Thursday, July 3, 2008

Denali 7/3/08

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.


Two Lines On a Stick said...

I can't believe you were so close to a grizzly bear!!

WIS said...

Your timing will be perfect - unplanned but a happy accident - your great nephew will be visiting his grandparents near the time you roll into town - James David Griffith recently turned 18 and graduated along with a family friend - David Mendosa will be here - Can't wait to see you!

Harmony said...

Awesome! I love all the wildlife pictures :)

B Boys Mom said...

Thanks for all the pictures you know how I enjoy them. The hare and rabbit info was very interesting too along with the the name of the beautiful mountain. Did they have any fireworks for the 4th of July up there?

Kelly VanMarter said...

Oh Judi the pictures are beautiful!! We miss you!!

Anonymous said...

These pictures are awesome. I can't believe all the beautiful sights that are there in Alaska. I really enjoy seeing them through your website. Thanks, Laura (work)

WIS said...

Hi Aunt Judi - my email is my firt and last name no spaces or punctuation followed by - would you send me some pictures of your time in Anchorage - Love ya hope your having fun 8)

Michelle said...

What beautiful pictures you got. Wow, I can't believe how close you can get to the animals. The grizzy would of really freaked me out. I just watched a show on grizzly bears and the older they get the more wild and mean they become.

Anonymous said...

Scooter and Crew are off to St Paul for the FMCA Rally. trying to catch up on the Blog. Looks like you are having a terrific time. Lots of shuttles ...just say MOOOOOO and get on for the cattle call. Nice and Hot here 95 when we left home. we stopped in Indiana for the night and will take up most of Wisconsin today leaving here in a few. Have fun reme,ber MOOOOOO
Scooter and Crew

siteseer said...

b boys mom, yes, there were fireworks, but Dave says they are better on New Years Eve when it actually gets dark. They are just not brilliant in the daylight.

B Boys Mom said...

Hey have you seen the Northern Lights? Or because it's light all night there are no Northern Lights? Those would be the best fireworks.

siteseer said...

b boys mom - I don't think you can see them when the sky is so bright. I haven't seen any anyway. In Homer we actually noticed that it is dusk-like for some of the night. That's a little darker than daylight lol