Sunday, July 1, 2012

Outside Denali Park

We all wandered further down the highway yesterday and found an inexpensive park on Otto Lake to sit out out last night before we tart moving into Denali National Park and our reservations in those campgrounds. It is doubtful that we will get to keep the strong signal that we seem to have here.  

I thought I should clean out my camera and post what I had left over from the last few days so that I can start fresh.

This is a picture of the main street in Nenana, AK.  

There is something about old wooded boats that make then seen to have more personality and sense of history.

And this sign pretty much sums up where we are in our journey at this point.

Liz and her girls exploring the streets of Nenana...

In Alaska I don't think lawns matter but your collection of proper Alaskan toys, now that is another  matter altogether.

You will find this picture on several blogs I am thinking....

I showed you the main street so the least I could do if take a picture of one of the side streets heading off......   I kept thinking there should be a moose wandering around the corner.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, Birdie and "Herbie" drove us across the river to the town cemetery.   The departed have a very nice view of the river and town.

And then there are the final resting places....

Everywhere among the trees you could find the final resting places......while their spirits could gaze out over the valley.

Back at the Cultural Center in town I noticed a small photo in a display regarding a burial back in 1950.  Besides the winter scene, the hill had lost it trees at that time and the forest you see above has come back since.

An early snow mobile from the 60's....

An evening of Mexican Train.  "Oh, take that photo over I didn't have my smile face on!"

So, I took the photo over, I just didn't say I wouldn't post both.

The day before we left Nenana, Judy on of the owners of the park offered to walk us over to meet her neighbor, Miles, who had recently found a huge ancient Mammoth tusk out on native lands.  As Judy said, don't ask him where he found it because he won't tell anyone.  Miles has an interesting story and visiting his place brings a sense of Alaskan determination and independence.   He has a web site under Miles of Alaska.....I haven't looked it up yet, but Liz did and recommended it as a good read.   He was one of those individuals that had himself dropped off at the edge of the the wilderness and walked back out a year later.

Below is a table of skulls and bones that he prepares and dries for resale over the internet. He said that he gets requests from individuals preparing medicine bags and those making jewelry.   His wife sowed us the old coolers were the bones are stored after they are initially boiled to remove some of the meat.  The maggots in the coolers do the final cleaning.  She didn't suggest us actually opening the coolers..... 

Miles, wife said that they don't own a lawn mover but use a weed whacker when totally necessary. Their yard was a dedicated to garden and birds and stuff.

The small hot house for the garden.

The back of the small cabin.  Most people in Alaska don't appear to see the sense of heating large homes....reasonable decision I think.


Here is a picture of Miles with his Mammoth Tusk. He is holding the tip in his arms. What ever other treasures were in his workshop were kept secret.  I think the later sign on the left of the door probably tells more of the story.  Miles has written several books about his experiences in Alaska and I had seen the title in many of the shops.  He made a point of letting us know that he does not depend on is neighbors for much of anything....Miles makes his living in unusual ways.

After leaving Nenana we found a another small park down the Parks highway.  Below is another example of Alaskan life...and the tools to make it work....

The dogs and I were able to walk down towards the Nenana River.

"I do love my rolls after a swim but I have to tell you these rocks are a bit much."  Herschel sighs.

Driving on toward Denali Saturday we all took a side trip down the Stampede road which leads to the Stampede Trail which was the jumping off pace for the young man that headed "Into the Wild,"  and unlike Miles above, failed to return later.

I enjoy hiking but this scene is more than I would want to jump off into.


Crossing the soft and mushy tundra lands....

And Saturday night this was the view out our front windows....

And here two of us are tucked into our gravel lots for the night.

But before we tucked ourselves in for the night, we enjoyed some hot dogs and a campfire down at Liz's site.  We all agreed that the we were both warm enough, it wasn't raining and the skeeters had taken the night off. It was perfect.   

Take one last look out off the ridge. It is after 8 pm and a few patches of sun have managed to make their way through the evening's cloud cover to shine on small sections the mountains.  Sunday, we will head the few remaining miles over to the Visitor's Center at Denali and start our adventures there.



  1. Glad that you seem to really be enjoying this trip! Yours and the other girls blogs sure do bring back a lot of memories! Thanks for taking us along with you!

  2. What an interesting story. Guess you got to meet a real Alaskan character. Herschal looked he was really enjoying himself until the rock roll. "Camping" in the boonies in an RV is so much nicer than a tent.