The next chapter in our life together

Category: Alaska (Page 1 of 3)

Stats from the Alaska trip

We’re about to strike out on our next EVenture and realized we might want to close off the last one first….

In case we left you wondering, we did make it home on our final day with stops to visit friends along the way – Jeanne in Alexandria for breakfast  and Lee and Vicki in Annandale for lunch.  We arrived home in the early evening well fed and happy to see Pickles again – I think he missed us too or maybe he just wondered who was going to feed him.

Here’s a map with all of our charging stops along the way

Glacier Morning then Retracing some of my Bike Route – Days 34, 35 & 36

Next morning we got up at 5:30am (I wanted one last adventure – so I got up first- surprise!) to drive the Going to the Sun Road (before a vehicle registration was required).  This gave us the chance to stop at the overlooks that got skipped in the shuttle and take in a few more views beyond Logan Pass.  We also opted for a short hike at the Loop to move our legs.  More great wildlife and mountain vistas in the early morning light.

Back to camp for a quick breakfast and pack up – saving teeth brushing and a few other catch up items for charging time at the visitor’s center.  They have a free level 2 charging station at the St. Mary’s Visitor’s Center which gave us the extra miles we needed to make it to Great Falls (the next high speed charger) since our add-on adventures of the night before and this morning had left us a little short.

We headed to the next high-speed charger in Great Falls enjoying the scenery along the way.

On my bike trip across the country in 2016 (see the blog for LowCarbonCrossings), I have many fond memories and great stories of the 2 weeks we spent traveling through Montana – mostly related to people we met and stayed with.  I finally have the chance to meet Alex in person! She is someone who worked really hard to get our photo with a long caption in the Big Timber paper (see the bottom of this page) and I have only met her through email and on Zoom before this.  And to our delight she and Jim invites us to stay with them in their passive solar house about 13 miles north of Big Timber- and fed us yummy vegan food too!

The next morning we drove into Big Timber to use the Tesla charger (just enough to get to Billings) and so I could see the main street again where we took our picture for the newspaper.  We also stopped in at Sweetcast Fly Fishing to see if I would find the owner that I met there in 2016.  Adam was out on the water, but instead we got to meet Amy who was working that day – she’s got her PhD in Environmental Engineering and was excited to hear about the work we are doing.  Next, we got a chance to catch up with our CCL friend Lori in Billings while our car charged.

More memories as we drive along of places we stopped on the bike trip – I remember going from Billings to Hardin where Lori and her husband Rob lived at the time.  I also remember Colstrip and Miles City and Glendive (the last two are now Tesla Supercharger stops which seems a little ironic).  I can’t believe we were riding on this shoulder – in parts of Montana and North Dakota, there are no other paved roads, so bikes are allowed on the interstate.  I recall that it seemed like a luxuriously wide shoulder then – now it just looked dangerous as we wiz by at 80 miles per hour.  This is beautiful country as we now enter the Badlands and approach Theodore Rosevelt National Park in North Dakota (where we had an incident with a bison on the bike trip).  We had to stop for some of the scenic views including the Painted Canyon Visitors Center and overlook that I remember and I wanted Paul to see.  We were driving faster (and using more energy) to get to Dickinson before Dr. Shelley (another CCL friend) left for her camping trip so I could give her a hug as well.

We did make it to Dickinson with perfect timing to exchange hugs, meet Shelley’s partner Dr. Raul and chat for a little bit before they headed off for the weekend for some well deserved fun – though as veterinarians, they were still on call for emergencies through the weekend so they were not going too far away.  Shelley also surprised us with a gift of honey from her regenerative farm in Nicaragua (the honey reference in the previous post).  And then they left us in the care of John Elway the cat with a comfy bed to lay our heads.  We watched a bit of Netflix for the first time in over a month and put off the updating of the blog until the morning.  It was a good chance to begin our transition from vacation and traveling to almost home.

