Day 20 July 25 Talkeetna to Anchorage, The not-so-glamorous side of RV life

Knik Arm looking southwest toward Anchorage from KnikSometimes when writing memories of our travels, there is so much to talk about that I forget that it’s not all sweetness and light out here on the road.  Sometimes it’s just about laundry.  And rain.  And a lot of dirt.

Knik Lake is surrounded by homesWhen we left Talkeetna yesterday I felt great, in spite of the rain.  With several hours spent doing laundry, I also had time to finish writing about the last few days on the road and get everything completely caught up in blogland, reading all the blogs I follow, with even a chance to comment here and there as well.  It felt great, and lasted just about as long as a clean house with a houseful of kids.  Yeah, I remember those days well.  I also remember doing laundry in laundromats with three babies in diapers, my 2 1/2 year old still in night diapers when my third baby was born.  When Maryruth read the blog about Talkeetna and laundry, she called and laughed with me about those days of diapers in laundromats.  That is the kind of stuff that comes up now and then with 47 year old friendships!

back on the road leaving Wasilla after lunch at La Fiesta Mexican RestaurantMo and I didn’t have too far to go, but with each passing mile I felt us slipping into a very different Alaska from the one we have seen so far. The highway was wide and smooth, with lots of traffic.  Much of it was really beautiful, with the Chugach mountains rising on the east and the alluvial plains that are the foundation of Anchorage to our south.

Knik Musher's Museum is hereIt rained almost the entire day, with just a few breaks here and there that let us see as least part of the rugged mountains surrounding the road to Anchorage. On the way, we found a delightful little museum a few miles west at the old townsite of Knik, on Knik Arm and right on the Iditarod Trail.  It housed artifacts about the history of the Knik area, but also was called  Musher’s Museum with paintings and stories of the famous race. The best part of the museum was the curator, but a woman not like any curator you ever knew.  She ambled into the building at 1 on a Sunday afternoon, after seeing us waiting outside in the rain for the place to open.  The Milepost says it opens at 12 but that isn’t correct at all.

Knik Iditarod Mushers MuseumAs we walked around looking at old photos and artifacts, she started talking, and talking, and talking some more.  She had a detailed story about every single thing we looked at, and it sounded just like your neighbor was talking across the fence while you hung the wash.  It was a perfect stopover. 

Bgot a picture of the talking lady when she didn't notice. Here she is showing us the Iditarod Trail on a 3d mapy the time we finished, we were hungry, and Mo wanted Mexican so I punched Mexican Restaurant on my AroundMe iPhone app and up came a place in Wasilla.  yup, that Wasilla. We wandered around Wasilla a bit, trying to get the lay of the land, but it seemed like a fairly strange place and didn’t show itself until we left the main street in town and headed south again through the line of big box stores and traffic that makes up the better part of Wasilla.  The Mexican restaurant called La Fiesta was in a small strip mall, not fancy, but certainly adequate for the mood and the dark rainy day.

By the time we reached Anchorage, it was about 3 in the afternoon, and we have found that is a good time to stop if you don’t have reservations and want a place to sleep.  Our plan was to stay at Elmendorf AFB Family Camp, but it beautiful paved trails are part of the extensive Anchorage trail systemwas a bit confusing  because Elmendorf has combined with Fort Richardson Army Base, and there is also a campground there called Spruce.  I had read about Spruce, but in the rain I didn’t have a clue where it was, and when we made our way through the Elmendorf gates, the FamilyCamp was right there so that was right where we landed.

It was time to spend two nights, and finish up the rest of the laundry at a buck a load at the campground laundry.  It was still raining, but at least we had power and could use our little electric heater to stay cozy.  Still, the antenna only brought up a very strange channel and we decided TV wasn’t on the list of todo’s anyway.  We planned two days in Anchorage to see a bit of what the city has to offer, but also planned to get the MoHo serviced the next day.  I didn’t have internet, but the phone worked great with 3G and five bars to get me around the internet to search out locations and options for our time in the city.

After realizing that the rain wasn’t going to let up, we decided to take a drive downtown and check out the lay of the land.  With it being Sunday night we thought it would be quiet enough that we could do that fairly easily.  Anchorage isn’t nearly as big as it sounds.  The listed population of more than 265,000 people must include an awful lot of the rural area and the city limits actually encompass an area bigger than some states.   We drove around downtown, noticing all the souvenir shops before we found Earthquake Park.

