After spending a couple of days in Fairbanks getting everything done I needed to do I was glad to be headed out and onto the next place. This time it would be Denali National Park via the dirt Denali highway. I went out of my way to drive this road and I could have just went up the Parks Highway and been to Denali within a couple of hours from Fairbanks and only road about 130 miles. As it was my loop took me 350 miles and through 140 miles of dirt.
My whole time in Fairbanks had been hot and clear but on the day I departed it was raining and cold and the ride up was mostly rainy, windy and cloudy. I gassed up in Paxson before heading into the Denali highway unsure what I was getting myself into as it had been raining all day and the dirt road could get very sloppy.
The Denali highway was the original way to get into the park before the parks highway was built. Now itís a remote ride through wilderness that is still largely unspoiled.
The roads did end up being very wet and slick and cloud cover hid most of the beautiful mountain scenery on this route. I think these conditions would have white knuckled my ride at the beginning of my trip but now after 2600 miles of dirt in varying conditions it seems like a piece of cake to ride. It took some getting used to when riding sloppy roads to do the opposite of what seems right. When I hit a bad section and my tires start to slide, I just gas it and everything straightens up.
I know now why I donít like to wash my bike, what a waste of time. I just washed the remnants of the prudhoe bay mud off my bike and now have added Denali highway mud.
I finally reach pavement again at the end of the Denali highway and head to cantwell, the parks highway and Denali national park. A rainbow on the Denali Highway marks the end of the rain for a while and finally some sunshine.
Out on the parks highway I head towards Denali but stop short at Carlo creek campground. $14 a night for a nice campsite with showers and covers to keep the tents out of the rain. Tomorrow Iím headed into Denali to explore some wilderness.