Hello, Family and Friends,
Hope all is well with you...We've actually made it to Palmer, AK. Left Denali this morning from a really lousy RV park. It was just that a place to park your trailer. Didn't use the showers...it was that bad but there wasn't much else to be had within 20 miles of the Nat Park...this place was full too. At least there was a great ice cream store in a mini mall in front of the "park".
The pictures attached show some of the last things we did in Fairbanks. The ice exhibit was in downtown Fairbanks, which is not having a lovely time in an old theater. A young sculptor displayed his work. We did enjoy what we saw but there wasn't much of it and it WAS 20 degrees in the exhibit so we didn't stay too long!
The auto museum was the total opposite. FANTASTIC ! We didn't want to leave. The cars were from the very earliest to about the 1930's. These vehicles were pristine. Some were original but most had been redone at least for the paint and engines. For the women, there were displays of clothing. From again, around 1904-the flapper wear, Victorian costumes and even some clothes we could try on and take pictures of ourselves in. These were from when people wore dust covers and the ladies had flamboyant hats. Unfortunately, the camera was acting up and those we took are pretty fuzzy. Could just be that we broke the camera! There were even some midget cars from when racing these were quite the rage. Need to create a whole slide show of just these shots. It was one of the highlights of the trip and it wasn't even outside!
On to Denali...anyone who actually SEES this mountain is truly fortunate. We did take a 6 hr shuttle bus tour into the park, 53 miles. If you've seen this road you'd understand why access is by bus only. When two busses encounter each other on the gravel road, one has to stop to let the other pass. It seemed that the one on the interior side was the stopper. When we came back out it was obvious why this was so. Thank goodness for the experience of these drivers. We did see a few animals. Dahl sheep on the mountain side, about 12 in two separate sightings. ( I definitely need a better camera to capture these). We also saw 15 caribou. The two in the picture charged out from the roadside as the bus came around a corner. We stopped and they trotted off in front of us. They stopped, saw a vehicle coming from the other direction, turned around and headed back toward us, giving me the chance for the pictures I did get of them. We later passed a group chilling out on one of the glacial rivers that runs through the park. It's mostly tundra, very, very vast and beautiful with wild flowers. But no we did not SEE Denali it was way under the clouds.
We got to our campground in Palmer today around 4:00 after a side trip to Talkeetna. This is a neat little artsy town we'd been told about by a couple from Anchorage that we met in Cody, WY. His family has a place there. The train that runs from Anchorage to Denali (run by Princess cruise lines) goes through Talkeetna. We found a parking spot, not easily since the roads are very cramped, but Joe prevailed! We walked down to the Susitna River that runs near the town and Colden took a swim. On the way back he was allowed to join us on the deck of the restaurant where we had a fantastic lunch. I had salmon & crab leg sandwich, Joe had halibut. YUM for both...the Alaskan beer was a bit of all right too. We walked back through town, having a craft fair/farmers market...and headed for Palmer.
This Mountain View RV park is more like it. The last picture shows the view from our trailer. We've got great WiFi, great views, quiet sites so who cares if we don't have cable tonight. We brought books!
That's it for today, WHEW! Tomorrow, Walmart in Wasilla and maybe a trip to a glacier. Will check in in a couple of days.
Love to all,
Ingrid, Joe and Colden
PS it's 10:00 at night and daylight...our neighbor is cleaning the mirrors and windshield on his RV...it's totally quiet...