Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 18-23 Recap

Well I am going to give a quick recap of days 18 – 23.
Sunday was about relaxing and spending time with my sister and husband before they head off to work for six weeks. We ate and talked most of the day. I think there were a few naps thrown in there.
Monday, Mom and I started off early and headed north towards Fairbanks. The plan was to eat breakfast in Anchorage and then make it to Denali National Park. Breakfast was great and the drive was going well until the engine started to chug. We had a miss fire cylinder and were 100 miles from our hotel for the night. When I started to look for a mechanic, it was found 15 miles past Denali. This guy was the only show in town and at first it seemed as if he could care less about helping two folks from Virginia. Luckily for him, and us, he and his wife turned out to be extremely charming. They were able to check out the car the following morning and get us on the road with out having to worry about breaking down. That night we stayed in at the hotel. It turns out that it was the last night of the season. All of the staff was partying hard at the bar. It was an interesting night at the restaurant. I think I waited on myself more than our waiter did. Oh well we got the room at a 75% discount and it was a great environment.
(Tuesday)The next morning we were up and out of the hotel and headed to the mechanic. He had us in and out in an hour. From there we drove into Denali NP as far as private vehicles are allowed to go (15 miles). On Monday Mom meet a young guy out walking his dog around the hotel that hooked us up with a free Jeep Safari. This turned out to be really cool. We drove our own jeep down the same road storied from “Into the Wild” where the young man hiked down and died 62 miles into the wilderness. We did not go that far, only about 20 miles, but it was awesome. At the turn around point we were fed beef stew and cowboy coffee, great. After returning the jeep we walked the small strip of gift shops, each of them with super discounts. We both picked up some good deals, then headed north again.
We met up with Jessica my niece that evening in Fairbanks. After a wonderful dinner we headed north further to a hot spring. This was completely awesome. We got to see the northern lights too. WOW. On the way back Jessica’s car broke down. There we were stranded on the side of the road, middle of nowhere, at 1230 am. Then along came a nice man in his car and had exactly enough room for the four of us. We were saved and made it back to the hotel.
The next two days we hung out with Jessica and the family that she is living with. We were cooked a home cooked Alaskan meal. Treated with the best hospitality. They were the best and Mom and I loved their animals.
Wednesday and Thursday got lots of rest and good food in. After saying goodbye to Jessica we set to bed, preparing to be up early and back on the road.
Friday morning we were up and out by 7am. We logged 620 miles, drove back into Canada and are going to continue heading south. Thanks for following along, Jake.

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