Saturday, July 18, 2015

July 15, 2015. Delta Junction to Tangle Lakes. 70 Miles.

This day started out sunny and bright! We all got in the van to go to breakfast, where we saw these motorcycle seat barstools--cool! We had a great breakfast and lots of coffee.

We vanned out of town through a very long construction area. We were glad to be in the van--if we had been on bikes they would have trucked us forward anyway.

We saw our first view of the Trans Alaska pipeline on its own suspension bridge.

Our first scheduled rest stop was at an overlook for the pipeline. Construction began in 1975, and the 800-mile long pipeline opened in 1977 to pump oil from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. It is buried underground wherever possible but some sections are visible.

Steve insisted we each sit on top of the "do not climb" sign on the pipeline.

We came within view of another section of the Alaska Mountain range today, I looked forward all day to arriving at the continental divide; Jackie had commented earlier in the week how odd it was that the rivers were running north. Once we reach the divide we will see rivers running south again.

Dianne, Connie, Clark, Jackie and I all got in the van when we reached the continental divide--it was raining so hard we couldn't see a thing! Of course there was a headwind too. All the way up to Isabel pass we struggled against the wind and the climb, only to give up at the top. Phil continued on alone (actually he was so far ahead that he didn't even know we'd given up). He found shelter in a shack in the nearly abandoned town of Paxson, and that's where we found him, talking on his cell phone.  We turned off the Richardson Highway and drove 21 miles on the Denali Highway to get to our day's destination, Tangle River Inn. On the way there we saw a moose cow and her calf in a lake not far from the road.

The cabins did not have numbers, just animals on the wall to identify each room. We had dinner there (the only restaurant within many miles). It finally quit raining and I took this photo looking across the road from the inn.

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