We ended up in Palmer earlier than expected in our Alaskan journey due to our slide out woes. This was our second attempt to get our slide outs fixed in Alaska but, this time at a RV repair center that was more specialized in Accuslides on Montanas. This place had great service and thoroughly cleaned and attempted to repair the slides. Something appears to be wrong with the alignment which is going to require us to call Montana and see what the next steps are to get it fixed. The slides have gotten worse since Dawson City and a repair shop that didn’t know how to fix them the first time, made the situation worse. Along with incredible adventures comes the inevitable RV repairs, (lots of RV repairs) that come along with it. We are learning to roll with it and remember it is all part of the journey! It is not all an endless vacation as we tend to envision it will be. There will always be RV repairs and lots of travel decisions but oh, the sights we see and continue to see along the way with all of these special moments together. We will see what Montana says and curious to know if it is just us or a manufacturing issue…we will keep you posted!
Where we stayed
In need of some stress free time, we opted for full hook-ups at a newer RV Park in Palmer, Paradise Alaska RV Park. Very small campground across from the golf course with beautiful views of the mountains and farmland surrounding it. It was very quiet with friendly hosts. It has good WiFi, free laundry if you stay 2 or more nights, LTE through AT&T and just minutes away from town. We only had 1 neighbor so it felt like we had the place to ourselves!
What we did
Hatchers Pass has been on our list since arriving here in Alaska. We met a lovely local at the meet up in Anchorage with Less Junk < More Journey that recommended it to us. Since then, we have heard nothing but good things about it. We drove from Palmer to Willow so that we could take the scenic route in. There are tons of free camping along this route for smaller campers or tents which all have a fire pit. Some are right on the water and we wished we had been more prepared and packed dinner and firewood to enjoy a campfire there too. The roads are gravel and rough but we were fine in our truck. Once you get to the Independence Mine the roads are paved to Palmer.
We really weren’t sure what to expect from Independence Mine State Historical Park. We ended up all loving it and wishing we had more time to spend there. I get lost in reading what each building used to be and imaging what this abandoned place used to be like in its day full of miners blasting deep underground. Some of the ruins have been restored, some have not which all adds to the uniqueness of the place. They have put in hiking paths around the structures which allows you to view the scenery as well as the mines with stories of what used to be along the way. For $8 we felt it was a bargain of an afternoon!
What we missed
We heard the Bodenburg Butte was a great short hike with a spectacular view that we would have loved to hike.