Smythe Family On The Road travel blog

Our campsite at McKinley RV Park and Inn in Healy.

We only had to go eight miles up the road to get...

Coming to the main park entrance. We'll have to stop and get...

Jonathan and I had watched the movie. Now it's time to head...

We're going to take the Yukon up to the Visitor Center now...

Jonathan loves climbing on rocks!

We're at the sled dog kennels now. A shot of Jonathan on...

Jonathan and Tom pet Willow.

Someone offered to take our picture together so I went over and...

The ranger we had talked to earlier in the Visitor Center told...

Here are some shots of some of the other dogs at the...

They have two coats. They are shedding their winter coat now.

They can put about 50 lbs. on the sled for each dog...

They curl their bushy tails up around their noses in cold weather...

They love to work and are very loving and docile dogs.

This one was playing with a toy.

Looks like Cinder was taking a nap. It was time for the...

Willow gets one more scratch on the back of the neck on...

The Ranger explains how the dogs are used in the park during...

The dogs are being brought over to the sled and hitched up...

They're barking and so excited!

They have run around the trail and the Ranger is taking questions...

Deb's turn for a pose on the sled.

Jonathan gives "Buck" a small donation.

In this shot if you look closely, you can see the train...

Fireweed is growing everywhere alongside the roads, parking lots and fields up...

Jonathan enjoys the bike racks back at the bus stop.

Headed back to the parking lot Tom and Jonathan are playing.

Just having fun.

On the road again!

Headed down toward Trapper Creek to our campground. You can see the...

We were driving and Jonathan called out "Tippy trees!" Go back to...

A nice shot from a pull out along the road.

We get the left mountains in this shot a little better.

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Flowers along the roadside.

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Friday, July 10, 2009.

Trapper Creek Inn & RV Park, Trapper Creek, Alaska

Sled Dogs and Denali

We left McKinley RV Park at 11:00 today and drove on down to Denali. We parked in the lot by the building we needed to go to in order to buy the tickets for the Tek passes for next week. These passes are inner park passes and will be used to get around the park once we get settled in our campsite in Denali. They gave us the schedule and some other information to look at this week so we'll spend some time doing that and decide what we want to do.

Jonathan and I looked around the building a little bit at a couple of the displays and then decided to watch the movie they show in the theater. We asked when it would start and they said fifteen minutes so we went in the theater and found a seat. Ten minutes later about seventy five to one hundred more people walked in. They were all part of a tour. We were the only ones in the whole place that were NOT part of the group. The two tour guides stood up in front and gave the group directions on where the restrooms were, where they were to meet after the movie was over, etc. etc. Jonathan and I just looked at each other and smiled like, “Not on your life!” They told everyone to exit out the back of the theater after the movie was over. We watched it. It was a good movie about the park but when it was time to leave, I told Jonathan “We're going out those doors and we left through the fire exits.” We just chuckled all the way back to the rig.

When we got back, Tom was done with his work day so we drove to the Visitor's Center to pick up a few things there and stamp our National Park Passport. The lady we talked with asked us if we were interested in seeing the sled dog demonstration. We told her we were. She said the bus would be leaving in fifteen minutes and told us where to go to catch it so we went to see the sled dogs this afternoon. We had been looking forward to this, especially Jonathan. We just didn't figure on doing it today so it was a nice surprise. It was great that it worked into our day the way it did too because Tom was able to come too.

We headed north on the Parks Highway hoping we would be able to stop along the way and catch glimpses of Mt. McKinley along the way but there was just too much smoke/haze in the air today. We pulled out a few times in spots where the Milepost said were good viewing sites but it just wasn't clear enough.

We arrived at the campground in Trapper Creek around 7:00. When we saw the campground we were a little concerned. There were trees everywhere and that wasn't going to work for the satellite dish. We talked to the lady inside and she told us we could walk around and look at the sites. We found one long one that would work so she switched us with someone and it seemed to work out well for everyone. We had to trim a few branches a little bit but we'll be able to stay here.



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