September 11, 2015 – The only item on today’s schedule was to drive to Fairbanks, which is only a few hours from Denali. This left most of the day to go back into the park. First we had breakfast at a little coffee shop, Black Bear Coffee House. We ordered coffee and breakfast, as well as pastries. All the food was good, and the location is great for access to the park.
Park rangers hold sled dog demonstrations. You can pet some of the dogs, admire the others, and watch the dogs pull a sled (on wheels) around the track. Since we didn’t have bus passes we could only drive on the first part of the paved road. Fortunately it was a beautiful day, so we hiked up the road to an overlook with a great view of Denali. Along the way one of the bus drivers tossed a few Tootsie Roll Pops our way. Their aim was perfect, and we have a hunch they’ve tossed candy to hikers before.
The drive to Fairbanks was uneventful, and our lodgings were beautiful. We took a hike on the farm in the afternoon, and then went to Alaska Coffee Roasting Company for coffee and brick-oven pizza. That night we set our alarms for midnight and got up to see if the Northern Lights were visible from the center of the sheep pasture. They were, and we had a wonderful 45 minute light spectacle with the green ribbons dancing across the sky.