Let's check out Earthquake Park in the rainOnce again, Mo was to be a bit disappointed with what was left of this park.  Now there are a few signs, a memorial, but the park is thick with vegetation and great trails, but not a lot of information about the actual quake, and nowhere can you view any of the rifts or slides that were part of that great disaster.  We ambled through the rain back home and went to bed early to read and hope for a bit less rain tomorrow, although the weather forecast wasn’t very encouraging.

Anchorage Day 20_2454Waking again to very dark skies and pouring rain, I looked around the MoHo and was glad for a day to try to get out some of the grime.  RVing can get awfully dirty, especially with a dog and a cat and mud and rain.  We couldn’t see any of the beautiful mountains that supposedly surrounded Anchorage, but I sure was dragging in a lot of local dirt.  I washed all the rugs, the bedding, and shook and washed and polished and scrubbed, and wiped until I had some semblance of a decent place to live, before I finally managed to get to the last of the dirt out of the house. Once I finally finished that project, I was in a better space to deal with the awful dreary skies, but RVing on this rainy dirty morning felt anything but glamorous, believe me! I wondered out loud how the Alaskan homesteaders managed to live in those tiny cabins with kids and wood heat and probably dogs as well.  It must have been a really dirty life.

rainy day in downtown AnchorageThe FamCamp was also an adequate place to stay, with sites well spaced under trees, with electric and water.  It was very relaxed compared to the last camp we enjoyed in Tucson, with very little enforcement of rules and regs.  Laundry was cheap, and the onsite rv dump was basically a pipe in the ground without any water.  We got to shop for groceries at the commissary, and it was very convenient to downtown Anchorage and just outside the gate was a megamall.  If we had managed time to shop, we could have gone to target, Lowe’s, PetSmart, and a bunch of others, or we could have even gone to see one of 16 movie screens at the theatre.  Instead, I was too tired from cleaning dirt to do anything but crash into bed when we got home from town.  It was quiet and dark at night, and probably the only thing I didn’t like was the muddy, dirty sites.  Have I mentioned dirty?

what country am I in here? looks like a cruise ship portAround mid day, we drove again downtown to walk around in the rain and look at “stuff”.  Stuff it was, awful stuff actually, and the main part of Anchorage around the Chamber Visitor Center felt a lot like a cruise terminal in a third world country.  Store after store, proclaiming authentic Alaskan “art” filled with Ulu knives and cheap tee shirts welcomed us to this bustling city of the north. 

Anchorage Day 20_2441One bright spot of the afternoon was a visit to the National Public Lands Visitor Center, with great displays, maps, videos, and movie presentations of all the national parks in the different regions of Alaska.  Thank you, Erin, for bringing this to my attention, I might have missed it.  The second bright spot was from another recommendation from a friend, Jeanne, who sent us to Humpy’s Ale House for brew and halibut.  The halibut was the freshest I have ever eaten, and the ambience was upbeat Alaskan locals mixed with folks from the nearby federal building and tourists. 

Our unglamorous forecast for the next day was for more rain.  The plan was to get the MoHo serviced on our way out of town tomorrow and then head south to the Kenai Peninsula.

CaptureMiles driven today: 113

Road condition: irrelevant, we aren’t in wild Alaska any more

There are more photos for this post linked here and here

Day 19 July 24 Rainy Day in Talkeetna

welcome to the Talkeetna Camper ParkWe are getting close to our half way point of the trip, and this is the first morning that looks like what I had prepared myself to see in Alaska. It rained all night and there was only one train roaring by at 5 this morning and I slept well, and actually didn’t wake up until five.  Guess it is getting a bit darker as the days begin to get shorter, as we get farther south, and just maybe I am getting used to it.

view out the MoHo door this morningWhen we left our camp yesterday, it was cloudy but not raining.  The road south toward the Talkeetna turnoff has two formal viewing sites for Denali that are part of the Denali State Park, and many other places where the mountain is visible on clear days.  With the next few days of predicted heavy rain, I am more and more grateful for that brilliant morning leaving Fairbanks with Denali in full view.

