Sunday, June 8, 2008

A day in Denali National Park

What a great day! We arrived for our bus tour at 7:00 am. The bus arrived on time and we left the visitor center about 7:40 am. The first sighting of the day was a cow moose with a radio collar about 20 minutes out from base camp.
We were to travel about 65 miles one way into the park today and return by the same road. Jim and Carol from Tampa, Florida were sitting across from us in the front row. A nice retired couple that decided to come up here and work at odd jobs for the summer. Our driver, Ray, is from Michigan and comes up here to drive for the summer. The first 15 miles or so is paved and a piece of cake. After that it can get a little hairy; gravel roads going over some mountain passes with no room to pass two cars, much less two big buses. But the park people have it all worked out.
The system is like this; the driver watches the road and the passengers watch for wildlife. When someone spots an animal, they yell STOP and the driver stops. We all try to locate the animal(s) with binoculars and (hopefully) cameras. I am so glad I bought my new Canon S5IS for this trip. I got pictures that were the envy of the bus. In fact, I was asked to e-mail my pictures to two of our fellow passengers. During the day we spotted caribou, dahl sheep, moose, ptarmigan, a great horned owl chick in a nest, a beautiful fox, hundreds of snowhoe hares and 5 grizzly bears; including a mom with 2 cubs at the very end of the day. That did it for Rosie; she was so excited she could hardly contain herself. The only major park animal we didn't see was a wolf. Ray gave a great narrative on the history of the park and the latest on wildlife populations.
We got back to the base camp about 4:30 and headed back to the RV Park. Sammy was so happy to see us. I talked with the nice lady who took him out for a walk and he was a really good boy for her. I grilled some BBQ chicken and Rosie fixed rice and beans. As I write this, it has started to rain quite heavily. We are really greatful that we are past the tent camping days. It is so nice to sit here in comfort with electricity, heat, water, a sewer hookup, cable TV and a good internet connection. Life is Good and The Living is Easy.
Tomorrow we plan to go see the dog sled kennels where there is a litter of 4 week old husky puppies. I may never get Rosie away from them.

No comments: