I wake up to the sound of rain drops. I reckon that this is getting repetitive here... So by noon the forecasted sunny weather finally shows up. I certainly would have enjoyed staying a second night at Sarah's place but I feel like I should take advantage of this weather on the bike.
After a good conversation with Sarah exchanging trip and life ideas I am back on the road by 2PM. I am wearing my food loaded backpack again which is a bit uncomfortable at first. But thinking back on the Dalton where I last wore it, to me this also means "abandoning" civilization for some time. That feeling gets me very excited.
The next stage will be around 550km and bring me down to the coastal town of Valdez where I will take a longer break from the bike until I can make my way to Canada.
After a short 1.5 hour ride down to Cantwell and a nice "hello" with a moose 2m next to the road I leave the Parks Highway for the Denali Highway that follows the Alaska Range eastbound. I don't exactly remember why but this road has been in my mind for years and is definitely high up on my priority list for Alaska.
I am very happy, back on a nice, lonely gravel road without commercial traffic, no cellphone service, no town for about 200km (plus another 150km once I leave the Denali highway). Oh and did I mention that it's sunny?
The scenery is perfect with nice views on the snow capped mountains of the Alaska range and beautiful forests. I see my first porcupine next to the road that I mistake as a bear cub from very (very, very) far away, so I stopp for quite a long time in the distance waiting for the mother to show up.
It's hunting season so the road is not as lonely as it could be and most nice campspots are taken by hunters with their enormous equipment but traffic is still low. After a beautiful sunset I set up camp with a great mountain view on top of a hill next to some hunters.