ISO at 500 and shutter speed at 60 and still lucky to see a thing behind the MoHo this rainy morningTalkeetna is a popular place it seems.  There are lots of cute little rustic Alaska style shops, two visitor centers, with one geared to folks planning to climb Denali.  After my four hours doing laundry with one dryer, we drove the short distance to town to check it out.  It was raining fairly hard by then, but folks were still walking around the little town, doing the shops and eating in the several restaurants. I didn’t take photos, but if you want to see the town, Dennis and Carol did a great job on their blog when they were in Talkeetna a couple of weeks ago.

The Princess and Holland America buses are here, right behind the RV Camper Park. When the train whizzes by in that same vicinity, you see railroad cars labeled Princess and Holland America since this is a stop off/pick up point for transfers from the train to the buses.  If you have a ticket for this 115 mile stretch for the train, you can get on and off at will and the train will stop for you. There are lots of trees and thick vegetation, which seems even thicker in the drippy, dense rain. Last night I was feeling a bit claustrophobic, but if you look at the header photo and then today’s photos, it might be understandable.

This photo is NOT what we saw in Talkeetna, but is a view from the Parks Highway some distance northviews along the Parks Highway are spectacular, even in the clouds

We walked to the park on the edge of the Talkeetna River and laughed at all the tents and campfires in an area heavily posted with “No Camping” signs.  We caught the aroma of people smoking pot, and saw a lot of youthful activity around, and garbage. Wet sleeping bags draped across tents, boots sitting outside in the rain, that sort of thing.

The river itself looks scary.  The current is fast and the water is milky from glacier melt and filled with debris.  Not a place I would want to launch my boat, that is for sure!  We heard a loud noise going upstream and it wasn’t until I re-read Dennis’s posts about Talkeetna that I realized that it was a jet boat tour, one of the many local tourist activities available. I hear there are some good restaurants with good food and service, but we are saving our eating out bucks for salmon and halibut on the peninsula, so we will skip the local spots in spite of the good reviews.

Hurricane GulchToday we plan another fairly short drive of less than 100 miles to Anchorage and the Elmendorf AFB Family Camp.  Since Mo is retired military, there are no reservations, so we are hoping for a site since the camp is so accessible to Anchorage and it’s time for a MoHo oil change and some city stuff.  I won’t have internet at the campground, but if so inclined I am sure I could find many places in town. There is much to do in Anchorage as well, but I’m not really interested in city sight seeing for some reason.  Yes, I know, I will probably never drive here again, but this is our big road trip, and the city stuff, even the town stuff just doesn’t trigger my excitement button.  I do really want to see the Earthquake Park.  I had an old friend that lived through it, and her stories were terrifying.

The rest of the photos from yesterday and this morning are linked here

Day 18 July 23 Catching Up in Talkeetna, Alaska

After a short hundred mile drive south on the Parks Highway from Cantwell 8 miles from our boondock site, we are tucked into the only RV park in Talkeetna this afternoon, after four nights without hookups.  Time to catch up on laundry, to upload photos if possible, and catch up on the blog.  Who knows when I’ll ever get the chance to check in on the rest of the world, but it may not be right away. 

I have been posting blog entries by actual date traveled in addition to the day of our trip (see above title).  Since we have been away from the internet, you may have missed a few posts, so you are interested in knowing where we have been, check the archives to the left.

The new header photo is from last night’s beautiful boondock site along Joe Lake on the Denali Highway, just a short eight miles from the main Parks Highway and up 5 miles of gravel.  Instead of the beautiful isolation and quiet we enjoyed last night, we are now in Talkeetna Camper Park with electricity and water, lots of neighbors tight around us, 2 washing machines and one working dryer, and intermittent internet. I’m heading for the laundry room right now, hoping I can get enough of a connection to post the last few blogs from my LiveWriter. 

Wish me Luck!

It is interesting that I have to take my computer up to the office to get a decent connection while Mo happily surfs away with the Netbook using our WiFi booster purchased last December in Desert Hot Springs.  I still haven’t found  Windows 7 driver for the gadget, so I guess I am out of luck for the time being.

CaptureMiles driven today: 126

Road condition: excellent highway except for the repetitive joints to protect from frost heave.  Better than frost heave, though!

Day 17 July 22 The Denali Highway

Denali Day 17_2125Once again, we are camped within feet of a lake, but this time we are not just dry camping in a primitive campground, we are actually boondocking.  We are just a bit more than 8 miles east of the Parks Highway and Cantwell on the Old Denali Highway 8.  This road continues east to Highway 4, the road to Valdez, and then back north to Delta Junction where we were a few days ago.  I am terribly behind in writing, and it seems the only way to get going again is for me to start with the here and now, this moment.

