A local woman in Homer had told us to watch the fireweed: the plant blooms from the base up, and when the upper blossoms die and turn to seed, winter is a few weeks away. We found ourselves watching the fireweed as we moved through the state.
In the second week of August, we drove up from Wasilla toward Denali on the Parks Highway. We’d been so spoiled by sharp blue skies that the gloomy day — what we’d heard was normal — was welcome. Driving under clouds meant less glare, and less glare is a good thing 🙂
Since crossing the border from Washington into British Columbia just over two months earlier, we hadn’t had any trouble getting a site without a reservation in any of the RV parks where we’d stayed. We guessed that if that trend changed, it would be in the Denali National Park area.
And we were right. The Denali RV Park and Motel had three (not one, not two.. but three) RV caravans staying when we arrived in early August, but two were scheduled to leave the next day, so we decided to head down the road a bit and boondock for the night.
You know how we like staying near a river when we boondock, so this pull-out high above the Nenana River was ideal:
A small trail near one end of the pull-out tempted us to follow it, and we found ourselves at a dirt-covered overlook, with great views of a nearby Parks Highway bridge over the Nenana:
In the other direction, we spied the railroad tracks that carried the famous yellow and blue trains, and below that, along the riverside, a spot. The spot never moved, so it wasn’t an animal.
What could it be?
Maybe a lost rail car? Whatever it was, it’s a heap of rusting metal now.
For those of you who boondock along major highways in the Lower 48, you know that overnighting in a rest area can mean noisy refrigerator trucks, diesel fumes, air brakes… but up here, even the major highways are not heavily traveled, especially at night.
Despite the occasional visitor to this pull-out, we slept well.