Dateline: June 21, 2014 (Summer Solstice)
Driving away from the rental agency was nerve-wracking. This motorhome is BIG! We wanted one that was 22’, but none of that size were available. We settled for a 24’ model. But the rental agency reserves the right to give you what is available when you get there. They gave us a 26’ model. It’s nice to have all that space, but driving it around is intimidating.
We got breakfast at McDonald’s, then groceries at Carr’s. Parking in a way that blocks several spaces is not new to me because of traveling with our trailer. Driving through Anchorage wasn’t too hard either. The rough part was driving through the mountains at 65 MPH in a driving, torrential downpour. Also, most people here seem to want to exceed the speed limit, regardless of conditions, so there was almost always someone tailgating me. The drive to Denali seemed long and stressful as a result. The weather was discouraging too. Elaine kept reading entries in the Milepost’s book about “northbound travelers have an excellent view of Denali in this section of highway.” We saw nothing but dark clouds and rain.
Aside from that, the day was a big success. Our campsite at Savage River campground is nice. The mountains surrounding our campground are impressive. The feel of the vegetation is nearly, but not quite, tundra. The spruce trees are severely stunted in their growth. There are many lichens and wildflowers. Both E and I saw a moose drinking in a river as we were driving toward the park.
We treated ourselves to fresh-caught, wild, local Sockeye Salmon for dinner. It was delicious! Our second night in the motorhome was quite cold, as contrasted with the first night. Since we are so far north, and it is, after all the summer solstice, “night” is a relative term.