Our riverside campsite wasn’t so peaceful after all. Kids racing around on quad bikes and being noisy until after midnight. Dennis had a restless night. He kept telling me there was a mosquito in his ear!
Last night we had a minor catastrophe. The Caranex door zip finally gave up the ghost and we couldn’t close it. Fortunately it was a dry night. At the end of the first stage of our trip the zip was being troublesome. When we were in the UK we asked the Caranex manufacturer if they could supply us with a new zip. This they did and we brought it to Canada with us. I knew if would be a daunting job to replace it by hand. While we were staying in Whistler, Sarah recommended a company that specialised in zip repairs. I called them to make sure they could do the job, but they said they couldn’t, as the volume of material in the tent was too great for their machine. We checked with Google to see what information we could find regarding mending broken zips. It seems the usual problem is with the slider. There are 2 on the Caranex zip so we tried them out. One was broken and one okay. So, we simply change one of the sliders, we thought. Not so easy. The sliders on the new zip are larger and don’t fit! We removed the broken one and just used the one slider, but suspected it would not last much longer.
Now we were left with no option but to tackle the job by hand. It was a gorgeous morning and we set to work. Me sewing and Dennis threading needles for me, so I didn’t have to stop. It took the entire morning, but at least the job is done and it is now working perfectly.
We had lunch and set off at 2.30. During the afternoon we passed 2 moose. One nonchalantly grazing by the road and the other more nervous. It turned and galloped off as soon as we approached.
As we left there were very dark clouds approaching and a rumble of thunder. As it was such a beautiful day I had hoped we would see Mount Denali, or as it was previously called Mount McKinley. It’s the highest peak at 20,310 feet in North America and frequently covered in cloud. Just after we got on the road it rained hard, but we managed to pull away and stay ahead of it. We started to catch glimpses of the mountain through the trees, but not a good enough sighting to photograph it. Eventually, there was a viewing spot and we stopped to take some shots. Luckily it was still sunny and clear, apart from a few puffy clouds.
The afternoon’s drive through the Denali State Park was very scenic. Denali Visitor Centre and the village of Nenana were busy and touristy. Our guide book advised camping was expensive here too. We thought we would try and find a free spot, like last night. However, there were no camping and no trespassing notices everywhere. As we had been so late starting we have not covered much ground today. It was already 5.30 and we thought some wifi would be nice. We decided to stop at a campsite which wasn’t full of monster RVs and didn’t look expensive. It’s not the best campsite by any means, but the wifi works!
As I sit typing, a snowshoe hair is running beside the wall opposite where we are parked. Dennis wants to shoot it with his catapult. (He says he doesn’t want to hurt it, just wants some target practice – in case he has to save me from that giant bear!) I want to shoot it with my camera. A boy on a skate board rattles around the corner and scares it away. Neither of us gets a shot.
It is still a lovely sunny evening and at just before 10pm broad daylight. In fact at this time of year there are 18 hours of daylight, so it isn’t easy to get to sleep.