Got an early start today. Had to be at the shuttle bus station by 6 a.m. That meant that we were us by about 4:30. Not complaining, the sun was out and it was daylight...oh yeah, it's always daylight. What we had signed up for today was an 8 hour bus ride into Denali Park to Eielson. Denali National Park is 600 acres and has one road through it. The general public can only go in the first 15 miles - to Savage Rock - after that if you want to go any further you have to be shuttled in.
So it was 66 miles in to Eielson and we stopped for pictures whenever we spotted wildlife and for a few rest stops along the way. We spotted a red fox first. He was sitting roadside just posing.
And then a mama grizzly and her two babies. They were pretty far off and played for quite a while putting on a show for us.
The papa grizzly was right on the roadside on the way out. He is huge. MM said we should say we met him on the trail lol. Not me, I'm glad I was safe in the bus.
We also saw another caribou that must have been quite old by his coloring and the size of his rack. The driver says that the rack has just about doubled in just the last two weeks.
We also saw several dahl sheep but our previous shots were better.
Being the flower lover that I am, I've been amazed by the wild flowers that grow just everywhere.
There is the Alaska poppy
The Oregon Crabapple
The Lapland Roseberry
And there are wild roses absolutely everywhere.
I think I'm right on the names, if not I'm sure someone will correct me lol. Anyway, the pictures don't do them justice. They are absolutely everywhere and when there are fields of them it is positively beautiful.
When we were out at Eielson we were about 25 miles from Denali (Mt Mckinley) and the shots were even better.
The story on Denali/Mt Mckinley is that the park has renamed it Denali, but all of the maps of the country still call it Mt Mckinley and it would take an act of congress to change it. So here they call it Denali.
Also learned a little about hare vs rabbits. In this area they only have hares. Hares are born with hair and can see and are ready to survive on their own. Rabbits are born without hair, cannot see and are dependent on their moms for their survival in the beginning. I thought that was interesting.
Hope I'm not putting on too many pictures, we are taking about 100 a day. Just can't delete too many right now. They are all just so beautiful. It's probably just being here that makes it so.
We'll be heading out tomorrow morning. We have another stop then Anchorage.