The next morning we updated the blog, enjoyed a hearty breakfast, using up leftovers and things in our cooler (plus some of the eggs we suspect were from the chickens right outside the door).  And we are off for the last portion of our journey – one more night on the road.

Through this first part of North Dakota I remember more of the bike trip up to Bismarck where we turned south (after attending our friend Gretchen’s wedding) – to go to Standing Rock.

Lots of road construction through the rest of North Dakota with few stops (just to charge and for a bathroom break) – we are feeling the call to get home – and charging is easy with Tesla Superchargers well spaced.  A charge in West Fargo and then we see the Minnesota Welcomes You sign!  Back to our home state where we found a campsite at Oak Park Kampground where we were lulled to sleep by the semi trucks on the highway and the sweet smell of manure.

– Mindy

An adventurous way home – Days 31, 32 & 33

What to do when heading for home?  Why not hit as many national parks as possible. We started with a repeat of Jasper, then altered the route (skipping crowded Banff) to go through Kootney and Waterton in Canada on our way to Glacier National Park. 

We arrived at Glacier about 1pm which proved to be perfect timing to get a first-come-first-served campsite in the park.

Glacier has a history for Mindy and Paul. Mindy’s family was thwarted in traversing the world famous “Going to the Sun”  road that crossing Glacier National Park from East to West when she was 11, so to see the full road was on her bucket list.  Paul’s eldest sibling Tommy of San Marino CA spent two summer’s  (1957-58) in Glacier as a “bellman” when he wasn’t climbing dangerous chimneys in the Rockies or chasing around with his buddies doing what 20 year olds do. And Paul remembered visits there as a 7-year-old and again as a young dad with 5-year-old Christopher.

I digress…back to entering Jasper NP for the 2nd time, wanting to keep moving but seeing the dramatic views and river flows that we missed the first time. We visited Athabaska Falls and Sunwapta Falls the 2 major water falls along the river and then struck it rich when we found 2 bunks open in the Athabaska Hostel just off the Icefield  Highway. Young travelers from France, Germany, and other languages I couldn’t decode, families enjoying their vacation, and host Jennifer from Canada who was a delightful source of interest and information to all the hostelites.  The next morning gave us a bit more time in Jasper and Banff Nation Parks with stops at the Icefields Center for glacier viewing.

Now how to get to Glacier NP without going thru Calgary and avoiding the ever increasing wildfires all over BC and Alberta? We choose a route thru Kootenny NP and wrapping around the southern border of Canada and north of Glacier-Waterton NPs. Our first time dealing with darkness (after getting spoiled by mid night dusks) and some heavy rains on a windy mountain road toward Crow’s Pass where we thought we had a room at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Blairmore, Alberta.  Opps, sorry that room  booked thru Expedita, was already gone. Debbie the hotel host called around and nothing available. Let’s camp at Lost Lemon the local camoground but did we want to set up our tent in the rain at midnight? Mindy did her switcharoo gig with Redd-Y and slept in the back while Paul snoozed in the passenger seat…we survived just fine and awoke to a  bight sunny chilly morning. Paul had  a morning walk searching for coffee. Met Shayla the mural artist (photo) and learned the “story of the Crows Nest” from the old man on the bench (photo) who pointed Paul to coffee where Mindy showed up to head to more National Parks.

Paul had always wanted to visit Waterton National Park the partner park with Glacier to form an  International Peace Park. A great way to say good bye to our Canada portion of our oddesey (we actually spent more nights in Canada than Alaska) we made the breakfast cut off by one minute at the Prince of Wales Hotel (thanks to Cary Richmond, our house and Pickles care giver at home) for a full English Breakfast before charging in Waterton town and heading for the border.

Our raw eggs were confiscated at Big Chief Mountain entry point and got to Glacier and free entry with Paul’s Lifetime Senior Pass (there are benefits to aging). Found plenty of campsites at Rising Sun campground and caught the shuttle to the top of Going to the Sun Road at Logan Pass. Memories of being 7 years old with 8 foot snow drifts in July at the same place – no snow today.  What are we doing here?

