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Posts Tagged ‘travel routes’

 “A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” – John Steinbeck

 

The 121-mile trip from Fairbanks to Denali National Park, followed by an 85-mile bus drive on the Park Road in view of Mt. McKinley is considered a classic road trip by "TravelBudget" magazine. -- Photo by Nic McPhee/Wikipedia

Travels With Maggie

 
I’ve been pouring over maps this past week, in anticipation of getting back on the road after spending the summer as a campground host here at Lake Walcott in Southern Idaho. It’s been a great summer, surrounded by Mother Nature’s gifts and away from this year’s awful Texas heat, where Maggie and I spend our winters.

But the wanderlust in my soul will ease the pain of leaving this serene setting.
The route I’ve planned for my dawdling 3,200-mile return trip will take me to Oregon to meet a new friend and to learn about self-publishing. From there I’ll travel down through Nevada and into California and Yosemite National Park, where I’ve never been.

 
Avoiding interstates as much as possible, I’ll then wind my way to Tucson, Arizona, to spend a week with my youngest daughter, and to sneak in some birdwatching. All too soon, however, I will have to be on the road again, traveling into New Mexico before dropping down to the Texas Gulf Coast so as to arrive there in time for a grandson’s wedding.

It’s an ambitious trip, requiring me to average 300 miles on the road during traveling days, which is twice as far as I prefer. It will take almost $1,000 to keep my RV, Gypsy Lee, fed during the journey, requiring me to sit somewhere for two months to balance the budget, maybe even three given how the cost of everything, not just gas, seems to be on the rise.

 
One of the hot topics of travel articles this summer has been places to visit on one tank of gas. For example, the most recent issue of “BudgetTravel” magazine features an article entitled “One Tank Escapes for 7 Cities.” That kind of thinking meant we had many area Idahoans vacationing at the park this year instead of going elsewhere.

 

Mt. McKinley from the Wonder Lake viewpoint. What a magnificent road trip it was to get here.

But this same issue of the magazine includes a piece on “5 Classic American Drives” that would take travelers far afield.

 
One of these was the 121-mile drive from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Denali National Park, where one catches a bus ($43) to drive another 85 miles to Wonder Lake. You’ve probably seen the lake many times. It’s a photographers favorite as it reflects Mt. McKinley when circumstances are right

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I made this drive back in 1999. Circumstances weren’t right. McKinley gave us only a very quick view during our day-long bus trip. It took twice as long as usual as our bus broke down twice and finally had to be replaced halfway through our journey, which required us to wait a good long while before continuing on the journey.

Since a sack lunch was all I had taken with me, I was quite famished when we got back to the park headquarters, but all the grizzlies, foxes, birds (my favorite was a gyrfalcon) made the trip well worth it and one I would repeat in a heartbeat given the opportunity.

While I did get pictures of McKinley and Wonder Lake with the mountain’s reflection, they were not very good shots. Certainly not as good as the one of the road and mountain accompanying the “TravelBudget” article. This photo I noted was actually one from Wikipedia, which means I can share it with you, along with another free-use one of the mountain reflected in Wonder Lake.

Now we can all dream about upcoming road trips together.

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