Our destination when leaving Kluane was Wrangell-St. Elias. We planned on driving the Nebesna Road and staying for 4-5 days. When we arrived, it was pouring and we couldn’t even see the mountains. We talked to a very helpful ranger who checked the road conditions and weather forecast for us. Rain and mud for the next week. We quickly made the decision to return in September and try our luck again.
Long story short, after leaving the ranger station, Jim got to fish the Gulkana and Klutina Rivers for sockeye. Unfortunately he couldn’t fly fish in glacier silt rivers so he had to try the dip and scoop method- throw your line out and scoop it back in, while hoping the end of the line will smack a sockeye in the face, causing it to bite at your line. We watched folks all day doing this, only two of the multitude lining the shores caught anything. But the weather was beautiful and the beer was cold so we didn’t mind.
Where to next we pondered? Let’s just drive and see what’s up ahead. So we stopped at several spots and did the goldilocks thing again. This one is too small; this one is too big and this one is just right- Fielding Lake. You have to drive about two miles down a gravel road to get to the BLM campground-no fee, no water, but clean pit toilets. And the scenery was incredible.
We were hesitant to stop because the description we read stated that the lake shore was peppered with homes, and it was- but all of the homes were vacant! There was one other camper there when we pulled in and of all things he and his wife were from Yakima. I’m starting to think that the only tourists who come to Alaska are from Canada, Germany and Washington!
We settled into our site, only planning on two nights but we ended up staying almost a week.
It was so quiet. We watched a tundra swan gliding around the lake; all types of ducks and their babies paddling up and down the stream in front of us; a large beaver constructing his lodge and a moose splashing through the creek up into the willow covered hillside.
All in all another winning campsite. We hiked when it wasn’t pouring and read our library books when it was. And Jim was very happy- the beautiful stream was full of grayling. He was in catch and release heaven the entire time we camped here.
We knew our next stop was going to be Fairbanks and we used the peace and quiet to brace ourselves for city life.
I really love finding spots like this, such a sweet surprise, like a gift from the camping gods.
We hated to leave but we had two days to meet our reservation date for Denali so off we went. Sadly and begrudgingly, but oh so grateful for the beauty and solitude we were able to enjoy.
Happy trails and safe travels my friend. If it’s solitude you are seeking may you find it enveloped with beauty like we found at Fielding Lake.