Ken's Journal
No. 5 - Summer 2005

On the Road. Dawson City, Yukon To Anchorage, AK
July 9-12, 2005 - Days 39-42 on the road. Part II.

So anyhow, after out lunch and Blueberry Cobbler at the Gracious House on the Denali Highway, we moved on. It took the good part of the day to cross the 100 miles of dirt so by the time we got to the Parks Highway, we headed south for the Denali State Park (STATE Park, not the National) and one of their campgrounds. The State has put in two campgrounds, dry camping only, right on the Parks Highway. Essentially they are big highway rest areas with room for large RVs like ours. We chose the Denali View North Campground, from which, if there were no cloud cover, we would have been able to see Denali right out the front of the RV! Unfortunately, that was not to be as it started raining just before we came in and Denali was not visible. Neither was it visible the next morning. So we moved on south to Anchorage.

Right outside of Wasilla is the Museum of Alaska, Transportation & Industry. This is one of those local museums whose charter is far larger than their budget. I'm not sure if this one is private or state sponsored, but they have far more items waiting for restoration, or just preservation for that matter, than they have apparent money for. They have a nice building, several nice displays and a lot of nice, restored or preserved items. But what's been restored or preserved amounts to only a very small percentage of their inventory.

Outside, they have 20-30 pieces of historic railroad rolling stock - most unprotected from simply rusting away in the Alaska weather.

They also have an large inventory of vintage horse-drawn equipment - also outside, unprotected from deterioration in the Alaska weather.

Historic military vehicles used during WWII in the construction of the Alaska Highway - also rotting away.

They have an extensive collection of vintage snow machines - the transportation workhorse in the bush during the 8 months of winter in Alaska. These are stored in an open shed. Vintage aircraft, vehicles, engines, whatever, the list is extensive - and all sitting outside without protection. I suppose this is not unusual for a museum - far more inventory than they can afford to restore and put on proper display.

After the museum, we finish our trip to Anchorage, spend the night and the next day, July 13, Lesley catches her flight home. I stick around Anchorage for a couple days cleaning, shopping, haircut, laundry, etc.

Bonus Stuff - A little Alaskan humor from Chad Carpenter, an Alaskan cartoonist specializing in - what else? Alaskan Humor!

The Thirteen Alaskan Highways - A Total of 3000 Miles of Highway in a State one-fifth the size of the whole Lower 48.
Geo. W. Parks
Glenn/Tok Cutoff
South Klondike (to Skagway)

Next - Tok (to pick-up the Jeep), Fairbanks and way North.
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