Continuing the circle route

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Where I stayed
Smith's Green Acres RV Park

Flag of United States  , Alaska
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ginny urged us all to get up on time this AM because she hoped to get another sighting of Denali on our way out of the park. Today I again was the driver and my demeanor was certainly superior to old Cranky Franky Sutton. I savored every mile I drove from Teklanika to the park border, knowing that I was enjoying a special privilege. The clear, sunny morning suggested that we might again catch a glimpse of the Great One. Shortly after Savage River, we were treated to a beautiful view of a more distant, but still alluring Denali. I turned off at a deserted pull-out and positioned our dining room picture window so that Denali could join us for breakfast. Our intimate dining experience was altered somewhat when a tour bus crashed our party and disgorged its clicking tourists around us. The camera-wielding interlopers soon left and our room with a view was again a private party.

Eventually, Denali receded into the mist and we prepared to exit the park. We made one more stop at the entrance area to download some liquid waste into an appropriate receptacle. Once again, most of the crew preferred a visit to the gift shop over my olfactory experience. After a healthy hand-washing, I was again ready to grab the wheel and head on up the road.

Our next destination was Fairbanks, the northernmost point on our trip. The two hour drive from Denali to Fairbanks was underwhelming, consisting mostly of miles of scrub black Spruce, a Boreal forest. Near Fairbanks we labored in our motorhome up to a promontory, but the day was too hazy to appreciate the various mountain ranges we presumed were on the horizon. Once in Fairbanks we stopped at Pioneer Park to make sandwiches, and spent about an hour perusing this free attraction containing an historic paddle-wheeler, various pioneer era buildings, and souvenir shops. We definitely got our money's worth from our experience. We gassed up and re-provisioned at a Fred Meyers (a sorry knock-off of our own beloved Meijer superstores). Seeing nothing else of compelling interest in Fairbanks, we headed East and South on the historic Richardson Highway which connects Fairbanks with the port of Valdez. After a couple hours we reached the small town of Delta Junction and rented a spot at a private campground promising free hot showers and Wi-Fi. The showers were appreciated by all after 3 days sans bathing facilities. Internet connection allowed me to get less behind on my blog :)
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