Final details, borrowed gear and gifted camping food from Michele and George and we are back on the road. Much shorter distances for awhile. Got a full charge at Chugiak Tesla supercharger (thanks, Three Bears!) to easily get us to Talkeetna and beyond. Talkeetna was hopping with tourists and live music. Our first stop was the Historical Museum where we plugged into their level 2 charger while we explored their Denali exhibit and wandered around town a bit. We got about 48 miles in a few hours. Enough for extra comfort especially when we opted to sleep in the car that night which used about 21 miles in Camping Mode (keeps air circulating while we sleep).
We met Dave from Lake Geneva, WI at the campground. He was in the last camp site but was happy to share since he is backpacking and has no vehicle. We enjoyed spending the evening together with camp supper then a visit to the local historic pub. Dave had some great advice for our upcoming travel to the Kenai Peninsula. Thanks, Dave and good luck on your upcoming nuptials!
Saturday morning we took a short jaunt to K’esugi Ken Campground in Denali State Park. Campground hosts Sarah and Jimmy were very helpful and keep a very clean camp. The tent sites are gorgeous and the nicest we have stayed in so far – each separated from the neighboring site by trees and tall grass and there is a picnic table and bear box in each site. The latrine was also nice and clean.
After setting up camp we went for a walk first to the Interpretive Center where we met Ranger Cindy and her visiting friend Carol both from Iowa. They are both former teachers who hit it off immediately with Paul. We set off for a brief hike on Curry Ridge then returned for some relaxation time in camp. Paul enjoyed a beer in his camp chair while I spent time safely under a mosquito net in the hammock. This feels like the first real down time we have had on this trip.
We made a quick supper and then attended the evening program with Ranger Cindy on the fiercest of predators- the mosquito. We learned along with the families and junior rangers that mosquitoes are pollinators and a food source for others so they do have some redeeming value even if they are an annoyance when they bite us. It was also a special treat after the program to meet Cindy’s family who were also there visiting.
We returned to camp for a good night’s sleep.