Day 38 – July 13, 2001 – Bruce fixed wonderful homemade blueberry pancakes and we left their home to head for Denali National Park. We met Jennifer, Ginger, Ken, Joyce, and Cindy at a gas station near their motel, switched the luggage and started on our way. The drive out of Anchorage was a little hairy, because of the traffic, but we were going out and most people were coming in. Once we got onto the Parks Highway headed north, we were out of the worst of it. Most people on the road were tourists headed for Denali or Fairbanks. We did have one unpleasant experience – some idiot in a white pick-up pulling a trailer got annoyed because he had to follow us for a few minutes before he could pass. He blasted Ben and Nancy with his horn and an unfriendly gesture as he passed and pulled directly in front of Ken and hit his breaks. He did the same when he passed Ross but we had warned him to watch for him so he wasn’t taken as much by surprise as Ken had been. When he swept around Jennifer, he swerved in toward her and caused her to swerve out onto the shoulder. She initially thought he had clipped her front bumper but decided later that the impact she had felt was something in the road as she had swerved. Even on the interstate, when we were constantly in danger because of the fast-driving motorists, we never had someone intentionally try to hurt us. We were shaken and angry.
We stopped for lunch at Trapper Creek (a pretty RV place with a gazebo they said we could use) and ran into some people from Missouri we had met on the Top of the World Highway. They had let us use the restroom in their motor home at one of the stops on that long drive. As big as Alaska is and as many places as there are to go, we were amazed to see them again. After lunch, Steve realized that he had left his suitcase at the gas station where we had met the others and transferred luggage. A quick call to the gas station confirmed that they had his suitcase and a quick call to Bruce Campbell brought him to the rescue once again. He picked up the bag and started our way; Ross and Steve set out in the pick-up back toward Anchorage. They met up about an hour or two later, made the exchange, thanked Bruce again, and turned back toward Denali. In the meantime, the rest of us continued on, arriving around 6:30 at the Carlo Creek Cabins, just south of Denali National Park. Ross and Steve arrived about 8:30, in time to join the rest of us for a terrific supper.