Alaska, picturesque mountains, fjords & forests
Denali Highway and National Park
The Denali Highway with 220 km is situated outside the Denali National Park and leads through Alaskan Wilderness. Its centre piece is Mount Denali = Mount McKinley. In the Denali National Park, one is only allowed to drive the first 24 km in own vehicle. For the remaining 114 km a shuttle bus has to be rented. Travel friends of ours highly recommended us to book this 11-hour tour.
When we wanted to book a camping spot and the tour we were informed that the campsites were fully booked for the next couple of days and seeing the full busses made us feel claustrophobic. We thus abstained from this touristic highlight.
By now we have managed to view all the game expected inside the park, just as well on the outside.
Follow Me Car in America
As everywhere else in the world roadworks are also conducted in the USA. Consequently, sometimes long stretches of roads only have one lane to drive on. The traffic is mostly regulated by people signalling with flags, which is fine as jobs are being created this way.
Speed is reduced to 20 miles/hour. Within the roadworks zone speeding is fined with double the amount.
It takes some time getting used to for the independent driver that additionally a Follow Me Car drives ahead on the clear, long stretches. At the parts where the road works are actually taking place more flag-swinging people are in action.
Flag-swingers are, compared to the shovel-swingers, generally in the majority.
Big, bigger, American!
In Alaska, especially in the tourist centres like in Homer or Seward, huge American mobile homes occupy the campsite one next to eachother. At least every second one pulls a trailer with SUV, a boat or several quadbikes.
The luxurious motor homes, which after thousands of kilometres reach the destination of their driver, are standing for several day so close to each other that there is hardly any space drive out their up to five slide-outs without touching the neighbour. In the little tourist town Seward nearly the whole beachfront is one big campsite. Tuff luck for the one that have a site without electricity. They have the neighbours generator noise from 6 am – 10 pm. We rather enjoy a quite site only a few kilometres away in open nature where we are alone or with like-minded people.
Dipnetting - Salmon fishing a special way
Shoulder to shoulder the people are standing in the river mouth of the Kasilof River and swing their long-stemmed spoon nets into the water. What’s happening there?
In Alaska this is a way of catching salmon. To maintain the balance of the fish farming this is a very easy way of fishing which is only allowed for Alaskan citizens. 25 salmons per household and an additional 10 per household member. Within a few of hours, the demand of a household can be covered with this method. Only spectating is allowed for tourist when it comes to this method.
For us tourists it has to be the more difficult, but also more sportsmanlike method with the fishing rod.
Kenai Fjords National Park
The 6-hour ship ride started in the harbour of Seward and took us through impressing glacier landscapes. Small islands, cliffs, an amazing coastline, the moaning and groaning of glaciers, otter, seals, whales...an entertaining excursion. The typical Alaska weather with low hanging clouds and shades of grey luckily only showed up at the end of our tour.