...and we immediately took one of the three small segments of freeway in Alaska, all located in the Anchorage area, and headed southeast out of town as fast as possible, on Alaska State Route 1. Alaska has exactly 12 numbered highways, 1 through 11 and 98, which can be viewed here. Several of them don't connect with any other roads except by air or sea.
We didn't make it very far, not even to Beluga Point (about seven to eight miles outside Anchorage, our usual first stop) at Mile 110 (see this article for a list of places by mile number) when we stopped to view the mudflats - to see whether the tide was going in or out - and to view our general destination across Turnagain Arm: the Kenai Penninsula. While looking across the arm, we got a through-the-clouds view of Mt. Redoubt, which last erupted in 1990.
Our next stop was the Famous Alaska Turbidite Locality, which is a bit east of Milepost 105, about 23 miles outside of Anchorage. This turbidite roadcut, seen below from the east looking west, is between Windy Point and Indian Valley. The entire roadcut, top to bottom, is turbidites - more about them later. (Can you wait?)
A bit down the road, we made our usual coffee and hot chocolate stop at Girdwood - Mile 90 - which has a gas station along side the road, a gift shop or two, and at least one espresso place. This is the turnoff to the Alyeska ski resort.
While at Girdwood, you can't help but notice the dead trees all around, especially between the highway and the arm (Turnagain Arm), which resulted from the sinking of the land there during the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964, and the consequent exposure of the tree roots to more water than they are normally used to, with that water also being a bit salty. A huge area was affected by subsidence, including most of the Kenai Penninsula. An earlier seismic event about 800 years ago resulted in similar subsidence, as recorded by a forest of tree stumps buried beneath these present-day dead trees.
And farther up (or down?) the road, approaching Portage but still on the north side of the arm, a nice U-shaped valley, carved by glaciers, comes into view, below. This is the valley of Seattle Creek, a small valley on the south side of Turnagain Arm.
Finally, we cross the bridge at Twentymile River, still on the north side of the arm, still with the tide partly out. A larger U-shaped valley can be seen across this upper, eastern end of Turnagain Arm: Ingram Creek. This green valley is the glacially carved valley that the highway goes through, after we make the turn of Turnagain Arm, at Portage, and head west for a short distance. A topo map, via MSRMaps, can be seen here.
And, hey, that's as far as we'll get tonight!