We drove through Anchorage, just to say we had been there. We were hunting a certain address and wound up on Elmendorf Airforce Base. The MP’s at the gate confiscated my wallet until I got my rig turned around and left.
Beverly Garber asked us to hunt up his friend from his Viet Nam days, who lives in Wasilla, Alaska, which is near Anchorage. We had no trouble finding him. They provided us with a great meal and we camped in his driveway for the night.
The next day we drove north on Parks Highway 237 miles and stopped at Denali National Park. We took their shuttle bus tour which was 85 mi. long to Wonder Lake in the park. We saw several wolves, some caribou and one of the Jaeger’s, a bird on any bird watchers bird list. It was a grand trip. We camped that night at the Riley Creek Campground which is in Denali NP.
The next day, we continued on north toward Fairbanks, stopping off at the small town named Anderson, to look it over.
We got to Fairbanks in the evening and got a campsite. We had planned to be there a few days. The first thing to do was to see about getting a flight to Barrow, on the Arctic Ocean. They told us that you need a reservation probably six weeks in advance. Well, that was not to be. So we decided to drive as far as we could go in one day on the Haul Road, Rt. 11 (Dalton Highway). They strongly advised us to travel in pairs in case you had mechanical problems as there is no help available in case you broke down. No one stops to help. The truckers zooms past you going 65 mph. That might not seem like an excessive speed but this is a gravel road that has chicken egg size rocks that fly like cannonballs.
They also advised you to pull off to the side of the road whenever you pass a truck. This we did but we still got a broken windshield anyway. You soon notice that everyone has a broken windshield in Alaska. We thought we would try to get to the Arctic Circle and back by ourselves which is 400+ miles. I had some locks of hair from a family member that requested them planted at the Arctic Circle. I also wanted to get some butterfly specimens at this location, as I collect butterflies.
The Dalton Highway (Rt. 11) begins at the small town of Livengood, on the Tolovana River. You will come to the Arctic Circle Trading Post, located on Rt. 2, it advertised as your 1st stop on your trip to the Arctic Circle. We stopped in and bought a cap here. At West Fork on Lost Creek at Livengood, millions of dollars of gold was mined from this small creek.
We stopped at the Yukon River Bridge crossing where I took a bunch of photos of the pipeline where it crossed the river. The fireweed was blooming beautiful here.
We drove on a short distance from there finally reaching the Arctic Circle. This is as far north as we will be going this trip. Someday I would like to get to Point Barrow, Alaska on a duck hunt for the Barrow Goldeneye and others. We want to get back to Fairbanks before dark.
To be continued. Check with us next month for a continuation of this trip home through British Columbia, Canada, Washington State and Oregon…John & Kay