On Friday we left Fairbanks for Denali National Park. The newest and best road in Alaska is the George Parks Highway connecting Fairbanks with Anchorage. The Parks Highway runs directly through the Denali National Park and was a pleasant drive. Below is a short video of us driving a section of the highway.
Driving George Parks Highway
On the way to Denali we stopped at the small town of Nenana located where the Nenana River enters the Tanana River. The main attraction in Nenana is the Nenana Ice Classic. This has nothing to do with athletes competing on ice and is a lottery based on guessing when the ice on the Tanana River will break up. Entrants buy a ticket and pick a date and time to the closest minute when the ice will break up. A large tripod is placed on the frozen river attached to a clock. The winning tickets are those that predict when the tripod moves enough to stop the clock.
Nenana Visitor Center
In the photo above notice the tripod at the left of the visitor center. This tripod or one like it is placed on the frozen river for the Ice Classic Lottery.
The invasion of Nenana
There was barely room for all five motorhomes in our caravan to park in Nenana. The photo above shows three of the five motorhomes in our caravan parked along the main street of Nenana. The other two motorhomes are on the same side of the street behind the first three. It was necessary to space out to prevent blocking a side street.
Not a lot to see in Nenana besides the visitor center and the railroad museum. We took advantage of the stop to eat lunch in our motorhomes. The only place in Nenana to purchase a meal was the senior center. After lunch we continued on down to Denali and our campground. Once settled at our campsite we drove to the park to find the Wilderness Access Center and pick up our tickets for the bus ride into Denali National Park on Saturday morning.