Adventure Caravans / tours by RV to Alaska and the Canadian Rockies in 2008
Adventure Caravans / tours by RV to Alaska and the Canadian Rockies in 2008
Day 29 - 30 - 31 in Denali Park, AK
Day 29
We did make it to Denali Park today. We are in the Denali RV Campground which is about 10 miles from the park entrance. Most of us ventured to the park after arriving. The visitor center is very complete. It has displays on the history and wildlife of the park. It also has an excellent move about the park.
This is a lower level display showing all the animals that inhabit the park along with a short description of each. The visitor's center is in a valley in the Alaskan range.
We took a short hike on a couple of the trails. They are well marked and very well maintained.
We did see some wildlife, starting with this squirrel next to the parking lot that was so busy munching on a nut, it did not pay any attention to us. We have seen a a number of Caribou and Reindeer in captivity, but this is the first Caribou we have seen in the wild.
I thought these were pretty little flowers. I believe they are Arnica. I got a chuckle out of this shot. The car, with a canoe on top, is parked next to a dry stream bed. Are they waiting for the water to come up?
This is a scene along the river where we spotted the Caribou.
Day 30
Today we took an all-day trip into Denali Park. Cars can only go about 14 miles into the park but the busses are allowed to continue much further into the interior of the park.
Our first wildlife sighting was a Lynx sitting on the side of the road. It sat there for a couple of minutes and then ran across the road in front of the bus. It was overcast for most of the day, but it did allow for some interesting cloud formations.
Here are a couple of Dall Sheep we located on the side of a hill. The picture on the left is magnified by 18x and the right side is a digital zoom of the sheep.
A beautiful view looking out over one of the valleys we passed. You can see some of the weather in the mountains.
This is a zoomed view of an immature Golden Eagle. Not sure who spotted this one. It was just a dot in the green landscape. Much of the road was about 1 1/2 busses wide. This in similar to the road we drove on from Dawson City to Chicken, AK. However, this one was better maintained.
This is the first of our grizzly sightings. The 18x zoom is on the left. The bear is in the middle of the picture just above the trees. On the right is a digital zoom of another shot I took of the same bear.
This is a Grizzly mother and cub. They were a little closer so it was easier for all of us to see them.
On the way back we saw this pair of Dall Sheep.
If Mt. McKinley were visible, we would have been able to see it from here.
One of our sharp-eyed members spotted this Bald Eagle sitting in a tree about 75 yards from the road.
This is a Red Fox that seemed to be intent on it's next meal. It would creep forward a bit and then stop. It did this a number of times as we watched it. A mother Ptarmigan and her offspring were eating along side the main road.
Today was Mary McEwan's Birthday. So we celebrated it with a birthday cake and candles.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY!

Today was a very successful wild life viewing day. The driver told us he rarely sees Lynx or Bald Eagles. Although we did not see any Moose or Caribou, many of us had seem them on previous days during our trip.

Most all the green you see in today's pictures is Tundra. The Tundra in this area ranges from a foot high to over four feet high. The taller Tundra is called Moist Tundra because it gets more moisture and grows higher than the dry Tundra which consist of very low growth, normally less than a foot or two tall.

Day 31
Today was a free day. some of us went our separate ways and some of us went on a scheduled raft trip. So today's pictures were provided though four different sources. The day was a gray rainy day so many of us did indoor activities; mostly shopping.
Susan and I visited the Murie Science and Learning Center. It features an exhibit area highlighting current park science, a classroom and office space for visiting scientists. At the center visitors can explore the exhibit area, join a science activity, or hear a lecture. We then visited the Wilderness Access Center and watched an 18 minute film about the history of Denali Park. A very worthwhile film to watch prior to taking any of the bus trips into the Park.
We drove up to the Grande Denali Lodge located high on a hill overlooking the business area of Denali. Looking down on the valley below showing a section of the hairpin turn road we took to the Lodge. The Nenana River is also shown in the picture.
The only wildlife seen today was this Mew Gull sitting on a railing at the Grande Denali Lodge And this young Moose that walked in front of Russ and Carol Buck's car.
The rain stopped about 3:00 PM so Susan and I walked down to Horse shoe Lake. There had been numerous Moose sightings at the lake so we decided to see for ourselves. No Moose, but we found the lake enchanting.
Eight of our group went rafting this afternoon despite the rainy weather. Each person was supplied with a dry suit, and river booties to wear. As Jill and Lynne can attest to, they are not the easiest garments to get into.
Jill Baumann is ready and willing to tackle the river; while Lynne Arigema looks a little less enthusiastic as her husband Carmen helps her get ready.
They are all smiles now, but let's see if their attitude changes once they are on the water. Off they go into the frothy unknown.
Dave and Sharon Wilson and Rebecca Poole are in the yellow raft which did the first half of the river. On the right, Dave is waving to the photographer, Sue Schaaf.
The rest of the group chose the long trip which was out 4 hours and went through the rougher part of the river. On the right they are celebrating after successfully navigating a rapid.
Days 32 - 34

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