Thursday, August 25, 2016

Nenana and Denali ~Alaska Trip Day 21

Nenana, home of the Ice Classic, a tradition since 1917 when the black & white tripod sitting on the frozen Tanana river moves 100 feet to signify the water's thaw. It's a lottery for those who want to buy a ticket and guess the time of spring's arrival in interior Alaska.

Ice Classic Watch Tower and tripod
Behind me is the railroad bridge that was the final link on the Alaska Railroad.
There the golden spike was driven by President Harding in 1923

The altar cloth inside this 1905 Episcopal Church is a beaded bleached moosehide.
We wandered through the small town a bit, meeting a friendly airforce veteran. He had a lot of stories to tell about himself and the area. I think he is homeless and know he is carless as he hitchhikes to Fairbanks to fly to the vet hospital in Anchorage. Interesting characters in these parts of the country!

Railroad depot built in 1922

Back on the road again, we drive south toward Denali National park, stopping for beautiful vistas (and road construction) along the way.

We enter the national park, reserve our bus tour for tomorrow, and hop on the shuttle to Savage River.
moose! caribou! Wildlife is worth stopping for!
Mt. McKinley is on the left hidden by the thick clouds.
You can see one slope poking above the clouds, but blending because it is white with ice.
Savage River
The campgrounds were full in the park, so we drove out a few miles to a turnout beside Nenana Canyon. First we walked the path by Nenana River and went down to the raft access. Caroline cut her foot on the large rocks sticking out of the water and bled a frightening amount, but once cleaned & bandaged she soon healed.

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