Tuesday, June 3 – So, we finally made it to Denali National Park, America’s crown jewel of national parks. And the weather sucked. It was overcast and gray for most of the day. Then it started raining. All of the planning and anticipation leading up to our Denali visit and we get crappy weather. Of course, up until now, the weather has been pretty darn fantastic for us, so I guess we really can’t complain.
Wednesday, June 4 – This was supposed to be our BIG day. The day we’d been waiting for. The day we were scheduled to ride the shuttle bus into the park (private cars are not allowed to drive past mile 15).
Despite the crappy weather yesterday, today it was gorgeous. We could not have asked for better weather. How good was it? It was so good, we actually got to see Mt. McKinley! North America’s highest mountain, at 20,320 feet, is so tall, it creates its own weather. Only about 25% of people who visit the park will ever see the mountain. One of the reasons I scheduled our shuttle trip for the ungodly hour of 7:00 AM is that you are more likely to see the mountain in the morning. You are more likely to see critters, too.
Did we ever see lots of critters! Grizzly bears (10 of them), caribou, moose, Dall sheep, a red fox, a hoary marmot, more snowshoe hares than we could ever possibly count, ditto for ground squirrels (the fast food of the tundra). We also saw some cool birds. You’ll just have to look at the pictures to see for yourself, because I am tired of writing for the day.
Tomorrow, we leave Denali and head back to Anchorage. But we’ll be stopping in Talkeetna to meet up with Mike’s cousin, June, along the way.