Fun hike to Hidden Lake overlook with the throngs and curious wildlife with the highlight being a big old mountain goat popping out of the forest for close up views. Got our stickers and National Park passport to encourage more visits and shared our Cool Planet Simple Steps concept with Ranger Debbie and she will pass on to park educators that are doing a lot to connect park visits with behavior change.

Shuttle back to boat dock and got the GEM of the trip from another Ranger as we bemoaned not seeing a Moose on the entire trip.  He knew of a lake, Fishercap near Many Glacier Hotel, where he always sees moose in abundance. Mindy wanted to see where my brother worked in 1957-58 so instead of a quiet dinner at the campsite we rushed off for the 40 minute drive to Many Glacier for memory photos for brother Tommy and me (Christopher and I travelled there on our first big camping trip in 1995).

Met Eric the Bellman (photo) from Mpls who had just finished the evening Hootenanny, he confirmed the moose location and we hustled off to beat the growing darkness.  It was magical walking thru the forest and meeting folks with “they’re still there” and “we saw 5 moose”.  When we got to the lake most of the people were gone and this huge Bull Moose looked at us then continued his lake dinner, head submerged and then up with the delightful mouthful of lake veggies. A female was doing the same in the middle of the shallow lake. Moon rising, still waters surrounded by mountains….doesn’t get much better. Thank you Mindy for making that moment happen.

Now it’s time to head for home…passing to you honey….like from Nicaragua?

She’ll explain.

– Paul

Drive Easy – Conserve – Day 29 & 30

A good night’s sleep and we were up relatively early and ready to roll after cold showers (I couldn’t do it and washed my hair in the sink instead).

We made it to Watson Lake and spent extra time exploring the Signpost Forest while the car charged for about an hour and 45 minutes.

We needed a full charge to make it to Fort Nelson – actually according to the car estimates we can’t make it that far.  When fully charged it says 505 Kilometers and Fort Nelson is 512 Kilometers away.  On our way up, we stopped for the extra charge at an RV park along the way and had passed up the only level 2 charger on this route.  That time we spent 3 hours getting 30 kilometers that we just barely used on the journey, but it gave us the piece of mind we needed while we were still new to traveling long distances in an EV.

As we started the journey from Watson Lake, the car estimated that we would still have 24% of our battery charge when we reached Fort Nelson.  How is that possible?  We are still puzzling on how the navigation system does the estimating.  Does it know that it’s mountainous terrain?  Does it know wind speed and direction?  Does it know how we drive?  We rarely go above 90 Km/hour (55 miles/hour).  We decided to experiment.  We set the navigation for the Northern Rockies Lodge where they have the level 2 charger.  Reading the reviews on the charging apps, it suggests that this charger really barely meets the level 2 criteria and would probably take just as long as our RV camp stop did before.  Can we conserve enough energy to make up for the potential 3 hours wait to charge (driving slower will take longer to reach our destination, but it’s moving time rather than sitting time)?  

Part of the puzzle – battery power says 125 km, 132 Km to go, but it says we’d have 14% remaining when we get there. How is this possible?

The car suggested we would have more than 50% of our battery power left by the time we got to the lodge with the charger and it was more than half way to our destination.  We checked the map for how many more campgrounds there were after that to use as backup (3 more).  We were doing well by keeping our speed down by the time we got to the lodge, so we drove on by, keeping careful watch on the predicted range of kilometers we had in the battery versus the number of kilometers still to travel.


Paul discovered that if he slowed down even more (about 40 miles/hour) on the downhills, he could gain quite a bit of battery charge.  Since we had a number of mountain passes to cross on this route, we had some major downhill opportunities.  The trick was to also slow down on the big uphills so as not to burn away all that extra power in going up.

