Thursday, June 21, 2007

Alaska - Road to Denali, the Kenai and Other Spots 

We just drove from Anchorage, Alaska (AK) to McKinley Lodge, just outside Denali National Park. This drive was after the previous week's travels from Anchorage to Cooper Landing, about halfway down the Kenai Peninsula and some tourist trips around the Kenai.

AK drivers are incredibly polite! There is minimal speeding anywhere - inside city limits, on remote roads, etc. Heading south, signs saying: "Illegal to delay five cars - must use turnout" are posted frequently. In other words, if you're holding up traffic, please get out of the way. I've driven tens of thousands of miles (honest) in this great country and I've never seen such a common sense sign.

The road to Denali, drops to two lanes a bit north of Anchorage. The turnout signs are not there but drivers, especially RV drivers, seem quite aware of their actions on the road - it is rare there are more than seven or eight cars backed up behind any vehicle. However, on this road, I experienced my first time driving in ruts - I kid you not - part of the two-lane road literally had ruts where cars were driving.

The immense areas of this state continues to amaze me. You have forests for miles on each side of the road, not 100' of planted trees to protect a view but miles and miles of uninhabited land. We have become so conditioned by our encounters with other people that it seems almost impossible to envision these vast stretches of land with next to no humans.

This post is a bit of an anecdote. The fish stories have to wait until I return and develop some photos from a disposable camera - if they turn out, well, let's say, I hope the true stories with them are interesting to you as to those of us who experienced the events.