Tuesday, July 11
Today began with showers in the Silvermine -- in the morning! The showers at the private campground were $4 for 10 minutes, and the ones in the Silvermine were free . . . until the hot water tank ran out!
We were in no hurry to pull up stakes at The Denali Rainbow RV Park, as we just had to move 5 miles down the road to Riley Creek inside the National Park. And, we figured we needed to give campers that were leaving this morning time to vacate their site. We pulled in at 9:30, and took the site directly across from Dave and Gail – except that they had left this morning. The welcoming committee was out again, as we soon had a young juvenile moose in our campground.
Denali is a mostly a closed park; there is only one public road going into the park, and only the first 15 miles are open to private cars. Cars/travel trailers or motorhomes can drive on into various campgrounds if they have a reservation and a pass. Otherwise, access to the total 92 miles of road is by bus – with reservations.
We drove the first 15 miles before lunch; it was misty, cloudy and rainy – just the way Denali is supposed to be! We drove all the way back to the restriction post, hoping to take a loop hike around the Savage Mountain River Area. Here we discovered that dogs were not allowed on the trails, so we took some pictures of a magnificent rock outcropping that looked like it was begging to be climbed. Several groups of people scrambled up over the base rubble, but I don’t know how far anyone makes it up the rock. On the way back, we saw a “jam” up in front of us – would you believe a wolf jam! He was trotting right down the road!
After lunch we left Charlie for a nap and drove to the Denali dog kennels just 6 miles down the road. The kennels are maintained by the park and the dogs provide winter access to many parts of the park. It was interesting to compare these kennels and dogs to the one we saw in Seward. These dogs are the much larger and heavier type of dog usually thought of. The distinction is that they are not made for speed and racing, but for hauling power. The presentation said that pound for pound the dogs are the strongest draft animal of any type (body weight in comparison to load weight.)
We missed the major part of the presentation – that’s ok because the guy’s microphone wasn’t working, and we couldn’t hear anyway. But when the group was released we were able to walk back through the dog yard and go up and pet many of the dogs. Their kennel arrangements are very different – little deluxe log cabins for each dog with flat tops as an outdoor perch. Their yard was also nicely graveled and free of mud puddles.
We wanted to enjoy the campsite atmosphere in the late afternoon – it is the best campsite we have had in a long time.
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown