After our long, seemingly endless drive up the Glenn Highway, we finally arrived the Long Rifle Lodge. We pulled in, parked right next to the entrance, and went inside - where we were welcomed by this testy character, who was thankfully behind a railing.
One great viewing spot for glacier watching is the windowed room beyond the shadowed bear. We were the only ones at the lodge when we arrived (besides our hosts), so we had our pick of tables. I was all for sitting at one of the far tables overlooking the snowed-out glacier, but others were chilly.
So we took a table right next to this fine wood stove.
I went outside. Down at the corner of this second-floor porch, you can see the glacier - on a clear day, not on this day.
Another porch corner has good viewing, and a telescope to boot. The Matanuska Glacier would be in plain view beyond the telescope and above the trees, were it not for all the snow and low clouds.
Back inside, we spent some time admiring this great ammonite fossil. This specimen could be from several local formations including the Cretaceous Matanuska Formation, which is known to contain ammonites and other marine fossils along with some plant fossils (Merritt, 1985, p. 45-46).
The inside of the lodge has its walls and empty floor spaces filled with Alaskan artwork, maps, historic paraphernalia, old rifles, and mounted animals.
We got ready for lunch: some of us started with hot chocolate, some with Alaskan ale of one flavor or another.
After lunch, on the way out, I looked into the bar area and spotted this bear having a bottled beer.
What kind of beer? A Big Sky Brewing Moose Drool (from Montana, not Alaska). Wonder if the bear drinks anything else - will try to remember to check that out next time!
And because today is St. Patrick's Day, I've added a photo of a Northwest Coast art piece with a little green in it. I'm sorry I didn't get the artist's name or location.