Day 40 – July 15, 2001 – We took pictures in front of the office at Carlo Creek Lodge, had a great breakfast across the street at McKinley Lodge, and started on our way to Fairbanks. We had a short drive (about 120 miles) so we weren’t in a big hurry. We were all disappointed not to get to see Denali and, after a week of rain, the day was bright and clear. SOMEBODY would be seeing Denali. About 100 miles up the road, I noticed a mention in Mileposts that the first view of Denali would be seen by southward travelers and turned around. There, in our rear window, was “The Mountain”. We were thrilled and immediately stopped to take pictures. While it was very visible to us, the white of the snow blends in with the sky so it is harder to see in the photos. But it was magnificent! Rising over 20,000 feet, it dwarfs everything in sight. The mountains around it are 10,000 to 14,000 feet and they look like foothills. Even from 100 miles, it was incredible!
We arrived in Fairbanks to be met by members of the antique car club. They had their cars, wonderful old cars, out and gave us an impromptu parade through Fairbanks to our motel. They had a garage lined up for any needed adjustments (there are always needed adjustments!) and confirmed plans for a cookout on Friday night when we return from Prudhoe Bay. In addition, we were allowed to store anything we didn’t need for the four days to Prudhoe in a garage so we could lighten our load. Cars were prepared, laundry was washed, bags were packed, and, about midnight, we went to bed.