Saturday, August 17, 2013

Alaska Day 2

On Saturday morning, we got up very early to leave Fairbanks for Denali National Park. We had a bus tour booked for the day and couldn't wait to explore the park.  We decided the back of the bus was probably the best spot for our group (most everyone else on the bus was retired).

The bus tour gave a lot of interesting information,  but we were most excited to catch our first glimpse of Denali (formerly known as Mt. McKinley - the highest peak on North America).  Apparently, it is a rare thing to see the mountain as it is usually raining, cloudy or too foggy to see it.  We were extemely lucky with the weather we had as we saw it every single day we were there.  You will see lots of pictures of it in these next few posts as we got to see it from pretty much every angle and it is quite impressive.  Paul took a picture of our group with the mountain in the back.

It was interesting to hear that there was a group on the mountain while we were there trying to reach the  summit.  They were actually the descendants of the first people to ever reach the summit and were doing it as an anniversary trip of the first time reaching the summit.  It was crazy to sit in the hot weather where we were knowing that people were on a two week trek to reach the summit of that mountain in extremely cold temperatures.  As a side note, you could always spot Denali as it was the only mountain that was totally covered in snow.

We also got to see some good wildlife on our tour.  Here are some caribou taking a cool dip in the water.

Another good shot of the mountain.

I told you Ben was getting strong, but did you know he was so strong he could move mountains?

We got to see a Mama mouse and her two babies.

They crossed right in front of our bus.  We thought that was the closest we would see a moose on our trip and were thrilled to see it so close to our bus...little did we know what would happen the next day (more to come on that).

We were staying in cabins just outside the park and that evening we went back and grilled out some hot dogs and hamburgers.  Uncle David, Aunt Carolyn, Madelyn and Virginia joined us and it was a nice relaxing evening of catching up.  Then it was off to bed (after putting towels on the windows to try to cover up the sunlight) to rest for another Denali adventure the next day!
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