nails. (I thought it was fungus, but nope and I treated myself with over-the-counter stuff which made it worse because it contained MCI/MI)

      Then, when we painted our house my skin began burning and bleeding from the pores. My entire face blistered up causing my upper lip to turn inside out. That’s when my doc sent me to the allergist.

      Now, more informed, I realized that hair dye was giving my scalp the same reaction and I understood that household cleansers and cosmetics were not supposed to cause discomfort. All my life I detested deodorants, make-up, perfumes … but just thought everyone had the same reactions to the itching and burning feelings and I was just a whiner.

      Now, I live like a hippy – using only dry soaps, never any towelettes of any kind – especially dryer sheets! – and, for the most part, making my own natural cleansers. Cosmetics are a problem (especially eye makeup) that’s why I’m usually bare-faced in photos.

      My allergen was once ubiquitous in many hospital products – adhesives and liquids and gels and, apparently, it was in the anesthetic that made my tongue go permanently numb on the right side. As a voice-over, I can’t risk that happening again.

      The FDA sent me a questionnaire. My cousin, a dermatologist put me on the list to participate in a study. Lately, I believe there has been a reduction in the amount of products and the quantity or volume going into product like liquids, gels, creams and adhesives that come in contact with skin.

      You might consider joining the facebook group: MCI/MI Allergy. There is some good information there.


      Safe & Happy Travels!


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