Denali N/P, AK
Jun 27, 2007
|We got up early to leave Talkeetna. The RV Park didn't allow washing of vehicles so we loaded 110 Gals of water and drove ½ mile to an overlook of Denali and washed
both vehicles while gazing at the view.
Our best pictures of Denali came in the morning as the clouds tend to band around the summit in the afternoon. We reached Grizzly Bear RV Park and settled into our campsite and made a beeline to the Denali Visitor Center. This is an outstanding center. Somehow we missed the shuttle bus to the Sled dog demo so we made a long uphill race on our bikes
to get there in time. It was a great sight to see the enthusiasm all the dogs had to get to pull
the sled. We were surprised to see how well behaved and extra friendly they were. And boy can they yelp
and talk to everyone.
DENALI: Great One, Tall One, Big Mt., or Mt McKinley,
are all names for a spectacular mountain 20,320 ft. high. It is actually the tallest Mt. in North America. This is a vast wilderness park of 6 million acres. To spot an animal in its natural habit is part of the excitement.
On Thursday the green shuttle bus
took us on an 11 hr. 85 mile tour over gravel roads, tight hair pin curves and sheer drop offs out to Wonder Lake. (Wonder if you are ever going to get there!). The driver identified many waterfowl, flora and glaciers along the trail. We passed through Polychrome valley
with its multicolored bluffs in stark contrast to the green tundra. Spring flowers of blue, yellow, white, and lavender lined the sides of the road or covered vast meadows. All the time in the distance stood the Alaskan Mt. snow capped range with a panoramic view
of 180 degrees. Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, and Gyrfalcons (largest of the falcon family) were seen soaring in the valleys on the hunt for prey. Dall sheep were spotted high on the hill sides. The hare population is nearing an all time high and was often on the road. The ride is very long but definitely gave us a peek at the vast size of the park. Wonder Lake was the turn around spot and the only time we were attacked by mosquitoes. On the return trip just off the road was a huge grizzly
eating as fast as it could shovel it in. This was John's first grizzly sighting ever. They looked at each other for a moment then continued on with business and a mutual respect for each other. This sight was worth the entire trip. As we rumbled along
we spotted several caribou. We don't have any problem sleeping in the 22hr. light because we our exhausted.