Saturday, August 1, 2009

Family Vacation - Part 2: Denali

Well, here we are in Denali National Park and Preserve. We have been here two nights already and tonight will be our last one here before we move along to the Fairbanks area. Yesterday we took a 10 hour / 100 mile roundtrip bus ride to the end of the park road at Wonder Lake (where all the reflective pictures of Mt. McKinley are taken). The road could be described as "dangerous as the dickens"—no guard rails, one lane wide, switchbacks around the cliffs, sheer drop-offs up to 1,000 feet and always the possibility of meeting another bus coming the opposite direction. If that did happen, one bus or the other would have to back up to a designated wide spot so that the two could pass safely. The beauty of the landscape far outweighed the journey’s risk. The picture I am attaching is one taken at Polychrome Pass, so named because of all the different colors of the surrounding mountains.

On our bus ride we saw lots of native wild life including moose, fox, caribou, ptarmigan, golden eagles, Dall sheep, and many grizzly bears (some with cubs). The bus driver also served as a narrator of the interesting facts for Denali, which made the long dusty bus ride much more enjoyable. Although we’re still bundling up in our fleeces and jackets the weather has been a lot nicer than what we experienced in the Seward area. Just guessing, the temp here in Denali has been in the 60's, very breezy, but luckily no rain other than a couple of 'spits' from the clouds.

After a week together in an RV we’ve figured out our roles in the camper: I have been doing all the driving chores, Kevin does most of the cooking, Laurie and Ada keep the place tidy and the kids stay out from under foot!

One more picture for you: sunset from our campground in Denali at 11:30PM!

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