Date: September 12, 2013
Tonight’s Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Mileage: End - 22923
Start - 22714
Total Miles for the day: 209
Weather: mostly sunny
Temperature: start 41º Temperatures fell to 34°
Wildlife count: Moose – cow and calf,
Year List: 270
Birds: Gray Jay, Sandhill Cranes, Greater White-fronted Geese, Canada Geese, Mallards, Rock Doves, Dark-eyed Junco, Gadwall
We were up early and left Denali Grizzly Bear Campground by 7:45am. The few clouds evaporated very quickly and we drove in sunshine, interspersed with a little fog all day. What an amazing drive. Not only were the colors at the peak of their beauty, but we were able to view Denali in ALL of her splendor! There is a northern viewpoint, and we found it, and when we did, she was as clear as could be – we even got her reflected! That makes 100% of the four times that we have visited that we have seen her completely. Only 10% of folks ever get to see her completely ‘out.’
We arrived in Fairbanks a little before noon and got set up at River’s Edge, where our friend, Patrice is the manager. The park is beautiful, and it is 25% less cost than Anchorage.
We enjoyed KFC for lunch – what a switch from Homer, and then found Creamer’s Field, for a delightful afternoon hike through the boreal forest and around the edges of the fields, which were filled with Canada Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, and Sandhill Cranes. The major migration is mostly over, so these 4-500 birds were late.
It is really late fall here – the leaves are falling and the temps cooling. Our friend, Patrice, said that they turned color on Monday and began falling yesterday. We spoke with a lady on the trail, and she said that by the middle of October, the temps here will be between -15° to -25°. It is really hard to imagine that with all of the beautiful color and green grass that we are seeing now. However, the park will close after tomorrow night – I guess it is really time for us to leave! I’m glad that we have checked on the RV Parks that we will use on the way ‘out,’ as many will be closing as well, and some are in the middle of nowhere!
We shared dinner with Rick & Patrice at the Chena’s Alaskan Grill, which is inside the park.