The dogs were all super cute and friendly and the kids had a really good time petting the dogs. Good thing they all have dogs at home and are not afraid of them!
One of the sled dogs had just had puppies! You can just see them in there with her, but they were behind a fence so this was about as close as you could get to them.
Then it was time for the demonstration. It was amazing. As soon as the rangers started to go around and pick which dogs would run, all the dogs were jumping up excitedly as if to say "Pick Me!". It was really amazing to see the quiet place turn into a dog rally with barking and excitement. You could really tell how much they love to do this!
After their run they all got a nice treat! The rangers gave a lot of really interesting information in the presentation - I would recommend it to anyone going to Denali.
Juliette was the only one who wasn't really into petting the dogs. Abbey loved it, but I don't have any pictures of her doing it because she was off trying to make sure she visited each dog, whereas Ben would spend a bit more time with just a few. Here is Paul trying to get Juliette to just pet one!
After the demonstration, we had our up close encounter with a moose. Paul and Ben were headed down the path back to the bus when a mama moose and her baby came running down the path. They darted off into the woods, but the dogs were there and scared the moose so they jumped back on the path and headed straight towards Ben and Paul, at which point I was running towards them yelling to back up, but they were mesmerized. The rangers sprang into action yelling at everyone to back up and run away and the moose eventually darted off the path in the opposite direction. Paul then turned around to ask me if I got a picture...seriously? I was terrified that my husband and son were about to get charged by a frightened mama moose!!! No, I did not get any pictures. But the dogs went crazy barking and the rangers came on the loud speaker reminding people that if they see a moose the appropriate thing to do is run away and put something (like a tree) between yourself and the moose. It all happened very quickly and I don't think any of the tourists realized how dangerous the situation was until the rangers started running, yelling, and taking action. Afterwards we heard a few of the rangers talking about how scary that was, so it wasn't really until we heard the rangers were scared that we fully appreciated the situation.
After that we decided to hike back to the visitors center instead of take the bus. The mosquitoes were fierce, but it was a nice hike anyway.
After some lunch we headed to a stream to play around. The older cousins went on a longer hike, so Paul, Aunt Domi and I took the little cousins here.
We were trying to take a picture of how dirty they all were, but it doesn't really come across too well in the picture actually. But still a cute picture and worthy of the blog.
Then we decided to go on a hike too. The kids climbed up onto this rock and Domi and I needed to be in this picture to make sure they didn't fall off this rock! Juliette actually was not happy with me for holding her as she wanted to walk around up there! You can't tell, but Domi and I are each holding onto kids in the back and between smiled teeth telling them not to move!
Then we hiked up even higher to the opposite side of the big rock behind us in the picture above. Look closely and you can see the kids in the picture!