This is the end of six days at Riley Creek campground in Denali National Park and I can’t remember when I’ve been so sad to leave a place. I just love it here! Seeing Denali again would be the best reason to return to Alaska!
Meet Mt McKinley! The Mountain refused to show its face the first 3 trips we made into the park but on Friday, blessed with abundant sunshine and clear blue skies, this is what was seen.
I can’t remember how far away we were…..seems like we were about 75 miles away when it first appeared.
I took one of the green shuttle buses to Eielson Visitor Center which is 66 miles into the national park. Travel is restricted after 15 miles and the pavement ends. It took 8 hours to travel the 66 miles and return……8 hours in a bus similar to a school bus and on a washboard road! But we saw three of the big five animals and the mountain! We were very far away from some of the critters….like the Dall Sheep. Can you see them?
My camera is only 6 mp….this was the best I could do. There is a sheep in the exact middle.
But back to the mountain.
As we got closer the clouds started moving in….by the time we got to Eielson, only the top and bottom could be seen.
I realize that I am going on and on about this mountain, but it is a really big deal to be able to see it! We joined the 30% club as only 1/3 of the visitors to the park get a glimpse of the mighty McKinley.
One more picture before we move on!
The park employees were constantly reminding us of the protocol around the wildlife.
“If you see a bear, don’t run! They will think you are prey and outrun you.
“If a moose comes toward you, run into the trees zig-zagging.”
“And don’t let a wolf get into your space…throw rocks or sticks…but don’t hurt him!”
Wolf sightings are kind of rare. Bears are seen more frequently but we were advised that moose were more likely to cause problems. Females will charge if their babies are around. This momma moose had a baby but the picture was made from the safety of the bus….she was on the side of the road.
This caribou refused to show his front side…..look at that rack!
I’m getting sleepy….will write more later about this great park.
We are leaving here tomorrow, heading for Fairbanks and the last week of our time in Alaska.
David’s healing….has rarely mentioned his shoulder in the past two days. He did not do the bus trip but felt like hiking today.
Hope to post this tomorrow, Sunday!