Tangle Lakes

Since last checking in at Healy, we rode south past Denali National Park (but didn’t actually go into the park) to Cantwell, and have been going east on the Denali Highway (not actually in the Denali NP) for over 100 miles.

I was a little unsure about taking this detour on our way down into Whitehorse from Fairbanks, but am very glad we did it.  Like the Dalton, the road is mostly gravel and sometimes with awful washboard.  But unlike the Dalton, there is no trucking traffic, we’ve only passed one maintenance crew, the mosquitoes are tolerable (haven’t worn my net yet), and there is no pipeline following us every step of the way.

The riding has consisted of a gravel road through valleys carved out by glaciers and all sorts of geological phenomena I am not familiar with (I’ll send you the brochure if you’d like), but amazing nonetheless.  There have been mountains to the south and north, even a glimpse of the Maclaren glacier.  Now that I knew what gravel roads were like, I am actually enjoying them.  A little more wear and tear on the bike and my bones, but well worth it.

The Maclaren pass was a blast.  Long way uphill, yes, but not so steep that I was able to actually bike up this time.  The second highest highway pass in Alaska at about 4,100 feet (I can’t even imagine what biking in the Andes will be like).  Views of the valley below, with rain clouds everywhere except on us.

We then coasted most of the way down to Tangle Lakes, where we ran into the Berling brothers (pebblepedalers.com) before setting up our tents on a clearing next to one of the Tangle Lakes (not sure which).  After dinner I took a dip in the lake, and slept in this morning.

I already knew I wanted to take a day off and explore the area, maybe take some hikes or fly the kite, but woke up to on and off drizzle.  I’ve spent the whole day in the Tangle Inn, consuming a carafe of coffee and watching out the window for signs of the weather to clear up.

Pictures to come when I have a better internet connection.

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