Hearing the rain still dropping on the roof when I wake up after 10 hours of sleep (the cabin is super dark inside) it quickly reinforces my yesterday's thought to sit out one rainy day here with Paul. I will have to resupply in Healy anyway for about a week of exploring Denali and beyond with limited grocery offering. So I do that and get my gear dry and ready.
On the next day I wake up to some decent and almost sunny weather. The next two days will be low on rain so the perfect weather window to do the Denali Park Road. I set out early and make a quick stop at a shop owned by Paul just 1 mile from the park entrance. I leave most of my food for the next week with him since there is no need to carry it through Denali Park (and feed the bears). On the way I meet another cyclist on his way to the Dalton Highway. Greg from California has been cycling around for around 9 years! Wow, good job and safe travels up north!
To cycle the park road I need either a backcountry permission or a campground reservation. I figured it's easier to get the campground but unfortunately I have to wait until 1PM to get it. The sun is up so no big deal. I soak up the sun, eat and watch the funny Squirrels running around me craving for my food (so not just the bears).
At 1:30 PM I can finally start the ride. Again another cyclist, Fatih, 63 year old from Turkey on his way to Argentina. He just started a week earlier than me in Prudhoe Bay and just finished the park road. We will stay in contact and might meet up again in the future.
My campground is just 50km down into the park so I take my time, cycle slowly and take in the vast landscape of the national park. I see tons of wild life, mainly moose, caribou and omnipresent ground squirrrel, and enjoy to be back on a very low traffic gravel road.
At Teklanika I set up my tent on the first established campground of the trip. No showers or anything so I'd still consider it half wild camping 😉. With a nice meal cooked over my campfire in the stomach I go to bed early.