Fortunately there was not much traffic in this stretch especially since it was almost 9pm when we arrived in Fort Nelson.  So we weren’t bothering anyone by going extra slow on the highway.

We made it all the way to Fort Nelson and had 10% battery power remaining when we plugged into the charger at the Triple G Hideway RV park.  By going that much slower, it did take us almost 3 hours more than if we had gone the speed limit, but it was 3 hours on the road with spectacular views.


We enjoyed a conversation with a new friend, Loni (and her dog, Coopy) before leaving camp.  It’s hard to hurry when there are so many interesting people to meet and beautiful sites to see.

This time we found the high speed charger in Ft. St. John, so we didn’t need to spend the night so close to our last overnight which will give us more time to stop in Jasper and Glacier National Parks on our way home.

On our way up we took a scenic route and bypassed Dawson Creek the official start of the Alaska Highway – at that time we pledged to go through Dawson Creek this time, so we did.  And met Harry there who was just starting on the Alaska Highway as we were finishing.

Carrying on we decided to stop for the night in Grande Prairie.  Rather than seek out the fast chargers in town, we opted for the Hampden Inn that had a level 2 Tesla charger that we could use overnight for no additional fee.

– Mindy

Return to the Land of the Loonie – Days 27 & 28

(Loonie is what they call the $1 Canadian coin)

A sunny morning greeted our last day in ALASKA. 15 in all and yes we will spend more days traveling in our car than exploring AK…WAS IT WORTH It?  U Betcha!

One more quick visit to Wrangle St Elias NP with clear views of the front range of 12-14,000 footers, a hike along the bluff above the River and we boarded Redd-Y for the long bumpy (no flats yet) ride to Tok and the Canadian border.

Along the way we have learned so much about the building of the Alaskan Highway in 1942 with full out support from the US military and many soldiers from the Deep South who knew little to nothing about winter. 1400+ miles and all completed over unbelievable terrain – ALL IN 8 MONTHS!!

Our last charge in Alaska

After the hike we charged up for our last “Recharge Alaska” session at the Glennallen Subway shop and headed for the border with sites seen from a different vantage point. All the views seemed new and the mountains in Wrangel St Elias we’re more open than on the way in.

A long wait for a pilot car to help us cross a construction site and we reached the Canadian border around 11 pm and still the summer light hanging on. Arriving at Beaver Creek with no place open for sleeping.  Even tried the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) station and no one answered my knocks and bell ringing.

What else to do when you can’t find the campground and the whole town is asleep?

With the midnight dusk deepening we set up the tent on the visitor center grounds totally missing the “No camping” signs until morning…whopppsie


After apologizing for our guffaw with the Visitor Center ladies, Sid stopped in. We had met Sid Van Der Meer (84, originally from the Netherlands) and a collector of almost anything you can think of. He gave us a tour at his living museum in Beaver Creek, and just look at the photos and visit Sid’s website, featured in multiple articles and media productions. Here is a man with a very clear purpose and vision  and he plans to live many more years and has a son who is following in his footsteps, at least with his love of old autos.  including at 1951 Buick, our first family car.

The nasty road to Haines Jct was more mild than we remembered.  Perhaps we are just getting acclimatized to our “Northern Exposure”.

Stopped for a late breakfast at Burwash Landing for a “Flo” charge. Thanks to the Yukon government for supporting the EV movement with free charging for the time being.

Talk about inspirational characters, at Berwash Landing we met 2 bicyclers Gary 58, from Germany doing a short jaunt from Anchorage to Juneau.   And Seth, 28?, from Michigan, about a month in to his point to point journey from Prudhoe Bay on the northern most tip of AK to the southern most tip of Argentina. I said to Seth “ that will take a year” and he said to me “ that’s what I’ve been thinking”.   I’ll be following his journey on Instagram, oh my!!

