The drive

I drove up to the Denali Princess Lodge on Friday to do some work and train. I left from the McKinley lodge around 9am where it was pretty nasty and snowy. Not the kind of weather that you want to drive for two hours in. As I got going on the lone highway that I would follow for the next 105 miles to Denali the weather seemed to go from yucky to just plain bad. It started snowing really hard to the point where it was accumulating a couple inches on the road. Luckily my trusty old GMC Sierra minivan that I was driving is all wheel drive and has studded tires. I still had to stay in the narrow tire tracks that had been made by other drivers on the road to stay out of the snow. Where these other drivers were, I have no idea. I didn’t see a single soul on the road till about 40 miles into the trip. I started to get a little scared as I thought about the situation I was in. 40 some miles away from the place I am staying, no cell phone reception at all, not even another car passing the other way on the road. All the while the snow is coming down harder and harder. If my van broke down or I slid off the road, I was a goner for sure. It was kind of scary and yet also exciting at the same time knowing that I was in that kind of isolation. And I’m sure if something actually did happen that another car would have come by to help within an hour or two. Long before I would have died of hunger or hypothermia. But it was still exciting to think about having to survive out in the wild.

I did have one good “oh crap” moment as I was driving. I had the cruise control set around 65 which is the posted speed limit and was going over a little bridge that had accumulated much more snow than the rest of the road. The road went into a turn right after the bridge as well. Well as soon as I hit that bridge I felt the tires hit the deeper snow and instantly knew that the van was no longer under my control. I tapped the breaks to turn off the cruise control and held on for the ride, because I knew that there was nothing I could do at the speed I was going. And of course this happens to be one of the extremely rare times when another car is passing me from the other direction. Crazy how that works out isn’t it. Luckily I listened to my instincts and didn’t freak out and try to madly turn the wheel to stay on the road. I let the van drift into the shoulder a little before I felt the tires grab the road a little and carefully turned the van back into the tire tracks that I had been following for most of the trip. I could feel the adrenaline flowing through my veins as my body prepared for what could have been a pretty terrible accident, but all was well.

After I safely made it to Denali I worked on setting up computers with two other Princess IT guys. Both were a lot of fun to work with and made for a fun trip. I spent the night up there in their employee housing called the Stampede which was pretty cool. It was like an old hotel. Actually I’m pretty sure it was an old hotel. It even had a little diner setup in the back where we ate too. My room was tiny but it had a poster of Jessica Simpson on the wall. That’s kind of hard to beat I suppose. Across the street from the Stampede was this little inn/bar/restaurant called the Totem. They had the most amazing homemade pizza there. So good. I also had some Alaskan Amber from the tap which was just delicious. Who knew that even in the middle of nowhere there is still good beer and pizza to be had.

On Saturday I did a little more work around the Denali Lodge till the afternoon and then began my trip back to McKinley. The roads were clear now and I got to pull over and grab a couple pictures of the sights. The mountains are just awesome. Words and pictures just can’t describe what it is like to be there. It’s amazing how small it can make you feel when you around something so huge. It makes you feel rather insignificant when you stand there in awe of the snow covered mountains with rock faces sticking through the blanket of white giving each mountain it’s on special identity like a fingerprint. Paul wasn’t lying in Romans when he said how the invisible things of God are clearly seen through the things He has made. As I stood in front of one of the rivers that was silently frozen over with the mountains shooting towards the sky in the distance, I was reminded again of awesome power of God that is revealed through creation. It is truly breathtaking.

denali-drive1

Side note: I’m going to start using Flickr again. I started using it a couple years ago, but I haven’t touched it in three years or so. But now it’s back. I’m going to have lots of pics to share and I don’t feel like having to upload them one by one on here and put them in each post, so Flickr it is. Look to your right and check it out.

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~ by twentyfivetolife on April 27, 2009.

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