13.08.16 Fairbanks, Alaska to Talkeetna, Alaska.
Fairbanks is the most Northerly point in Alaska we shall be visiting, at latitude 64.84 degrees North, just a couple of degrees less than the Arctic Circle. Our original plan was to visit the Arctic Circle and make it up to Dawson City and Chicken, but as we have discovered the roads are not great for us, we have decided not to this time. We feel ok about this, particularly as we have visited the Arctic Circle before in Norway.
We have been amazed in Alaska by the distances between any services, fuel/food/restrooms/lodging. It has been the most remote place we have ever visited, whilst still being full of tourists. Alaska is apparently the second most visited area of the United States. The most popular type of lodging is for R.V’s, who can bring all their supplies with them. I can see the appeal.
As lodging is few and far between, it has been essential for us to book ahead again, which is still working out ok, but sometimes means we have to ‘push on’ when perhaps we don’t really feel like it.
Alaska has turned out to be the part of our trip so far requiring most endurance, when you wake in the morning and your entire body aches, and your head is weary, but you must press on through a lot of miles, and often the large areas of road construction following behind pilot cars. We had talked about these times often before coming away and truly believe that this endurance, these tougher riding days are the days that make the trip worthwhile. The days when you have to dig deep, when all of you is screaming, can we just stop? But, somehow you find the willpower to keep going. I think this is rewarding because next time you’re faced with this challenge, it’s just that little bit easier.
Of course, if we had chosen to be camping as well rather than using motels, that would bring a whole other set of challenges, which we may choose to face later on. For now, it is enough to be without all that is familiar to us, whilst experiencing an ever changing landscape. We find that we have already set up routines of what we do each morning and evening to breathe some familiarity into our day, no matter where we are staying. A clean room, bedding and towels is all we ask for to make this work for us.
We are staying tonight within the confines of Denali Park, in Talkeetna, which is on a spur road from the main highway. Denali park has the tallest mountain in North America at 6,194 metres. Talkeetna runs the last flagstop train in America, meaning that you can request to get on, or off the train with the wave of a flag, at any given spot along the route!
The peace and tranquillity offered here, by the river at this lodge, tonight is an ample reward for the toughness of today.