Denali Day 17_2156Mo is cutting some dead wood nearby along the lakeshore and feeding our campfire while we watch the evening sky shift and change across the lake.  It smells wonderful.  A very occasional car or truck passes our site, but we aren’t really visible until they are almost right on top of us, so that works just fine.  This morning when we drove this highway, for a very long time we were the only ones on the road.

6am on the road into denaliWe began our day in the Riley Creek Campground at Denali National Park, with a 5:30 am drive west on the park road to Savage Creek, the extent where private vehicles are allowed in the park. Except for the green and white shuttle buses, already taking people into the deeper recesses of the wilderness, we were the only ones on the road.  We thought perhapstundra landscape an early morning drive might yield some critter viewing, but it wasn’t to be.  Again, we saw squirrels and snow shoe hares and nothing else.  Unlike yesterday, this morning the Mountain was clouded over and if we hadn’t seen it last night we would have had no idea where it was on the horizon.

The tundra was beautiful at dawn, though, with pale shades of misty green on the high hills to timberline glowing in the morning light.  Once at the parking lot at the Savage Creek trail, we were delighted to be the only ones there.  Rules said that we couldn’t leave Abby untended in the car, and of course she couldn’t go on the trail, so Mo sat with her while I took off on a beautiful, silent walk along the river.  The only sound breaking the silence was the river, the sounds of birds calling, and an occasional rumble as a shuttle bus crossed the bridge to the security point. When Mo was here so many years ago, she was able to drive to a campground farther into the park, but even back then the only animals she saw were a small herd of caribou in the distance.  There are no guarantees that you will see any wildlife at all, even on the bus that travels the entire 85 miles to Wonder Lake. 

Denali Day 17_1954I have a friend, Jeanne, who lived in Alaska for several years and told me we should try the Denali Highway for a true wilderness experience without the crowds of Denali.  So after our morning drive, we packed up the MoHo and headed south on the Parks Highway 3 toward Cantwell and the Denali Highway junction.  Mo checked in with the owner of the Tesoro station at the junction and he said it would be fine to leave the MoHo there while we took the Tracker on the gravel road leading east through the wilderness.

I owe it to Jeanne, because we might not have taken the time and trouble to travel this long gravel road. Even though unpaved, the road was in much better shape than the Top of the World Highway, and we could have driven the MoHo Denali Day 17_1991all the way to the eastern junction with Highway 4 without any problems, I am sure.  We spent many hours on the trip, mostly because I had to keep stopping to take pictures and walk out over the hills for wider vistas.  Along the way, we saw many places that would be perfect for boondocking, but this one at mile 8 was our choice because of the lake and the proximity back to our route on Highway 3 south to Talkeetna  tomorrow.

We drove as far east as the Susitna River crossing where the landscape changed dramatically. This is about the half way mark of the road, and also marks a great landscape shift where the Sustina River flows south to Cook Inlet, and the Nenana River we had been following for many miles flows north into the Tanana River, the Yukon, and eventually the Bering Sea. 

Denali Day 17_2001The reward for our many miles of gravel road highway was the expansive wild Mt Deborahlandscape of the Nenana River valley flowing at the southern base of the Alaska Range. During the morning, on our route east, the skies were clear enough that we could see Mt Deborah and Mt Hess among the rugged peaks of this beautiful range that also is the home of Denali as well. The Susitna River lodge, east of the river, was boarded up, and when we decided to turn back at mile 77 we were starting to get a bit hungry.  Silly me, I was so excited about the trip that I completely ignored the possibility that we might need sustenance, so we had nothing with us.  A few miles west of the river is a tiny enterprise called Gracious House Lodge B&B at historic milepost 82, with the supposedly famous Sluice Box Bar, and a café. 

Denali Day 17_2025We stopped thanks to the handwritten sign on the road proclaiming pie and espresso, but the restaurant was closed and the only pie available was a wondrous creation that had been frozen for $30 bucks each. Denali Day 17_2028

Carol was delightful, and assured me that her pies were world famous, and that if we weren’t outsiders, we would know that they were a deal at any price.  I agreed with her, but still couldn’t quite opt for a 30 dollar pie.  I did buy an espresso for me and a latte for Mo and enjoyed visiting with Carol who told me all about the lodge, the slow summer, the reason for closing the restaurant, and all about her kids, grandkids, and husband.  They have lived here for 31 years, (her husband actually lived her for 55 years), have traveled the Highway to the south five times because they get cabin crazy, and are really wanting to sell the place and leave the wilderness. 

