2nd July 2015
Thursday, July 2nd 2015: Denali Highway
After a quite cool and wet night I took it easy packing things together. First I settled down in the laundry room of the campsite: there it was warm and I had Internet access too!!
I was not in a hurry to break my tent. 1. I wanted to comfortable shower (it had just 3 showers and when I went there a large Indian family occupied them) and 2. I took the chance to get out of the rain.
Well, the Indians were still faster and the rain more persistent than expected. So I packed it all up in slight drizzle - hoping that I do not have to sleep in the wet tent tonight !! Soon after I set off the rain stopped and I once again looked forward to the 200km gravel road on the Denali Highway.
Peanuts to drive aside from the many spots where the deadlocked earth looked like soap when wet. Since my experience of last year's off-roading through the mud hell of Toscana - I did not get frightened that easily. Simply drive smoothly over it - but always with the highest attention since the front wheel of my fully loaded Suzy Blue something has less traction than it usually has. The longer the way, the drier it became and the more I was able to enjoy the vastness of Alaska. Incredibly impressive, although with one eye always on the road looking out for the always surprising emerging potholes, however, one eye could still see enough of the gorgeous river landscapes and forests.
On the 450km drive of today I encountered about 10 cars, I have overtaken 4 caravans, 1 village, 4 road-houses, a few well-hidden campsites but that's all the civilisation I have seen today. However, unfortunately, not a single wild animal, except a few birds. I hope, of course, that will change. To see Alaska without a single bear - no way!!
Since I was at 450km not quite sure if the gas would last up to Tok - I still struggle with the conversion of miles to kilometres - I took then the next best gas station with a motel (not that I have had a big selection). My Suzy Blue fully fueled and I settled down and had a nice cosy room for the night. Not really a bargain but I did not have the energy to look for a campsite and put up my sopping-wet tent up!
For this, I came to enjoy a first-class Burgers with world-class "fries" too and because I settled right in the bar, even had some nice talk with "locals", drinking real Alsaskan beer.
Tomorrow I intend to get up earlier, my bike needs a shower as well and the chain must be lubricated when due to give a while ...