Saturday, July 10, 2010
On to Denali
Weather was fantastic today. Stopped at the remarkable Fairbanks visitor center again to update the blog. Saw the Arch of Antlers - yep, sure did and the memorial to the WWII Siberian front. Note the definite Native American – Eskimo cast to the face of the one statue of an airman.
Then on to Denali. The ride itself was not remarkable but the park was a bit of a disappointment. For such an isolated park, you would have thought it was a Disney ride. The campgrounds were full – maybe early next week could get a reservation. Then only part of the park road was open to Denali – so could only get a pic from far away. To get in to Denali it was a $40.00 bus ride for 8 hours, then $30.00 to board Leo, plus an intake fee of $5.00 and more if he had to stay overnight – and who knows how far I would have had to stay. Aramark had big signs on the busses indicating that they ran the bus tours and the concessions. I’ll bet that they could not cook as well as Geraldine and Miss T at the Park 500 Cafeteria.
So, Denali was a bit of a bust. So the folks at the Information Center suggested that I camp on Denali Highway – just pull over anywhere which seems to be a norm here in Alaska and I’ve done it several times. Alaskans are very proud of their big open free spaces and pulling over by the side of the road is an accepted thing to do.
So, Off I go up the highway and it is a re-run of the Dalton Highway to Deadhorse – rock and dirt but at least dry. 16 miles up the road, and POP! – my second flat tire. This one is beyond repair.
The good thing, I saw the first Caribou, pic attached - no , it is not the moose - that's a separate picture. The Caribou is right below the igloo - Alask would not be Alaska without an igloo. Camped at a roadside rest, on the way to Anchorage for new tires tomorrow. GPS can take me right to Sams Club.
20 Miles south of Cantwell , 63.09 N, 149.25 W 293.1 Miles today