Denali Day 17_2049uhohWith a good jolt of java we continued west, enjoying the views.  For a day or two now, the exhaust pipe on the Tracker has been loose and rattling, and Mo tied it up with a piece of wire till we can get it welded. But the sound we suddenly heard on the gravel road was something new, and Mo pulled out immediately to a beautiful spot overlooking the Nenana River Valley and the Alaska Range to see one of her brand new tires going very flat.  The spare was ready, the lug nuts were loose enough to actually remove, and we got the tire changed without a hitch.  We were both amazed to see that the puncture was caused by the 1/2 inch hitch latch bolt that had run right into the tire.  Who knows how it managed to get in there but it had punctured it and was all the way inside the tire.

the tire repair shopno name tire manWe continued  west back to Cantwell, checking that our chosen boondock site was still unoccupied, and asked the nice Tesoro guy where we could get the tire repaired.  Of course, there was a tire repair shop right in Cantwell, although I say that loosely.  We paid 40 for a used tire and 20 to mount it and it was worth every penny. Especially considering the old man who wandered out of the house to help us.  By the time he was done, Mo knew most of his life story as well.  Folks in Alaska are very friendly it seems, and like having someone listen to them.

Denali Day 17_2122We picked up the MoHo and drove back to our lake, which I since discovered aka the Milepost, is Joe Lake, used by a local air service, and that our boondock site south of the road can flood. I don’t think that will be a problem tonight.  After our evening kayak, we are still sitting out by the fire with a glass of wine, enjoying the evening unhampered by bugs, wind, or rain.  I somehow never envisioned moments like this when I imagined what this trip would be like.  I was ready for mosquitoes, for rain, for dreary skies, for hordes of other RV’s on the road.  Tonight at least, we have none of that.  Just wilderness all around us, a sky that is many shades of blue and white and gray, a glassy lake all to ourselves, and a free campsite.

Denali Day 17_2085Denali Day 17_2087One last thing.  Erin asked the other day about how I manage the Pelican Waterproof Camera case in the kayak.  First of all, we have Adirondack boats from Swift Canoe in Canada, and bought them specifically for the roomy cockpits so that Mo could paddle with Abby.  For me, that equates to plenty of room for the Pelican.  I lock it up while launching and if the water is smooth, I’ll open it up and can even switch lenses mid stream if needed.  Seems to be a great system and I no longer have to be afraid to take the good camera out on the water. Hmm, that wide angle lens does really great things for my legs.  ewwwww!

CaptureMiles traveled today in the MoHo: 37

Miles traveled in the Tracker on the Denali Highway 150 or so

The rest of the photos for this day are linked here

Day 16 July 21 George Parks Highway to Denali

The Tanana River Valley with Denali 100 miles awayOur morning plans were simple. Since we weren’t hooked up, all we had to do to depart was to pull in the slide and raise the levelers, hook up the Tracker and we were off.  Fairbanks is a great place to stock up on supplies, but I had loaded us up so well before leaving home that we really didn’t need much.  We have Fred Meyer stores in Klamath Falls and shop there regularly to get the 10c off per gallon per $100 spent on groceries so we headed back to the big shopping center and the eastern edge of town to get our savings.

Denali from 100 miles northBut first, it was time to try to get all that grime off the MoHo, so we pulled into the big bay car wash and did our best.  The RV bay even had ramps to reach the taller parts of the rig, but it made it harder to actually maneuver in there to get the lower parts.  Probably won’t do that again.  On to the fuel pumps at Freddy’s, to discover that I had enough points left over from shopping at home to get a whopping 30c off on gas!  Hooray! We were at a quarter tank so at 3.59 per gallon for gas, that was great.  Cheapest we have paid for gas in a very long time.

