We left Fairbanks and drove about 140 miles south to the Denali National Park entrance. It was very nice scenery along the way as we drove along the mountain ridges. Upon arrival, we checked into the campground and got very bad news. We made reservations to stay 2 nights at the Park entrance, 1 night approximately 15 miles into the Park and 3 nights 29 miles in the park at a campground called Tek. The clerk informed us that we couldn’t drive past mile 15 since we were over 40 feet long. They also said that the campgrounds we can stay at are full for the next 5 days so we would need to leave after two days. Needless to say we were disappointed to get this news, especially after making these reservations 7 months ago and having two discussions about vehicle length with reservation clerks. We spoke to a supervisor who said they were sorry but the Park Rangers will not allow a vehicle or combination of vehicles over 40 feet on the Park road. We didn’t know what to do as the Supervisor cancelled our reservations for 3 nights at Tek and told us that if we can’t find another campground outside the Park, we can camp in rest areas on the highway..….great!
We went to our campsite in Riley Creek Campground and made an early dinner since everyone was hungry. As we had dinner, Mark remembered that the Chairman of the Beverly Hills Public Works Commission told him that he knew the Denali National Park Superintendent. Out of desperation, Mark sent the Chairman an email and asked just how well he knew the Park Superintendent. He responded and said he would shoot him an email. After dinner, we went for a drive on the Park road to mile 15 and did a short hike. Sean did not want to go so he stayed in the trailer. When we were a few miles from the campground, we got a call from the Commissioner and he said he got a response from the Park Superintendent. He told us to give him a call at his home phone number. We called his home and got an answering machine. About the same time, Sean was calling us and talking about the lightning and rain that has now started. As we are on the phone with him, he said that a car just stopped by the trailer and someone is walking around our campsite. He is now scared and indicated that someone is knocking on the trailer door. We were only a couple of miles away and drove immediately back to the campground. When we arrived, we found a note and a beautiful collector coin from the Park Superintendent. He said to give him a call and that he has a spot for us to camp at Park Headquarters. We went from disappointment to exhilaration! We finally talked to the Superintendent on the phone and we said we would meet him on Monday at Park Headquarters after we leave our campsite. He indicated that he has a couple of full hook-up sites that we can use that are typically used by Park Service employees. It was a great end to the day and we look forward to exploring Denali National Park.