On The Road Again

3 08 2010

A few weekends ago I was lucky enough to drive one of the few roads in Alaska I’ve never been on.  The Denali Highway.  It’s not a traditional highway, it’s 135 miles from Paxon to Cantwell and it’s mostly gravel.  During the winter it’s not maintained and can only be used be traversed by dog sledding, skiiing, or snow maching.

The views of the mountains are apparently stunning…. however it was pretty misty and foggy during our drive, which while unfortunate for Mckinley viewing, did add a haunting beauty to the landscape.  Lefty and I set out with enough diet coke to supply us should we need to walk the 135 miles, and probably enough food, tents, and stoves to live happily on the highway for a  few weeks, I mean months.  Hey if you have an entire truck bed to fill up, why not?

On the way to Paxon.

Mountains

More mountains, all just hanging out on the drive to the highway, looking awesome.  Oh and yeah it’s about 10:30pm when these were taken 🙂

In Paxson, about to get on the Denali highway.  These sideways telephone poles are in permafrost, that’s why the look all Dr. Seussy

The Alpine tundra of the highway.

Lefty at landmark gap.

Six swans along the way

Second highest pass in the AK.

All in all it was a fantastic trip with fantastic company.  The weather cooperated and we only got rained on once camp was set up and we were in the tent at night.  We saw moose on all three highways we drove and caribou, ptarmagin, and swans on the Denali highway.  Furthermore, we accomplished a rare feat in Alaskan road tripping: we returned to town on a DIFFERENT highway than we left.

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