Slowly, we turned towards home … Oh, how my heart wanted to find some other route. Something other than the Parks Hwy, which will lead us back to our “normal” life. Eventually. 😉 But not today.
All right, no more whining. I know it’s past time to call a [temporary] halt to this particular ramble, fun though it certainly has been. I needed a break from the scary and often depressing “real world”, so turning off the TV and going “walk-about” (so to speak) was my way of coping. It’s been working just fine for me, too.
As I stopped for gas before leaving Fairbanks, I caught sight of this menacing creature and thought I’d share it with you to make up for all the missed wildlife photo opps from the other day. 😉
The promise of sunshine in Fairbanks receded pretty quickly into dismal gray clouds and sporadic showers as we made our initially reluctant way down the Parks Highway. The weather matched my mood.
There wasn’t even much in the way of beautiful scenery for the first couple of hours. Mostly just miserly peeks through the cloud cover, hinting at the lovely mountain views that would be there, if only it wasn’t raining.
The scenery, and even the weather, improved as we neared Denali National Park & Preserve. I stopped and walked back out over the highway bridge to get this photo of the mighty Nanana River – it was eerily silent, not a single vehicle passed me while I walked out to take these shots and then back to the RV.
Rhonda started out the day in her usual position as substitute navigator (Baxter sat out this trip at home with Dad), but as often happens, she ended up sleeping on the job. Except when I pulled off the road for a potty break – then she was all ears and tails!
Pulling into the usually bustling, hectic and crowded “tourist district” of Denali was a humbling and achingly painful moment.
Even the campgrounds aren’t open to full capacity. And really, why would they be? Riley Creek campground is the closest to the main visitor center (closed 😢), usually the busiest, and would normally offer a jammed-full transit bus taking tourists to park tour jump-off spots and restaurants. Getting a campsite here for a 27’ motorhome, without a reservation, is a rare thing. I went in (wearing my face mask as requested) to register and was told, “Sure – just pick a site.” I had plenty of choices.
Unless you count this guy – and Rhonda was all about counting him!
The campground is quiet, peaceful and relaxing. Probably a good place for me to sit back, take a breath and sort myself out. Who knows, maybe tomorrow will be sunny.