Old cars, Older Mountains


August 11th, 2011

In the hotel lobby of the Super 8, right on the desk where I had registered and checked in, there was a little stack of display card for the Fountainhead Antique car museum. I had grabbed one, but when I had finally gotten back from trying the Dalton the day before it had seemed too late to go. Now the day was new, so after spending some time trying to figure out where it was (I have stopped using my GPS for routing, instead for location, direction and distance. When I start using the World Maps they aren’t routeable so I need to be able to figure stuff out without using it.) I found it in the back parking lot of a hotel complex. Apparently hotel guests get in for free, so I am betting there is a co-owner somewhere.

Now, I don’t know what you were thinking when I mentioned an antique car museum in Fairbanks, advertised in the lobby of the Super 8 and attached to another hotel, but I can almost guarantee this wasn’t it

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It is, in fact, considered one of the best antique car museums in the world, containing only cars made in the USA, and each model showing some technological innovation either unique to itself (such as a 8-cycle motor which could apparently run without oil) or that carried on to other cars and models (enclosures for the driver and front passenger). I had figured on spending perhaps an hour or so there, I mean how big could a car museum in Fairbanks be? but I was actually there for more than 4 hours, taking pictures of just about every car and display.

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The umbrella was only for when the car was parked.

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For the ladies, the driver sat just inside the door in the rear seat, steering with the lever. The other seats arranged to face her do allow easier conversation. Not kidding.IMG_6210

Only motorcycle there, when they found out I was riding I got an apology for the scarcity. I pointed out the sign clearly read car museum got a laugh.

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This would get me to own a car again. I should have offered him the $6500 for it. Darn. What a beautiful car.

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This car, a 36 Packard, was the newest car they had.

Since I wanted to get to Denali I had to leave eventually, and managed to drag myself out of the museum around 2 in the afternoon.

The ride south from Fairbanks went smoothly. I had found a frayed wire (for my heated liner) that had broken and was grounding to the frame. I blamed it for the dead battery and chilly rides, and so far I had been right.

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The road was paved, something I really liked after Top of the World and the Dalton, and the sun was out. I reached Denali

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arranged a tent site for myself and cooked something for dinner. At Denali, like several place I had found, tent camping was a no-vehicle area. I have a fair amount of stuff I like to have around, and worry about leaving it on the bike off by itself (in this case about a mile away at the visitor center), but carrying everything is something of a chore. I took a site right inside the gated area (also convenient to the bathrooms and food lockers) before riding the bike away and walking back.

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I wrote in my journal thoughts about staying three days in the park, it was something to see, and went to sleep. That night turned out to be rather fateful.

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