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After spending three nights in McCarthy, any other destination would have struggled not to be a disappointment. As the drive from McCarthy to Denali National Park is too long, and bumpy, to realistically complete in a day we stopped over at Tangle Lakes for one night. It was immediately apparent that we’d left the hip, cool atmosphere of McCarthy way behind us. There were two shared showers at the cabins where we stayed, but only enough water to run one at a time. Plastic flowers displayed in polystyrene blocks ‘decorated’ every window. In the restaurant, animal skins, hunting photos and signed photos of George W. Bush adorned the walls. Further down the road, we found a pie shop that sold every book ever written about Sarah Palin, with of course a signed photo displayed on the wall next to them. I mean, I’m sure she’s an interesting lady to read about, but I can’t imagine ever visiting a coffee shop in Scotland that sells 15 different biographies on Alex Salmond.
For all it’s quirks and faults, though, our accommodation at Tangle Lakes was fine for one night. The food was good, and the people as friendly as I’ve encountered in other parts of the USA.
The redeeming feature of Tangle Lakes, and the reason you should stop there if you’re passing through, is the view. Most of our group spent the evening sat on the porch, a drink in one hand, looking out over a stunning lake and mountains. The next morning, we took a small hike that gave us even more impressive views of this beautiful landscape. Then, after a couple of miles of teasing tarmac road, it was back on another bumpy dirt track to Denali.