focus on DenaliAfter purchasing a few necessities, we were on the road west in the early morning brilliant sunlight, sans GPS.  My trusty Garmin Nuvi has been working great, but the cord that connects it to power seems to have bitten the dust.  So now we are again traveling as in the olden days, paper maps and no GPS.  Should be interesting as we attempt to navigate Anchorage, but there I would imagine that the cell phone will work and I can use google maps.  My streets and trips keeps glitching on me as well, saying the file name is incorrect and it won’t save any edits I try to make to our route.  Stupid technology glitches that irritate me more than Mo except that my irritation sort of irritates her~ ~

Once we were traveling west out of town on Highway 3, the Parks Highway, once called the Anchorage-Fairbanks Highway, then the George Parks Highway, but now referred to just as the Parks Highway.  It was a bit confusing since we were traveling to the “park” at Denali National Park, and then planned to drive the Denali Highway.  We had less than 200 miles to Denali, and again according to plan, had made no reservations.  We thought we might try to boondock somewhere along Highway 3 if possible and then take the short 15 mile drive into the park after checking out the Visitor Center.  Neither of us had any desire to compete with tour buses at the commercial area outside the park to buy Denali trinkets.

Denali Day 16_1793Our greatest thrill came very early on our route as we climbed the first hill west of Fairbanks on a sunny morning.  Stretched out below us, across the broad expanse of the Tenana Valley, was the massive white Mountain, Denali, Mt McKinley her legal name, but still called “Denali”, “The High One”.  The skies were brilliant blue without a cloud to be seen, and the Mountain was revealed in her full, magnificent glory, even though still more than 100 miles away. We stopped and took many photos, amazed at our luck. Mo never once saw the mountain through it’s shroud of clouds when she visited Denali in 74.

We wanted more overlook opportunities, but were surprised to find that most of the turnouts were treed in, or the view was to the north.  We never got another view as great as that one on the entire route. While at the first stop, a rig from Pennsylvania stopped in and said, “You are from Oregon, what’s the big deal, you have lots of mountains”. Mo answered, “Yes, but we don’t have Denali”. They seemed unimpressed with what they were seeing.  Maybe they didn’t have a clue how lucky they were in that moment. I don’t think they even took a photo!

Denali Day 16_1811Denali Day 16_1797Continuing south we crossed the Nenana River and passed the historic town of Nenana.  I was obviously not doing my navigating job very well, because it was only after we passed that I read about the town and we both wished we had stopped there to visit.  I think we were intent on trying to get to the Denali Park Road and try to see the mountain up close before the clouds forming in the southwestern skies beat us there.

Nenana RiverOnce down the canyon and beyond Denali Village, we turned into the main Visitor Center to get information athe Visitor Centernd maps.  I bought my standard National Park “The Rest of the Story” book, ( I do have a big collection of these), and we parked the MoHo and decided to drive the Tracker in to the mile 15 driving limit at Savage River.  Still, once more, not an animal in sight, but we did get to see the mountain shrouded in clouds, but showing off the north summit quite well.  I was surprised to see that our view was much less dramatic from the park itself than it had been so many miles north. 

North summit is visible in the clouds Denali Day 16_1853

Denali has the most dramatic rise of any mountain on earth, even those in the Himalayas.  From Wonder Lake, at 2,000 feet , you see the full rise of the mountain to over 20,000 feet, the highest in North America. I hope that as we drive south in the next few days we will again have the opportunity to see it, but we definitely aren’t going to spend a whole day on a bus with a bunch of people to get to Wonder Lake, especially when the chances are it will be clouded up anyway.

the road beyond mile 15I read something at the visitor center that struck me.  Denali Park isn’t just about the mountain or the animals, either of which you may not see.  It is also about the taiga and tundra landscapes, the habitat of the north, and that you will see no matter how cloudy or busy the road may be with traffic.  When we got to the Savage River, it was completely full, so we just turned around and took our time returning. 

Denali Day 16_1893On the way back, Mo wondered if it would be possible to camp at Riley Creek rather than continuing down the road searching for a boondock site.  I stopped in at the Riley Creek Mercantile around  4 pm and snagged the last available B length site in the campground. It seems the park has reservations, but you can’t reserve a specific site, just a site size.  B is for rigs up to 31 feet.  We chose a spot in the Wolf Loop and settled in to a lovely warm evening, again not a bug in site.  We are in Alaska, we are in Denali, there are no mosquitoes?  do you suppose they were taken up in the rapture?

Tomorrow: The Denali Highway East

CaptureMiles traveled today: 135

Road conditions: Excellent smooth major highway

The rest of the photos are here