Monday, 4 July 2011

Anchorage to Fairbanks

The Parkes highway, 358 miles long winds its way between Anchorage and Fairbanks past Denali National Park which is the road we travelled.
On route we went through the town of Wasilla (home town for Sarah Palin, ex governor) before reaching the quaint town of Talkeetna where we spent a couple of nights. This rustic town with a mix of hand constructed log cabins and historic railroad buildings could only be accessed by rail until 1972. Loved everything about this town except that the largest mosquitos you have ever seen live here and the town was a town of cotton wood trees dropping cotton everywhere. Not good for sinus sufferers.    

We needed to stay where we could have reliable access to the internet as it was the end of the financial year.Russ had some WORK to do. It was also from here that we said goodbye to our travelling buddies Mal and Wendy who spent a further night in town before catching a train to Anchorage, then a flight to LA and then home to Oz.
While at Talkeetna we did a one hour flight over Denali National Park believing that there is no better way we could not have experienced the wilderness of Denali. Leaving the runway and heading off we flew over lowland forest and rivers and then flew between snow covered towering peaks and over many miles of glaciers. It was simply stunning! Denali National Park holds North Americas highest mountain Mt McKinley at 20,320 ft, but our views of this famous mountain were limited as it was covered in cloud.
Leaving Talkeetna we headed by road to Denali National Park entrance. As all the camping grounds were full within the park we went up to Denali township and stayed in an RV park for the night.  Car access into the park is only permitted for the first 15 mile and then access to the park is via a tour bus or shuttle bus (for a fee) for the further 80 miles into the park. As it was raining, and not a day to be taking photos we did the 15 mile in to get a feel for the park from the ground and then continued on to Fairbanks.  
We passed through Healy, the states only commercial coal mine, had lunch in the RV in front of Nenana Visitors centre before arriving in Fairbanks. Our first stop was at the visitors centre to arrange a safe location to leave the RV as the next part of our trip was the road north to the tip of Alaska and is one that the RV will not be travelling.
Pioneer Park car park became home for the RV and our overnight camping ground for the next four nights.
Looking back to runway on flight over Denali

Denali National Park
Glacier in Denali

Green mountains of Denali

Gift store at Talkeetna


Homes in an RV park

Igloo City

K2 Aviation company we flew with

Nenana Visitors Centre


On route to fairbanks in the rain

Flying among the mountains

Entrance to Pioneer Park Fairbanks

Snow capped mountains

River views from plane

Rafters on the Nenana River

Russ on the flight over Denali

Ruth Glacier

Talkeetna Information Centre

Welcome to Talkeetna

Mountains of Denali

Views from Plane window

Wildflowers of Denali

Kienny-  sadly the smile did not last

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