|Denali RV Park and Motel|
|Barbara and Peggy|
My sister, Barbara, and her friend, Peggy, were visiting when we made the move from Soldotna to Healy which was a 400 mile drive which takes 7-8 hours pulling the RV. After getting settled in we wanted to explore the national park. We were able to drive 30 miles into the park because we arrived before the summer season, when cars are only allowed 15 miles into the park. After Memorial Day weekend, bus trips are available to go the length of the park road (70 miles) which reduces the traffic, noise, exhaust and human intervention in this huge wildlife preserve. We saw moose, caribou, one bear, and lots of ptarmigan changing from winter to summer plumage.
|Brown bear who was more surprised than we were!|
It was good to see my sister and the three of us had a good time!
After they left we had 2 small snows. These photos were taken out our RV door; the snow was gone by 10:00 am. The highs were in the 40s and 50s in May and the lows in the 30s. But with 20 plus hours of sun every day that changed quickly. June saw 60s and 70s with one day that hit 82. Nights were still cool but so short we didn't notice. By the way, we had cardboard in our bedroom windows to keep the night sunlight out! July was warmer with 4 days in the 80s. We had several thunderstorms which I have been told have only happened the last few years in this area.Twice we had 50 mph winds which rocked the RV! On the brighter side, we saw numerous rainbows, one at midnight! There were always beautiful clouds, often below the mountaintops as if we could hike up and touch them.
After training for 2 days to manage the office where Rollie and I were hired to work, I was informed by a coworker that I would be working in housekeeping for the motel. I had been bumped by someone with seniority. This was the first of many things we learned "through the grapevine" instead of from the manager/owner himself. This made for an interesting summer! I ended up doing the motel laundry 3-4 mornings per week, 3-5 hours per day. Rollie worked in the office 5 evenings from 4-10. We did have 2 days off together but every 2 weeks we drove the 2 hours to Fairbanks for fun and groceries. I did some hiking in the national park when Rollie was working, just the easy trails near the visitor center. My favorite was the trail to Horseshoe Lake where there was a family of beavers to watch.
There were trails from the RV park out into the surrounding area that we explored on our dog walks. Bears had not been seen in the area for two years so we did not worry. There were moose droppings when we arrived but we did not see moose, or caribou. The main wildlife were the numerous squirrels that frequently chased each other through the RV park and excited the dogs. No mosquitoes to speak of as most days were quite windy.
The online group RVIllage connected us with RVers visiting our park and added to our social life. We got to know them better while dining at 49th State Brewery which served excellent food as well as a nice selection of local brews.
To top off our summer, my three sons and their girlfriends came to visit for a week. They toured the national park, rafted, hiked and explored the area.
Michael and Megan stayed a few additional days to travel with us back to Seward where Rollie went on a fishing charter one more time and filled our little freezer with halibut, salmon and rock fish. Michael and Megan took a wildlife cruise and hiked to Exit Glacier. I sat back and enjoyed my favorite place in a state I have grown to love.
For more photos: https://goo.gl/photos/BPk3KxQk6Ux8J9ib7