I swore I would never, ever make that trip again. The last time I did, it cost a pretty penny to charter a helicopter to fly me off the mountain. For some reason I have an aversion to looking out the window of a bus (driven by an undoubtedly high college kid who looks like he's one toke away from driving us all to a certain death) and seeing terra firma... 1,500 feet straight down. Nope. Sorry. Just not gonna do it.
This past weekend the boss and I took some much needed R&R time and headed south to Denali Park. I know, I know... some say all we do in the summer is take time off. It's amazing how much business you can conduct via a satellite connection. :) Where there's a will, there's a way, right?
While we were fortunate to have gorgeous sunny skies and temps in the 70's I was dreading the mere mention of 'the trip' up the mountain. God help me, I don't think there's enough Valium in the western hemisphere to get me back on that bus.
Fortunately for me the buses aren't in operation yet. But, the Park road (the only one in Denali National Park) is open to milepost 30 at the Teklanika River. We took a leisurely drive over the mountains and through the woods watching for critters large and small. There were tons of ptarmigans, a lynx who was too quick for me to catch on film, a small herd of caribou, several moose, a black bear and on our return trip a pack of wolves we had a short standoff with in the middle of the road.
If you're thinking of making a trip to Denali, this is a great time. The terrorists tourists are not out yet and with less traffic on the Park road the odds of seeing wildlife is much greater. Riley Creek Campground, the first campground in the Park, is the only one open and doesn't offer any hookups but camping is free until the 14th.
The photo's below are a few from the trip... I hope you enjoy them!