Up at 5 AM, temperature 42° and clear. Left Tok at 8 AM and stop to top of our propane at station across the road from the camp… May need in Denali as temperatures expected to be in 20s overnight with highs in the 40s during the day. Good view of Alaskan Mountain Range as we left Tok. Boring ride from talk to Delta Junction, the first town on our route today. If you like spruce and birch trees this would be heaven, as that's all you see lining both sides of the road. The trees block any vistas except for mountains peeking over the top occasionally. Delta Junction is the official end of the original Alaska Highway, which was originally completed in 1942. We continued our 200 mile trek to Fairbanks along Rt. 2, the continuation of the Alaska Highway… road very flat and straight and we were able to make good time averaging about 55 miles an hour. On the way to Fairbanks we passed Eielson Air Force Base. The runway on the base is 14,507 feet long to accommodate be 36 aircraft that is the second longest runway in North America. The 354th fighter wing mission is to
prepare US and allied aviation forces for combat, to deploy Airmen in support of global operations and to enable the staging of forces to promote US interest in the Asia-Pacific region. A warning sign along the road "no stopping, no parking and no photography along this stretch of highway!"
We arrived in Fairbanks are northernmost point on the trip around 1 PM… Fairbanks is 298 road miles from the Arctic Circle. We headed south on the Richardson highway Rt.3 south toward Denali. We looked for a place to stop for a bite to eat along the way… No luck, so we pulled off on turn-out along the highway and had our lunch in the RV. Just south of Fairbanks the Alaskan mountain range came into view again to the south east with about 80 miles to go to dinner early and rainbow RV park where will stay tonight and tomorrow night. Dorrie made our reservations for five hour bus tour into Denali National Park tomorrow. As we neared Denali, we had magnificent views of the mountains which include Denali itself at 20,310' although we were unsure if we were actually seeing Denali as it's actually 90 miles inside the
National Park. We expect to have better views of Denali once we head south on Tuesday as the best views of the mountain are supposed to be along this route. Arrived 3 p.m., gassed up before checking into Denali Rainbow RV and met up with Ray & Sandy who had arrived just before us. We hosted cocktails for 3FromNaples crew, along with Ray, Sandy, John, & Diane and then off to dinner at the Crow's Nest a cool local hangout...I had a great wild salmon sandwich and Dorrie had jumbo Alaskan shrimp. "Home" to work on blogs and into bed at 11 p.m....sunset is at 11:34 p.m. with sunrise at 4:13a.m.!
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