We woke up in some gold mining fields in the back country near Petersville. No bears visited us overnight, and we made some breakfast and packed the truck. We did a couple more hours of off-roading and had a good look at the area. On one of the roads that we tried, a beaver had built a dam over half of it in one spot and completely blocked it in another. I guess the guys at the mines up the road haven’t been there yet this year.
We drove down the Parks highway a bit more and turned up to visit the town of Talkeetna. Its summer and tourist season is in full force and we got to enjoy some beers are the Denali Brewing Company and then some salmon, cream cheese and jalapeno spread. Very delicious. We heard that they had a reggae band playing in the park so I took a quick nap in the tent and then attended the festivities.
Carl met this cool guy named Travis, who it turns out owned one of the mines back were we were driving around the previous day. We looked at the map and our tracks and determined that it was the creek at the base of his property where we turned around because the water was a bit hight. He proceeded to show me some pictures of the creek when it is actually high and a full size ford truck up to the hood in water. This is how he described that crossing: “We had a dead bear, 30 ounces of gold, some equipment and a computer with us and only the computer suffered some damage.”
So Travis owns a bed and breakfast and tour company next to the VFW here in Talkeetna and he called the VFW to see if we could park in their lot for the night. Turns out they have a free campground. Bonus. I woke up on Day 21 and rode town to a trail around one of the lakes for a morning ride. The loop is basic and only 3.5 miles, so I rode it twice. It has a gentle uphill that I didn’t even feel and then on the backside it has some good fast sections through the trees. What a cool little town.