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From Fairbanks to Anchorage via Denali Park

July 14

We left Fairbanks in the morning. Holiday Inn Express is a big hotel with better facilities than most of the smaller hotels we stayed on our way. We had a good breakfast at the hotel before checking out. Fairbanks had a Farmers Market where they sold fruit, vegetables, crafts, food etc. We bought a few small items, but nothing that we could bring back to Australia. Our next destination was Denali Park. We had planned to spend one night at Denali River Cabins. The Georges Park Highway is the main road, connecting Fairbanks and Anchorage. Denali Park is on the way to Anchorage.

We passed many rivers and streams on our way and found many people stopping their vehicles and fishing on those rivers. Fishing in these streams and rivers is a big past time for many tourists. This is the Salmon season and if they are lucky they can catch Salmon, rainbow trout or other fresh water fish common in these rivers. Salmon is a salt water fish normally living in the ocean. In July and August they start swimming upstream in these Alaskan rivers ready to spawn. There are several places and observation posts along the rivers where you can see bears feeding on these Salmon.
There are many tourists who come to Alaska specially to see this spectacular event. Unfortunately we were unable to see any bears in the river.

On our way, we saw a Jerky seller on the road and stopped the vehicle. He was selling Beef and Salmon Jerky in different spices and flavours from his caravan. He offered samples for us to taste. We bought a beef Jerky packet and a Salmon Jerky packet. He said he is from Homer.

Beef Jerky Seller

We were in no hurry and moving slowly. We then stopped at Healy, a small village, and had lunch in a small restaurant. We stopped at another shop where they had a Polar Bear killed in 1969 by Tom Hudson on March 18, 1969.

World record size Polar Bear killed in 1969

Souvenir Shop on the Georges Park highway

The shear size of the bear shows how big they can grow. It was more than nine feet long and supposed to be a world record at that time.

Denali Park is world famous for its unique wild life and the Mckinley Mountain which is the highest mountain in North America. On a clear day, you can see the mountain peak from the road. When we were passing the area the whole mountain range was covered by thick mist.

The Georges Park Highway is in very good condition. The address to our hotel was given as Mile 231.1 on the Georges Park Highway. I was not sure what that meant and how we could locate the hotel. We found the road has mile posts to show the distance from Anchorage. We only had to look at the mile posts on the road and after passing mile post 232, we found our hotel by the side of the road, just before the mile post 231. Our hotel was built as a group of cabins near the Nanana River. Our cabin was facing the river and we could walk to the river from our cabin. The river is not very deep, but water is moving very fast.

Malisha Near Nanana River

Mala and Andrew relaxing near Denali Cabins

We had only one night in this hotel. It would have been great if we had the time to make a trip to the Denali Park to see wild life and have a closer look at the Mckinley mountain peak. We can drive our own car only fifteen miles into the Denali Park. There are coach tours who can take tourists beyond this point. These tours take ten or more hours to do the round trip. We decided to keep this for a future trip to Alaska.

When we checked in at the hotel, we found the lady at the reception is an Australian who came to Alaska in 1975 when she was very young. So far we have met two Australians who have made their home in Alaska.

We left the hotel next morning and resumed our journey towards Anchorage. We are planning to spend three nights in Anchorage.

Posted by fernando65 00:48 Archived in USA

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Haha is it really called the Nanana river?

by smilypie

The River cabin location looks really good, i hope you all had the time to take lots of photos!

by Janahan

Yeah it is haha - there's some hilarious names of roads and areas around here. The cabin here was really nice - super small but a really nice area. I would love to go fishing but i don't think mum and dad are interested in doing that stuff.

by fernando65

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