It was near 11:30, so we headed for the building with the Morino Grill. It was a much smaller version of a food court you would find in a mall. The difference was we paid for everything at once in a cashier line after we made our choices. Then we got our cutlery and condiments and selected a vacant table where we enjoyed lunch.
It was a short walk to the National Park Service, where we picked up a free map for Denali National Park and Preserve. On the lower right corner of the map, there were two stamps. One said Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska and had a date of June 5, 2016, the date we were there. The other stamp said Denali NP & Pres NPS Centennial 1916-2016 for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
Outside we viewed the Resting Grizzly plaque from the Berry Family, and the Resting Grizzly. From there it was an easy walk to the area where we would board our bus.
|The Resting Grizzly|
|Berry Family Gift|
We boarded a tan Bluebird bus for our Tundra Wilderness Tour, a narrated seven to eight hour tour, that offered opportunities to view the park’s wildlife and scenery. It included a box of snacks and water. Prior to June 1, 2016, this tour traveled 53 miles into the park to the Toklat River Contact Station. Since June 1, 2016, it travels to mile 64. The only exception to this distance is if the mountain is visible. Unfortunately, the mountain was not visible due to the rain that started after we ate lunch.
The beauty found in Denali is many things. It is not only the tallest mountain in North America. It is a preserve where visitors can view nature…wildlife, plants, flowers, whatever it has to offer… in its natural habitat, without fear of being disturbed. It is also a place where wildlife can live in harmony without fear of being hunted, with the exception of their natural predators, where nature keeps the balance.
The Wilderness of Denali can be described as a weave – an intact living tapestry.
“An ecosystem is a tapestry of species and relationships. Chop away a section, isolate that section, and there arises the problem of unraveling.” – David Quammen, The Song of the Dodo.
There is only one road in Denali National Park. It is 91 miles, between McKinley Park Station and Kantishna, a mining camp from 1923 to 1938, and is the longest trail in the park. There are a variety of ways to experience Denali National Park, but private vehicles are restricted at Mile 15 at Savage River. Only tour buses are allowed beyond Mile 15. The road is paved to Savage River where we checked in at the ranger station, so they had a record of who was in the park
Remember you can click on any picture to enlarge it and simply click the x to close out of it..
|Checking in with the ranger at Savage River Check Station, milepost 14.7|
|Rain continued as the pavement ended.|
|Mountains came into view.|
|Heavy equipment crew was done for the day.|
|Rain is still hitting the windshield when this mountain with patches of snow appears.|
|A green shuttle bus was headed back to the visitor center complex.|
|Scenic stream from the window of our bus|
|View through front windshield of our bus with patch of snow to our left.|
|Another view through front windshield with patch of snow straight ahead as our road narrows.|
|Better view of snow as we negotiate more curves.|
|Mountains in the distance appear somewhat hazy as it continues to rain.|
|A mountain with patches of snow is barely visible in front of us.|
|We prepare to meet a green bus coming around an outside curve |
on the narrow road with mountains visible in the background.
|A dangerous curve ahead|
|See the waterfall clear to the left in this photo.|
|Another dangerous curve with low visibility straight ahead|
|My camera was not powerful enough to bring the three Dall sheep any closer.|
|This is a photo of the monitor screen and the video taken of the sheep by the driver.|
|The size of the mountain and road gain new perspective compared to the green Bluebird bus.|
|Full zoom photo taken through the side window of the bus reveals a|
snow-covered mountain peak beyond the greenery of the trees.
Two caribou – Just slightly lower than center, one is to the left and one is to the right about half way to the edge of the photo. This is the best I could do with my camera at maximum zoom.
|Two caribou, barely identifiable, with my camera set at maximum zoom|
This is the end of Part 1 of Denali National Park. Thank you everyone for visiting and following my adventure. Feel free to make comments. In the next post, we will continue with Part 2 of Denali National Park and more animal sightings. If you would like to be notified when a new post is published, put your email address in the box at the top right of this blog and be sure to go to your email to confirm your subscription. We respect your privacy and do nothing with your information.
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