USA: Alaska - Wild and Beautiful VII.
According to the original plan we had to rest, however, after mutual agreement we decide to only pass through Fairbanks and continue to Yukon. If we are lucky, we will conquer the Arctic Circle.
27. 8. 2011
Haley; Nenana; Fairbanks; Elliott Highway; Dalton Highway; Yukon; Marion Creek, Finger Mountain; Artic Circle
We leave guest house White Moose, Haley, and we continue to Fairbanks. Countryside is covered with mist, we pass through forest and the road seems to disappear... The road to "nowhere". Magical surroundings reminds us scene from some typical horror movie.
The first stop - town Nenana. It is a small town with a large portion of indigenous people of Athabask nation - Eskimos. In the beginning of the 20th century the town was used as a railroad-building base camp. This period of time is reminded in local Alaska State Railroad Musem – Nenana Depot.
The town has a very nice small church and many interesting houses built of wood. We have quickly decided to use our pause here to stop by for coffee and/or some snack. Right across the road is absolutely fabulous restaurant Rough Woods Inn, which is opened during the whole year. There is a reason we mentioned its opening time, since it is not usual in Alaska for some business to be opened whole year. Most of restaurants work only during spring and summer. Another specialty is espresso (not a common part of menu). Our breakfast was only warm meal of the day.
We arrived in Fairbanks where we just refill our gasoline reserves and buy food for a whole day, because there is a long road ahead. We continue by Steese Highway and close to Fox town we turn on Elliott Highway. Elliot Highway goes along mountainside and ranges and offers amazing views over the countryside. The highway starts 11 miles from Fairbanks, first 73 miles to intersection with Dalton Higway are paved. All of us long to see mighty and beautiful Yukon river. We leave Elliott Highway and continue on a really difficult Dalton Highway. It is long, bumpy, and very dusty. Margins are not paved and the road is graveled. It was built as a access road for building northern passage Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The road is 414 miles long and it goes from the intersection with Elliot Highway to Arctic Ocean. The last town on the road is Deadhorse. It has very heavytraffic- dozens and dozens trucks are whizzing in both directions and because of dust we sometimes can't see in curves. You need to be well-prepared for the trip. First of all you need to fill your gasoline tanks, because number of gas stations is very low. Second, you need spare parts for your car, tow rope, bulbs, spare tires etc. Third, sufficient amount of food and drink and if your crew consists of only one car, it is suitable to have also some blanket or a sleeping bag. In case of flat tire you must be self-sufficient. Call for help is very problematic, or rather impossible.
The countryside along the road is beautiful. Woods are followed by high mountais, and crystal clear rivers. It is the end of August and autumn with its myriads of colors begins in Alaska. Leaves of trees are colored in yellow gold and following tundra is colored in crimson red. On 56th mile Dalton Highway reaches Yukon River. You can get across the river thanks to 2290 feet long Yukon River Bridge. If you want to know more about the area, try to visit Yukon Crossing Visitor Contact Station. It's around 16 o'clock and we have yet 60 miles to Arctic Circle and then back to Fairbanks. For a while we ponder to give up our trip. We refill gas, fluids and eat some small snack. Only few souvenirs and quickly back into the car. Originally sunny weather is spoiling! Clouds appear and there are even few drops of rain. Part of the countryside is brightened by a sunlight and together with a small rain it creates a beautiful rainbow! We stop and take a picture of this amazing wonder of nature.Finally, we are just at 66° 33´N, through here the Arctic Circle passes. In the time of summer solstice sun doesn't set for one day and in the time of winter solstice sun doesn't dawn and the area is entirely sinking in the dark. There is a small turning off the road, a "rest area" lets say. An exact place where Dalton Highway crosses the Arctic Circle is marked with a wooden marking. It's late and we have a tiring road back.
We drive on the same route simply because there is no other. However, it doesn't mean there is nothing to look at. Nature is amazing. When we finally arrived in Fairbanks it's late evening. In Birdgewater hotel we crash around midnight. We are all exhausted and fall right on our beds.
Following day we set out to thermal springs and we will also visit North Pole town - the residence of Santa Claus.
