Thursday, July 30, 2009

07/30/09 Denali - Bus Ride

Alex and I are going for a 6hr bus ride up into the park. Should be fun, if he doesn't get eaten by a bear. Well, if he does that’s why I brought my own bear bait!

Wow, what a ride - most of it on a very dangerous road. One wrong move and off the mountainside you go. Our driver/interpreter told us that they had railings on the road at one time but the buses kept bending them, so they took them out! We saw brown bear (grizzly), caribou, fox, mountain sheep, rabbits, eagle, ptarmigan and a moose. Lots of caribou, we rode all the way back to the Toklat rest stop.

It was kind of hazy and smokey from the various forest fires that are raging around here. One fire has consumed about 630,000 acres. You've got to understand though that the Denali National Park and Preserve only has 6 million acres (and occupies 9,400 sq miles) and it is only one of the 17 National Park systems in Alaska (Wrangell has 24 million acres).

Reminded me of when Jane and I took the 11hr bus ride back to Wonder Lake in the early 1980s. Wish she was here, brought back a lot of memories. The old visitor's center has been replaced by a series of new buildings. The Pullman Sleeper cars have been moved to a resting place between Denalia and Heally,AK.

It was so light we couldn't believe it was midnight when we went in for bed. Watched Casino Royale on the computer last night – we’re really roughing it. It's hard to sleep when its so light outside.

Checkout the pictures:

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