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Same one?

The drive up Hatcher Pass this summer reminded me so much of my first and only previous drive there...cloudier, rainier, and colder than I could ever hope for when trying to explore a new place in Alaska.  I headed my team in this direction, hoping that we could enjoy seeing Independence Mine together for the first time.  We did not drive up that far in 2009, so I was looking forward to something new.
I knew even if the weather didn't hold out as we reached the upper elevations, the drive up would offer great visuals.  Especially when crossing the Little Susitna River.
Honestly, my favorite memory of the scenery of July 2009 is this photo of Fireweed growing along the river's edge...

I was pleasantly surprised when I stood once again at the Little Susitna River's edge and found this...

Same beautiful Fireweed?
I think so....just a month earlier than in 2009.
It's probably blooming right about now.
Hardy little flower...with the endurance of a champion.
As you can tell from the missing mountain peak, the weather didn't hold out in the elevations above us for a good look at Independence Mine.  Some did get out and walk around, but I could not get myself out of the van in the pouring rain, with snow still on the ground, and cold winds blowing all around.   
Maybe next time...


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