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North to Alaska - Artistic Shots - Day 31 (June 16)

Wednesday - After a couple of morning pictures of the wild bunnies who were visiting our campsite, we hitched up and headed back toward the park exit, wishing we could stay longer. The morning clouds were spectacular, like squishy, oval pillows in shades of whites, blues, greens and almost black, gliding across patches of ominously dark sky. Margaret informed us that these were Lenticular (lens-shaped, often found stacked near mountain ranges) clouds.

We watched a musher demo at the Denali Patrol Sled Dog Headquarters where we could visit, pet and photograph some sled dogs as they enthusiastically pulled a wheeled sled around a loop course. Then we finally saw the orientation film that we missed when we entered the park and dutifully patronized the gift shop. We fueled up ($2.35 per gallon) and set off through the green wilderness of willow, paper birch, and spruce trees (augmented by aspens and alders in the boggy spots); all garnished by bright flashes of rosy pink, yellow, lavender and blue plus an occasional deep purple (iris). We passed road signs, "Dog Team Crossing," "No Outlet Road," and "Fairbanks - 45 miles." After a tasty "Justa Burger" for lunch we checked into Chena Marina RV Park, a mowed-grass site located on the edge of the Chena River, commonly used by local floatplanes. After our wilderness experiences of the last few days we really enjoyed the wonderful showers, restrooms, water + electricity + sewer hookups, and a Safeway nearby. We phoned the lower 48 to check on phone messages and to thank our friend, Barbara B., for the package of munchies delivered to us here, watched a few float planes land as we ate a light dinner, and retired around 11:30 PM. (Note: We had carried along 3 battery-operated lights to use in places where there were no hookups. However, with the summer solstice 5 days away and 21 hours and 48 minutes of daylight this time of year in middle Alaska, along with 2 hours and 12 minutes of twilight, they certainly were excess baggage. We could see quite well ALL of the time.)