Both times we traveled to Alaska we wanted to see the majestic Mt McKinley or, as the natives prefer to call it, Denali. It’s no wonder Denali is one of the most popular attractions in this vast and mountainous state, because it is one of the largest and most spectacular sights you may ever see. Both times we were there we were told that only 2 percent of the people who come to see the mountain ever do actually get to view its mighty peak. It has its own weather pattern and even if it is nice elsewhere, the mountain could be totally obscured by its own set of shrouding clouds.
I am delighted to say that both in 1999 and in 2011, our friend Denali cooperated with us and gave us the same splendid view. We were counted in that illusive 2 percent both times. We saw it from afar days before our trip to the park.
Perched eagles were often spotted as we journeyed to our distant destination.
Once in Denali Park the vastness of the land strikes you as never ending. The mountains put a ring around the Tundra, and dahl sheep were plentiful. We saw them at the very top of the mountains,
along the road side of the steady, hairpin turn climb and
up close and personal.
This one paused and posed for the photo shoot. We saw sheep all day as our tour lasted a full 12 hours. We saw as many as 15 to 18 at different times in different places.
I loved being out of the bus for short times to walk along the paths, enjoying the smallness of me, and being amazed at the surrounding largeness of the land.
Our day in Denali was September 15th. Ours was the last bus to make the long trip back to Kantishna for the season.
You never knew what kind of animals you could see along the way. This one was quite peculiar.
The horns belong to a caribou, but that face?? A lover of caribou, but definitely not caribou.
Speaking of faces, I can’t believe the expression on the face of this bear. His nose makes him look like a teddy that got too much love.
Off he goes looking for more berries.
The long road to Kantishna. Most tours stop at this point, by the visitors center, but this road goes back past the mountain to where most people go who want to hike in the bush. We took the long tour because we wanted to see it all, not because we wanted to hike beyond where we could see the bus.
Here it is in all its glory. WOW! Majestic even in a picture. So thankful that we got to see it like this.
It was a long enjoyable day. The animal sightings were definitely worth the trip and the scenery was always there and always breathtaking. We arrived back at our B&B about 9pm. I was making chicken chunks in gravy over rice, we were eating dinner at 9:45 pm. We slept in late and woke up to this right outside our door. Did I ever mention that I like B&B’s better than hotels?