Text and photo: Magdaléna Radostová
My trip to Alaska actually started long time before departure. Why Alaska, if beautiful places are really a lot? To fill my dream of travelling has helped me realize my father, an avid hunter, who for 20 years has travelled almost the whole world.
Boston, the capital of Massachusetts and a center of New England, has played a crucial role in the US history. It was founded in 1630 and the key event leading to the American Revolution happened there – the Boston tea party. Being is the city like living the American history itself, this is also due to the fact that Boston boasts with many firsts.
Historical landmarks make Boston interesting, indeed, but there are other places one shouldn’t miss. Only then his/her visit will be complete. These places are charming and have their unique atmosphere. Despite thousands of tourists visit them every year, everyone can enjoy them.
Almost two years while I was working as an au-pair I had lived in suburbia of the center of the whole globe. To describe every attraction worth visiting would take several articles. New York is the most monumental symbol of level of the world civilization. It consists of five districts - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island.
I had visited Washington D. C. during my two-year stay in the US. I had spent there three days for I considered it a duty to visit the city not only for it is the US capital but also for its vicinity. It is about 250 miles/400 kilometers from New York.
I went to a trip to Niagara Falls together with my three au-pair colleagues near the end of my two-year stay in the US. It is an unwritten tradition to visit the Niagaras if you are an au-pair in New York. I haven’t met anyone who didn’t visit the falls or at least wasn’t going to.
Previous articles had to demonstrate you the atmosphere a visitor can feel in the United States. Today we will hit the streets of the most important city in the Pacific Northwest.
There are many natural parks in the United States. Maybe you think of Yosmite, Wrangell-St.Elias (the largest US park) or Denali.
There is a mountain state in the southwest United States. It is known for beautiful nature, high mountains, ghost towns, important scientific institutions, and developed agriculture. If you guessed Colorado you are right!
Today, for the first time, is our "reveille" later than usual. Our photo-expedition ends. It remains only to buy some souvenirs, pack our things and prepare for our way back home tomorrow.
To explore the Katmai Island we have only one day – today. This is why we plan everything carefully and try to avoid every loss of time. Do you know what to do when suddenly a bear appears in front of you? You have to keep proper distance, don’t look him in the eyes, don’t run – a bear is certainly faster than you – and talk to him with calm voice and slowly move backwards. Regardless all advice it is still better, however, to avoid encounter with a bear.
The next day we are going to the port town of Seward, on the way we stop at wild river and this day will finish by exploring the Research Centre of the marine ecosystem of Alaska.
The following day is dedicated to the rocky landscape of ice - Kenai Fjords National Park.
Today we will take you to wild Alaska, to its largest city Anchorage, which boasts a very poetic nickname - the City of Lights and Flowers.
We meet at 8 o’clock for breakfast. Concerning our late arrival yesterday we choose our program of the day just now. It has been decided. We leave Fairbanks and continue to Chena Hot Springs to its thermal springs.
The Tangle Lakes area is a popular camping site. In the region are many fishermen who enjoy their hobby. Tangle of lakes and rivers which going through a hilly landscape offer enough opportunities to catch fish. Today you will enjoy beautiful panoramas.
Today we will move from McCarthy to Valdez. As I said before, major part of the road was built on former railroad Copper River and Northwestern Railway. Services here are really minimal and there is no gas station.
I have been telling myself for several times that there is nothing better than this place. Such a romantic place… there couldn’t be greater romance. But better comes on the following days, another experiences and again totally fantastic landscape, accommodation… well, it’s just great!
Today's visit of Denali park will take as all day (or rather few days). We were provided with tickets in advance and we are accommodated close to the park, so we can be in place in time, preferably in the first row to have the best view.
Today awaits us a long crossing from Hatcher Pass to the Denali National Park. If we travel without a pause, we would need at least 4 hours.
Several attempts of seeing another eagles was little successful, but towards the saddle of green hills our paths crossed a moose lady.
The next day we will expect gold digger paradise and muskoxen and reindeer farm.
On highway, that follows the Seward Highway - the main road of the peninsula, we are going to the protected wilderness areas of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. But first - visit the musher´s family and their shaggy sled dogs.
The next day we addict to knowledge about bald and brown eagle.
The land filled with beauties of nature, reservations and natural parks. Mountains, tundra, fores...