And there was also Brian and Jean with their dog, Puddles, and their Vistabule teardrop trailer – from Minnesota and they know Paul’s brother, Peter through Holden Village.  Another small world moment.

The least I could do after that meeting was to take a Dunk in Lake Kluane the largest lake in Yukon. Temp, possibly 50 F but no more. Mindy caught the Yukon shower on video, now how to show that here.

Video of Paul’s Yukon shower

Back on the road to Whitehorse. No word from Malkomb so we just charged at the Visitors Center and got a ton of help from Lindsey and Michelle in finding a place to stay on our way to Watson Lake. Everyone was full up except a small hotel  in what looked like a giant cooler on the continental divide (that’s either the Bering Sea to the west or the Arctic Ocean to the north). We were happy to have a bed to share after another loooooong day on the AK highway.

– Paul


HEADING HOME- rewind the road trip – Day 26

Spent the morning connecting with Michele and hearing about her weekend wedding with George the brand new reverend.

They made our entire journey more stress free with equipment, food, ideas and moral support. Having friends through our climate and frisbee networks makes all the difference!  Big thanks  to George Donart and Michele Champion and their kitty Patches!!

A quick stop at the Alaska Public Lands Office to pick up two more books in downtown Anchorage.

Then a stop at Alaska Ice to get a block of ice for our cooler as we head south to warmer climes. (Shout out to Lilu who we met in the parking lot who told us how much he loves driving for Alaska Ice and what a great company it is to work for.)

The backtrack trip begins with a return to Chugiak and our 4th time charging at the Three Bears store Tesla Supercharger.

This time with 3 Tesla’s for the first time.

EVs are on the way and our hope is that this blog will help accelerate the change.

A stop at Three Bears for car food and then to Mat Valley Meats for some homemade reindeer, elk and grass fed beef jerky to bring home for family. Hi Donald and thanks for the storage tips and info on your local delicacies.

The rain started and continued for most of the trip and Paul saw most of the journey for the first time cuz he was zonked out three weeks ago heading to Palmer.

Visited the Matanuska Glacier in a rain storm and decided not to hike on the glacier and kept driving toward Glenallen with long forest and  landscape views.

Charged at the Subway “Recharge Alaska” station and found an RV site with tent camping for our last night on our Alaska Oddesey

The sun came out and we have a prediction for a lovely day tomorrow for a short visit to Wrangle St Elias, the largest the possibly the least visited NP in the US This massive park , nearly twice the size for Denali is almost entirely wilderness and requires air flights to visit most of the park.

Dreams of real adventures from our 49th state and more.


The leisurely way back to Anchorage – Day 25

The sun came out in the morning after 3 days of rain, so we got a chance to dry out the tent and reorganize the car before leaving Seward.  The drive to Anchorage is less than 130 miles, so with our 250 miles of charge from the DC Fast Charger in Seward, we had the time and energy to explore a bit along the way.

We stopped at many scenic overlooks just to enjoy the views.  Then we saw a sign for the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center with bison standing out front – that looks interesting!  So we stopped and finally got to see a moose in Alaska.  The grizzly bears put on the best show – playing and making displays of dominance and posing in the water.  The lynx was another unusual sighting.  I also enjoyed seeing the coyotes, elk, reindeer, sitka black tailed deer and porcupine.  All the animals here are those that have been rescued as babies when their mother was killed or had some sort of injury that prevents them from being reintroduced in the wild.  Many of them are now movie stars too.  It was also a good way to stretch our legs walking around to see all the animals.

As we got back on the road, we came up to Turnagain Arm (a water formation) and realized as we looked down the water we could see Denali in the distance, but we had passed the best viewpoint by the time we realized what we were looking at – so we turned around and went back to see the view and get some pictures.  We were happy to discover that we got many views of Denali as we continued to drive along the arm.

