We had to go back through Anchorage to Denali National Park. And in Alaska there are really not a lot of highways. So you should never really get lost traveling those highways. However, they highway signs in Alaska are not very good. And very very few in between. So yes, we got lost in downtown Anchorage. The “freeway” ends when you get to downtown and you better know where you are going to stay on Highway 1. We ended up down near the railroad. A very nice gentleman pointed the way out to us and we negotiated our way back through very narrow roads in a big RV to the highway. Thank goodness Anchorage is just not a huge town!
OK, back to Denali. We have been able to see the mountain from Anchorage every day as the weather has been clear and wonderful. Everyone keeps telling us we brought the good weather with us. We were certainly glad.
This was of course a holiday weekend so we were unsure if we could even get a place to stay in the national park. And dumb me forgot our national park pass so we did not get the discount. I was trying to cut down all the stuff in my purse for travel and never thought about this being a national park. I know better than to leave it again!
Anyway, we got a spot for the night! On a Saturday night on Labor Day weekend. How lucky! And we booked a spot on the 8:30 shuttle for the next day. Another stroke of luck as most were full. It is a four hour narrated shuttle. You can get off and on if you want to hike throughout the park. We did not but there where plenty that did. It was far cheaper than the big bus tour and I think we got all the information given on those tours. Our driver, Sandy, was really well versed in the history and views of the park.
Right off the bat when we got to the park there was a crowd watching a mama moose and her babies, two. They were crowding in on them and mama was not happy. The park rangers came and made everyone get at least 25 yards from the moose. We were not that close I can tell you! Don’t want to make mama unhappy.There are many different land formation and rivers in this park. I think they said there are 600,000 acres!!Ranger talk at our camp area. He had a cool sheep horn. Know the difference between a horn and antlers? Horns continue to grow and never fall off. Antlers are shed each year. This is like the shuttle we took.Caribou antlers.Moose antlers.Getting closer..The blue green of these rivers shows that they are from glacier melts. That is the silt. See the grass on the top of cabins. For insulation.Ptarmigans before they change to white for winter.Caribou!And a grizzly way over on a hill.
We saw eight bears and four caribou. No moose on the outing. One hawk, the ptarmigan and lots of ground squirrels or chipmunks.
This is a mama grizzly and her cub on the hill pretty far away. They were foraging when all of a sudden the mama started running fast from the site and zig zagging and finally ran in a circle. We could only surmise that either there was a male somewhere or a be was suddenly after her. Who knows.As we driving along we saw a couple of buses stopped. Suddenly out popped a mama bear and two cubs, crossed in front of our bus, and started foraging for food. Vey close and cute.
Denali again. About a close as we were going to get. So lucky that we had beautiful days for those clear views.These two moose had become locked in a duel and both died when they could not separate. And the plaque said one of the antlers had pierced the other’s eye socket. EWWWW.Here is another caribou we spotted. We thought he or she (both have horns) had a growth but finally saw it was still shedding the felt.
Time to move on. More later…