Monday, July 18, 2011

Friday July 15 - Fairbanks to Denali National Park

We met at 9am in the morning for the short drive to Denali.  Somewhere on the Ice Truckers Road, I had busted a bolt on my front sway bar.  So, a quick trip to Lowes as in order, to get the bolts and washers needed to get it repaired and back on the road.  The road to Denali was a good one compared to some of the other roads, having been built in the 1970's.  With overcast skies, we were hopeful that things would clear so that we could see Mt McKinley.  We got to Denali late afternoon, checked out the visitors center, watched their video and had a quick lunch at the cafe.  The unfortunate thing about Denali is that private passenger vehicles, can only go the first 15 miles into the park.  To go the last 90 miles you need to take a 12-1/2 hour bus tour.  The bus tour operators tell you to bring water, food, snacks, and a pillow for the long ride.  We opted not to take the bus tour and instead drove only the first 15 miles in.  Mt McKinley was hidden by clouds, as it is every 2-3 days.  We got a lot of great pictures and saw a caribou in the river before we went back to check into the campground.  After setting up camp, the 5 of us met for dinner at Denali Salmon Bake.  With another long day gone, we went back to the camp site where of course it started raining again and it rained heavily all night.  The next morning we were to leave Denali and travel the famous Denali Hwy. 

Another Fairbanks coffee shack,  did I say they were everywhere will all kinds of catchy names

 We stop along the highway for pictures
 River water is a murky gray color
 Old railroad bridge still being used along highway
 World Famous? 
 Would Ben Cartright approve?
Denali City streetview
 Views inside Denali National Park
Railroad bridge at Denali bring Cruise Ship passengers
Look carefully in the upper left corner for the Caribou along the river in Denali
Mount McKinley is hidden by clouds
Inside the Denali Salmon Bake restaurant

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