Next stop was Alyeska Resort a short distance off the main highway.  This is a ski resort in the winter, but they run their arial tram all year long.  We had the option of walking up the mountain, but opted to take the tram up as well as down.  But we did take advantage of the trails at the top that let us climb a bit higher – Paul opted to go higher than I did.  I was satisfied clinging to the conveniently placed post to take pictures and enjoy the view around me.  When we met one of the guides at the top, I was happy to know there was a wider pathway down that was not nearly as scares the one we had climbed up.  We then tried to watch the bore tide come in on the arm, but it seems it’s a phenomenon better observed closer to water level.  From our high observation point, it was just a clear line of the tide moving in.

We stopped for a few more good views on the way to Anchorage and arrived at Michelle and George’s house about 8:30pm.  We would have to wait until morning to share stories of our adventures and give our hostess a big thank you hug.

To the Glacier by Kayak – Day 24

This is the day we saved all those quarters, dimes and nickels for.

Along with 10 other customers from MO, NC, SC and CA we joined the Sunny Cove Kayak Adventure to the Holgate Glacier one of the major glaciers in the Seward area. We were guided by Liz and Andrew our wonderful guides and naturalists and Nick our shuttle boat’s Captain.

In 1620 when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock the Holgate glacier reached to our drop off point 3.5 miles from the current glacier location. We went thru the orientation process on safety and procedures and started our group paddle along the edge of the Holgate Fiord. So many sea birds, puffins, cormorants, a variety of gulls, many of which we had seen the day before at the Alaska Sea Life Center.

We paddled for 2 plus hours before we approached the glacier, a giant mass of compacted ice of multiple colors towering over 600 feet high from the ocean surface littered with ice chunks of various sizes.

We had the treat of one small calving episode (ice breaking off the glacier and falling into the ocean) and then went to the near-by beach to have warm soup and load up the boats for our long ride home.

Paul was pretty pooped after the long, wet and cold paddle (on this rainy day) and started napping on Mindy’s lap when a loud shout of “humpbacks” arose.

Side bar….Paul (and his son Christopher) have been studying and tracking Orcas (Killer Whales) for years past but never have a had a chance to see humpback whales in the wild until today.

After the initial sighting we were all on the fore and aft deck of our vessels keeping a keen eye on the ocean’s surface.  Andrew saw the blowhole spouts and said “looks like 10-12 Humpbacks”

Distant view of bubble netting

The birds began to congregate around the feeding whales and soon we were watching the intricate cooperative behavior call “bubble netting” where the humpbacks create a large ring of breath bubbles that confuse the fish making for an easy meal for the hungry whales.

Just caught one fin of the breach

Then without notice, a breakaway humpback started breaching with 3-4 full jumps out of the water and crashing to our delight and squeals into the water. Without expectations another bucket list event before our eyes multiple times….waiting on others photographs videos to share.

  – Paul

Mindy’s addendum:

We saw many other animals in addition to the birds and humpbacks – starting with the sea otter resting on his back in the water as we motored by.  We also saw sea lions resting on the rocks of one island and harbor seals in a few places.  My favorite was the harbor seal who seemed to be following us.  He kept popping his head out of the water near our kayaks while we were paddling near the glacier.

And yes, the massive size of the glacier when seen from a kayak is awe inspiring!

Back at the Nauti Otter Inn, we shared stories of the day with other travelers and shared dinner with fellow Minnesotans Henry and Michael – they provided the cooked halibut and we provided the pesto pasta which proved to be a good combination.

 – Mindy

On to Seward – Days 22 & 23

Saturday was a travel day – covering the 360 miles from Denali National Park down to Seward on the Kenai Peninsula.  It was a rainy overnight, so we packed the tent up wet, treated ourselves to breakfast at the Visitor’s Center campus to save time and got on the road.  The next few days are predicted to be quite wet and rainy in Seward, so we found the Nauti Otter hostel a better option to cold wet days in the tent – and they have a kitchen where we can cook our own meals.

