Sunday, July 4, 2010

Denali National Park

July 3, 2010
The alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. because we had reservations for a 6:00 a.m. bus tour. It really did not seem like 5:15 when we left our RV’s because it was so light. The first highlight of the day was the moose and baby that were right outside the parking lot. That was a real treat. We didn’t see much wildlife until a couple of hours into our trip. Then we stopped to watch the Dall Sheep on the mountain ridge on the right side of the bus and the caribou in the river bed on the left side of the bus. After that we saw lots of sheep on the high mountains and more caribou. We were almost to our turnaround at the Eielson Visitor Center when we saw a momma grizzly bear and her big cubs. They were grazing on grass on the meadow. We saw them again on the return trip and they were napping on the hillside. We saw another set of grizzlies further down the road and they were grazing. We also saw a golden eagle. The sad part of the tour was that Denali Mountain or Mount McKinley--whichever name you want to use--was in the clouds today. We were back home by about 3 p.m. and it rained the rest of the day.

The area is a favorite of hikers and backpackers. When they are back to the road any of the buses will pick them up and take them back to the park headquarters. We picked up a 20ish young man who had been in the wilderness for 5 days. The national parks are also a favorite for foreign travelers. We had people from New Zealand, Germany, Korea, and Sweden.
The first picture is an Alaskan sunrise! The second is a picture from the bus as we drove above a valley in Denali Park.

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