headed north

A couple of weeks ago we set out on a roadtrip north for a long weekend staying in a public use cabin along the Chena River in Fairbanks. Five ladies, three vehicles, three dogs, and a cabin with plenty of charm but no electricity or water.

Here are some photos from our drive up there.

Rock art along the Glenn Highway:

Road trip fail! Not only did we get stuck behind a slow-moving military convoy (that did NOT obey the sacred Alaska rule of pulling over and letting cars pass if you have more than 5 cars stuck behind you), we also ran into a one-lane, pilot-car construction zone. There’s an old joke here that says we have two seasons, winter and road construction. And so this, to me, is summer in Alaska in a nutshell:

The Glenn Highway is a little slower than its parallel-running twin the Parks Highway but I think I prefer the Glenn if you have a little extra time for your drive. Pretty views are in abundance and we pulled over at every scenic turnout, even if it meant we didn’t arrive at the cabin until after dark, stiff and sore from the long ride, and starving hungry.

I think this was called Flat Lake. You can find it along the turn-off for Bonnie Lake. Very pretty and quiet. It’s the sort of lake where the trees are reflected in the water and the water is so clear you can see all the rocks in the bottom of the lake.

Our traveling crew & entourage:

The Milepost, the Bible of roadtrips in Alaska, assured us this creek would be full of spawning red salmon and bears a-plenty in August. We saw no-such-thing.

But it was still worth a stop because it was one of those creeks with clear water and lots of long billowy grass growing in it. I love watching underwater grass wave in the current.

A very bear-proof dumpster:

Ladies watching bright red salmon spawn:

More rock art at Summit Lake:

We arrived at the cabin much later than planned and I ended up unlocking the combination lock on the gate out front in pitch darkness. I let all the cars through and locked the gate behind us — and good thing too because later we would learn from the cabin log that a ‘white creeper van’ had come up the driveway while a trio of young girls were staying there before us!

We put together some chicken and vegetable kebabs and grilled them on the camp stove under the glow of lanterns and headlamps.

Kebabs & cold beer, inflating air mattresses, chatting it up & looking forward to the weekend adventure that awaited us.

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