A Travellerspoint blog

Denali National Park!

Friday, June 22, 2007

all seasons in one day 0 °F

After staying up til after the sunrise at 3:00am this morning, it’s kindof hard to drag myself out of bed at 9:00, but I do it. I hop into the shower, eat some breakfast and pack up again. We’ve really enjoyed the Chena Marina RV Park – friendly hosts and great little float planes and airplanes to watch.

Unfortunately soon after we hit the road the rain arrives again. So no nice scenery pictures during today’s drive, but I do take a picture of this really pretty grass growing beside the road:

As we get close to Denali the sky looks awfully gray and we assume it’s fog, but as we get closer to the park we realize that it’s smoke.

We’re getting a little concerned. A few years ago when we visited Glacier National Park, half of the park was evacuated due to a wildfire – we’ve really been looking forward to visiting Denali and start wondering if our trip may be cut short. We stop in the Wilderness Access Center to register for our campground and find out that the fire is 100 miles away near Wasilla. We breathe a sigh of relief and check into our campground. The building where we check in for our campground is really, really nice. I feel like I’m checking into a nice hotel – I like that feeling :-) We go and pick out a nice campsite and set up.

The wildflowers are very pretty in the campground. Here's a spot where there is wild rose, bluebells and lupine all together:

The restrooms are a short walk away from our site and they are also very nice. We then drive to the visitor center and that is also very nice. This national park appears to be well funded, unlike some of the others that we’ve visited. This park is obviously getting money from somewhere other than the federal government.

We watch a wonderful movie in the visitor center in their large (very nice) theatre and spend about an hour looking around the museum – the museum is also very nice. We also spend some time looking at the bookstore there before returning to our RV for dinner.

After dinner we go over to the ranger led campfire program, “How Cold is Cold” and we learn about how cold it gets in Alaska in the winter and what happens when it’s 20 degrees below zero, 40 below, and 50 below. The ranger also gives the usual safety talk on bears and moose, and has a grizzly fur for all of us to examine.

He also warns us that about the ‘aggressive moose’ that is currently causing problems in our campground. She has two calves and is not to be tangled with. He said the moose even charged a motorhome last week that was trying to vacate a camping site (to get away from the moose). A few people at the program said they saw it this morning.

We walk back to the RV after the program, actively watching for moose. We had bought our bearbells earlier today at the bookstore, but apparently what we really need to be concerned about are moose, not grizzles :-)

Posted by jengelman 13:22 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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