Drive to Denali

September 8, 2015 – Today was scheduled to be a long driving day – from Seward to the White Moose Lodge in Healy (just north of Denali).  When we booked the accommodations we had to decide if we wanted to stay inside the park (very expensive), south (not as many restaurants/amenities), in Glitter Gulch (not a chance, but they do have a good coffee shop), or north.  By process of elimination we chose Healy, which worked out since the construction south of the park would have been a bit of a challenge.

It was a cloudy day, but that doesn't matter with this type of scenery.
It was a cloudy day, but that doesn’t matter with this type of scenery.

We were on the road by 9am, and headed north through the mountains, and then the plains.  We were surprised by the amount of traffic on the roads, and by how flat things became.  For lunch we stopped at Cadillac Cafe in Wasilla.  It’s a small restaurant attached to a gas station, but they have great pizza.

The number of fall leaves increased as we approached Denali.
The number of fall leaves increased as we approached Denali.

Somewhere along the way we got back into the mountains, the kind that just go on forever.  This was our favorite part of the trip, since we didn’t leave the mountains for a few days. White Moose Lodge has simple accommodations, which is what we were looking for.  It’s also just across the road from 49th State Brewing.  We ate here a few times, and learned that while all the beer is good, it’s best to stick to pub fare (and avoid the fish cake sandwich).  However, you can’t go wrong with the mac ‘n cheese with different meats or with the pork dumpling appetizer.

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