Alaska - Denali by Phil & Shirley - 2014

After our great adventures on the ferry, we rented a car and headed north form Anchorage



Some very rare cloudless pictures of Mt McKinley (Denali as known by the Alaskan's)



Denali at 20,320 ft of elevation is the highest point in North America

We drove north 100 miles to Talkeetna, the outfitting point for many hard core climbers.
It use to be the closest point to Denali, but in 1962 they extended the road past Denali and on to Fairbanks.
We walked this pretty touristy town and had a picnic by one of the three rivers that flowed by.


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Then we drove another 150 miles past the mountains, over the pass to Mt McKinley National Park.
We stayed at Denali Park Hotel in Healy, a cute little motel that just suited us.
We had dinner at Rose's Diner, the family restaurant for the locals.
Rose showed us many pictures of moose just outside of her window.

The next day was overcast and drizzle, but we went on our bus tour anyway.

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The landscape is similar to the Aleutian Islands with few trees. But with much game.

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Our first sighting was moose and soon after a family of Caribou.

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Later we saw sea gulls (why there?) and a ptarmigan just changing to his summer colors.

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We also got to see some Dall Sheep just playing on a hillside

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We stopped for lunch at The Eielson Visitors Center which (on a few clear days) has a grand view of the north side of Denali.
Not much scenery today, but antlers and a friendly fox.


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Finally, after lunch on the way back, we saw the Grizzly bears.
They were on the road ahead of us and the driver said, "you can open the windows, but be real quiet and they will walk right by us".
He was right. They walked right next to the bus and paid no attention to all the clicks of the cameras.

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The next day we drove back to Anchorage and had a picnic by the Cook Inlet.
There the tide was down to 4 ft from a high of 22 ft at noon.
On the way home we drove by Lake Hood Seaplane Base.


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