I got up early this morning, trying to get on the road by time. Wanted to enjoy my first day of riding Alaska's highways. I packed easily, said goodbye to the South Korean girl who I'd shared the same room with for the last 3 nights. After a short phone call to my mum back home "now that's nice that you are calling, but is it not too expensive to call me!".... I finally took off.
The plan for today was driving up Parks highway to Denali, stay there overnight and then drive the Denali Highway heading to Paxson. That would mean 200km of gravel road and from what I'd heard a stunning beautiful landscape and even the chance of seeing some wild animals.
But let's go back to the start first.....
Driving on the highway was not really a thing, the only interesting part was the landscape that became wider, more forests, more mountains. Quite a bit along the highway was burnt land and it seemed not to be a long time ago. So far so good. But after about 1 hours drive it started to rain and the temperature was falling rapidly. Not really fun to drive but with my rain clothes on still no problem. I could even drive my first 5km off gravel: the street was freshly paved on a distance of 50km, part of it without any pavement. "Motorcycles must drive extremely cautious" was written on a sign. I think this was more meant for the Harley drivers... this little gravel was, of course, not a problem for my Suzy Blue. The only unfamiliar feeling is that she is quite packed and therefore a bit different to handle. But I will learn the longer the trip will last.
As driving the highway was not really heavy work and the temperature still kept going down my three little fingers on both hands decided to fall into winter-sleep. So after 3 more hours I stopped by at a road house, having some nice hot coffee. While I had quite some difficulty to wake my fingers up again the Americans coming in ordered ice-cream, wearing shorts and flip-flops.... strange enough for me!
Back to the street I was happy to reach finally Cantwell where the Denali highway starts. Because of the bad weather I had the plan to stay overnight in a cosy lodge or so. But no way, everything was booked. So I went to a campsite and stayed my first night in Alaska in the rain with 6°C... not really cosy but still everything that is meant to be dry - stayed dry!
As the wireless net on the campsite broke yesterday, this entry just comes one day too late. Weather conditions are still the same and I will have to pack my wet tent as it is and am quite curious what the gravel road will bring.
Unfortunately, no pictures today, I was stupid enough to erase yesterday's pictures before saving them on the laptop, but I'm quite sure I will be able to take some other rain-pictures today again ;-)