It was a rainy day which made travel even slower, but the charging stations were familiar – the Flo station in Cantwell and the Tesla Supercharger in Chugiak near Anchorage.  Most of the Level 3 chargers we use require our CCS adapter and take about an hour for a good charge (20-80 or 90%), but the Tesla supercharger does the same amount of charging in about half the time.  The scenery was also beautiful even on a rainy day – especially between Anchorage and Seward which was new for us.  We hope the weather will be a bit nicer on Tuesday when we head back this way so we can make some stops to better enjoy the views and maybe stretch our legs with some short hikes.

After a warm, dry night in a real bed at the Nauti Otter, we were up, breakfasted and out the door to explore Seward.  This started with charging the car at the Level 3 charger at the visitor’s center (which unfortunately was closed for the day).  We got a plan for the day while we waited and Paul got to get his pictures of the Alaska Railroad train coming into Seward.  He waved to the train knowing our friend Dave was on it, thinking it unlikely he would ever see – much to our surprise we learned he had seen Paul waving and knew exactly who it was.

The it was off to the Alaska Sealife Center.  What a magical visit watching the seals, sea lion, fish and many sea birds from the land side on top and the underwater side on the lower floor.  The grace of the large sea mammals as they swam around their tanks was amazing.  And watching the birds fly on the surface then swimming underwater was astonishing – especially the puffins that look like they are flying underwater.  So different from some of the other divers who fold their wings in and swim with just their feet.

Watch the puffins swimming

Next we took a hike to see the Exit Glacier.  It was closer than we got to a glacier in New Zealand, but still a somewhat distant view because of the amount the glacier has receded.  They keep adding trail, but it gets more difficult as the glacier shrinks.  There are signs posted of where the glacier was at different years.

We capped the day off with dinner at the Flamingo Lounge with Dave to celebrate his 40th birthday.  He was right, the “Bucket of But” (short for Halibut) may be the best fish fry I’ve ever eaten – even those Wisconsin is famous for.  It was particularly fun to be able to celebrate with our new friend – there was clearly a reason we kept running into each other in Alaska.

While at the bar a voice from behind tells Paul “your Tesla is being towed”.  Paul’s note:  I looked up at there was my former Morningside Neighbor Jeff Shoemate on a short vacation with his daughter Ana. The Shoemate’s were founding members of the Morningside Family Frisbee Club the forerunner to Cool Planet, or perhaps in this case a small planet.

We are excited for tomorrow’s kayaking trip to see what else Seward has in store for us.

  • Mindy

Time to ourselves – Day 21

The morning was filled with breakfast, a visit with Dave and showers to wash off the three days in the wilderness.

In the afternoon, Paul took off for a round of golf in Healy nearby and Mindy opted to stay in the park mostly to do some work catchup.

But it was not all work and no play for Mindy.  I got to see our friends from Australia one more time and collect extra hugs for Paul.  And when my work was done, I stretched my legs with a short walk to the Nenana River overlook.  I had heavier backpack than usual since I had my computer and more that I had kept from the car for the day, so I didn’t mind when a friendly red Tesla picked me up to drive back to the park.  We took a short hike together to the Riley Creek bridge and got some beautiful views of the creek for which our current campground is named – and a stunning view of the railroad trestle high above the creek. 

– Mindy

“Paul’s Day off” included a 10 mile drive to Healy north of the park entrance to Black Diamond Resort.

9 hole rustic golf course, horse farm, covered wagon rides, and ATV adventure riding. It was a blast playing alone and expecting a bear or moose on every hole. See photos and with low expectations it’s easy to come away satisfied. A lovely meal after the round and a local brew and I was headed to the Healy charging station but the electricity was still being activated at the Three Bears location, so back to Denali for the evening.

Back to DNP to share my meal with Mindy and discover the local surroundings of Riley Creek. After 3 busy days of camping and hiking it was good to settle into 2 days of traditional car camping in the park.

– Paul 

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