Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

Thank goodness for the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center! It's at Mile 1229 on the Alaska Highway in Tok. The boundary begins when you cross the border into Alaska, and extends for a long 65 miles into the state. Would you like to know why I applauded when we got there? It's because the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge center had the first public restrooms that we had seen in hours - and they were spotless! Oh Happy Day!
Tetlin Visitor Center, Tok, AK

My haste to get out of the car was so great that it wasn't until I got to the building that I noticed it was cold. Hubby, suspecting my ignorance, just laughed and tossed me his jacket. He's good like that, but don't tell him I said so.
Tetlin Visitor Center, Tok, Alaska

Guess what we saw on the roof of the visitor center? A sod roof! This distinctive feature  is an old style Alaska roof that is both environmentally friendly and aesthetic. In addition to serving as a mini-sanctuary for birds, the sod keeps the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
 
Behind the cabin is an accessible wooden deck and a good view of the Tenana River Valley. The the river is a major migratory route for ducks, cranes and other birds. The Mentasta Mountains in the Alaska Range provide a stunning backdrop against which to watch for them. Our one regret about visiting Tetlin Wildlife Refuge is that we neglected to pack binoculars.

Don't forget to keep watch for animals. We found out that the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge is home to moose, bears and other animals that don't appreciate sharing the road. They are one more reason to slow down on your road trip and enjoy the drive. The refuge is overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Confirm hours before arriving.