Alaska Denali

We spent the day and into the night in Denali National Park.
DSCN2079  It's time to see Denali National Park. DSCN1950  The entrance sign IMG 3574  And the lower 48 tourists that have to get their photo taken with it. DSCN1953  The visitors center DSCN1954  Pretty cool DSCN1955  Molly gets some questions answered.
DSCN1956  They have some nice displays. DSCN1997  Over at the transportation center is where you buy your tickets for the park bus rides. IMG 3581  You can only drive your own car 15 miles into the park.  We did and got to see the Savage Cabin. IMG 3580  It was built in 1924. IMG 3576  Why are there nails in the windows? IMG 3575  It is to keep the bears out.
IMG 3577  The doghouses are to keep the dogs out of the sun in the summer. IMG 3578  It's kept in 1920s condition. IMG 3579  Nice and cozy DSCN1998  We took the 85 mile bus ride the next day. DSCN1999  Molly and Chris in the waiting area. DSCN2000  We took the green bus tour.  It cost 1/2 the price of the tan bus tour.
DSCN2002  Loading up DSCN2003  Chris and Molly DSCN2004  John and I DSCN2006  The tan buses make the same stops as the green buses, but the drivers give more narration. DSCN2008  There are bathroom stops every 1.5 hours.  This one had a nice view. DSCN2009  A glacial created river.  Very typical in Alaska.
DSCN2010  Beautiful vista DSCN2013  The potty stop had some signage for the flowers. DSCN2014  There are a lot of flowers up here. DSCN2026  This bus broke down and the passengers were wandering all over the place. DSCN2015  And not very far down the road, we saw grizzly bears! DSCN2017  He's checking things out.
DSCN2019  I'm glad our bus didn't break down! DSCN2022  He's heading out to see if there are any tasty snacks walking around. DSCN2023  The elevations are not that high on the roads in Denali. IMG 3613  The road has kind of a steep embankment. IMG 3616  And the view is straight down DSCN2024  But the views are spectacular.
IMG 3594  Since it doesn't get dark until midnight, the solar lights didn't get used much at this bathroom stop. IMG 3593  Again, a nice deck for views at the bathroom stop. DSCN2027  See DSCN2029  This stop had some hicking trails. DSCN2032  Molly gets some photos. DSCN2030  It's very brushy in this area.
DSCN2031  But there are also nice flowers. DSCN2034  And you can kind of see Denali from here. DSCN2039  This bathroom stop was a Toklat. DSCN2037  It had a gift shop. DSCN2035  Fannie Quigley arrived in Alaska in 1906, and stayed until her death in 1944, at the age of 74. DSCN2036  She staked her share of mining claims, and mined them.  She also became a skilled hunter.
DSCN2038  Check out sunrise and sunset. DSCN2041  What's out in the meadow here? DSCN2043  Carabou DSCN2049  This one is grazing. DSCN2044  Getting a shot of Mt McKinley DSCN2046  It's a little clouded over.
DSCN2047  A Japanese tourist on the bus gets the shot. DSCN2050  We get a little closer. DSCN2051  And closer yet DSCN2052  Hooray for telephoto lenses. IMG 3636  Who are these tourists? DSCN2058  John and I at Mt. McKinley
DSCN2060  Molly and Chris also want the tourist shot.  Why not? DSCN2085  This is the Mile 66 stop. DSCN2061  We ate our lunch inside this rest stop. DSCN2062  They had some cool displays. DSCN2063 DSCN2065  The high was 66 that day at that stop.
DSCN2067  Pretty DSCN2084 DSCN2082  A native red squirrel DSCN2093  He gladly took handouts from the tourists. DSCN2086  Kind of a sad story DSCN2087  Poor guys
DSCN2088  Kind of weird DSCN2089  Must have been horrible DSCN2077  The last stop for our bus ride was Wonder Lake at mile 85.  The end of the road was less than 10 miles away. DSCN2070 DSCN2071  Wonder Lake DSCN2072  I can't believe these guys are swimming in the cold water.
DSCN2074  Molly takes a pic DSCN2075  There are several interpretive signs. DSCN2076  And fireweed too. IMG 3640  Wonder Lake is in a very wet part of the park, and mosquitoes plague the area for much of the summer. IMG 3641  The campground offers 28 sites, which are all tent-only. It is open June 8 - mid-September each year. DSCN2081  View from the bus on our way back.
DSCN2094  A gorgeous view DSCN2080  I think the ponds are called potholes. DSCN2096  Another cloudy view of Mt. McKinley DSCN2097  Looks what's walking next to the tan bus. DSCN2103  Time to eat DSCN2104  He joins his buddy
DSCN2098  This caribou was really molting. DSCN2101  Movin on DSCN2100  My telephoto lens did really well.  This was taken from the bus. DSCN2106  Another pretty shot DSCN2108  Lots of colors DSCN2109
DSCN2112  Typical Alaska DSCN2113  The bus trip was 11 hours and it's not getting dark yet. DSCN2117  Who is this? DSCN2120  At least we can say we saw a moose on this trip.  Sort of IMG 3624  Nice IMG 3626  One last potty stop
IMG 3633  And goodbye Mt. McKinley