We wake up early to a free breakfast at the hotel. Fortunately there are blackout curtains so we
actually got some sleep. We pack up our economy size bright cherry red Mazda, and we head
downtown. We fit right in among the F450s. I'm pretty sure we will die if we have any run-in
with the local wildlife. Our plan for the day is to bike the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. We went
our bikes downtown from a sociable man named Pablo. He informs us that this trail was voted
the number two most beautiful bike trail in the nation. So we are pumped. I get a cruiser and
David gets a mountain bike. We take our time in the beginning of the trail. We bike through
Earthquake Park, which is the site of the San Andreas Fault line. It is the site of a previous
earthquake which caused mass destruction and led to multiple Tsunamis. We get some great
views of the coast and we even get a faint trace outline of Denali.
We strained to see it but it is
evident against the bright blue sky. We also see some moose hanging out in the forest. The
bike ride is quite chill and is just a little bit hilly towards the end. It's 22 miles from start to finish.
We finished the trail in about three hours, return the bikes and grab brunch at Snow city Café.
The bike ride was nice, but I have to say I would not think it was the number two most beautiful
bike ride in the US. I have had more beautiful in the bay area. Snow city Café however totally
delivers. David gets a scramble of reindeer sausage and I have to say it's extremely good. We
get on the road in the head for Denali which is about a 4 1/2 hour drive.
ALASKA (not so) FUN FACT: In a lot of stores, the Purell hand sanitizer is locked up. Some of
the locals will strain it and drink it to get drunk. Scary.
The first hour of the drive is quite pretty. Lots of mountains and coastline. The only big city we
pass by is Wasilla which is just a baby Anchorage with even less appeal. After Wasilla there's
really nothing. Not a gas station, not a store, not a restaurant… Nothing. We are staying at the
Denali backpackers resort which turns out to be an awesome place. The girl at the desk is quite
uninformed, but it's her first week so we give her a break. Our first night we are staying in the
dorm in the octagon room and the lodge itself is beautiful and made of gorgeous wood and has
a fully equipped kitchen. Also, everything is well heated, which was the main concern of these
wussy Californians. For the next nights, we will be staying in our own cabin. There are a bunch
of Austrian travelers there, and lodge is warm and cozy and full of conversation. We even get
some tips as to how to find the grizzly bears tomorrow. Rumor
is there is a mom with two cubs
who are quite active.
I would like to say it was because of our expert planning, but because of sheer blind luck, we
find out that we are able to drive ourselves into the park. The Wednesday before memorial day,
the shuttles start running, and you are unable to drive into the park. It is a little known secret
that for the two weeks before, you are able to drive yourself in. This is awesome because we
can avoid the crowded tour buses and we are able to pull over whenever we want.
There are only a couple of restaurants around, and most of them just opened a few days ago
and mainly consist of pizzarias and cafés. When you grab some groceries in Anchorage so our
main plan was just to make ourselves food while we were there. We retire pretty early after a
shower, and rise early in the morning for our first day in Denali.
Tot: 2.142s; Tpl: 0.046s; cc: 14; qc: 25; dbt: 0.0256s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb