Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 17, Rolling into Denali

July 19th, 5:30 am.

We have arrived, arrived, arrived where? Why Denali of course the 3rd largest National Park and Preserve. Only the third? Yep as Wrangell is larger than Denali but only gets a tenth of the visitors. But yes we arrived on the 17th of July

We left Anderson around 8:30 am on Friday, with Susan in the driver’s seat and me watching. Watching, watching for what? Wildlife of course. But it was not to be as we traveled south on the Parks Highway.

We talked about what we might find and of course what we were going to do once there and setup. Traveling the 50 or so miles took about an hour and before you knew,

WHAM, traffic, but to be more précised road construction.

Susan was careful as the many bumps leading onto and off of the bridges required a slower approach, but she Handle it like a pro. And before you knew t, we were into Denali Park town. Well not really the Parks town, but it may as well be, as it was both a small town with small shops, cabins, hotel and motels, which came about because of Denali Park.

But as we continued on Da Road we spotted tell tail signs of Denali Park

Can you tell what those signs were? Get it Signs?

Denali is a destination spot and not a camping spot, and for many it is the excitement backpacking and camping in the wilderness, with chance encounters with wildlife of all sorts if you are one of the lucky. Maybe a

Moose, taken by DaGirls

Or a 2 headed Caribou, taken by DaGirls

Bear or even a chance encounter with the elusive Wolf. Or maybe it is a trip to the tundra, or a lake or maybe it is to get see Mt. McKinley. The highest mountain in the North Americans, for whatever reason, if you could to Alaska, then a trip to Denali is in order. And just the week before we arrived, the summer weather brought about seeing Mt. McKinley clearly.

Our adventurer started the moment we arrived at the Mercantile store, or just prior, we had already MT (empty) get it M T ! our holding tanks, so we loaded up with water prior to parking. Once inside, it will be a long wait, as they have only 1 person who checks you in and he/she does the booking for the various trips also. So, don’t rush you’ll be gotten too and taken care of.

Once register, you will be given a sheet of paper with instructions along with what site Letter you have been assigned. Ours was “A” as that is for rigs longer than 36 feet, but don’t let that fool you as many people WHO can’t drive, remember it is a destination with many rentals that come in and most of them are less the 30 feet reserve them also even though they  are required to put in your length. But hey, DaGirls always manage to overcome the impossible right ? Right !

Ok, so we spotted our sight and WAIT, what’s that over there, why it’s even a better sight, level, large, easy access in and out and next thing you know we were disconnecting DaGirls Jeep
and Bam we were in, setup laid back and ready to take our first hike with DaGirls in tow. However, what are those dark clouds out there?

Now if you guessed rain, you won the Grand Prize. Since we arrived, it has rained, sprinkle or whatever you call it. And We do not carry foul weather hiking gear. Oh we have rain coats, hiking shoes/boots, but nothing that will keep you dry while you hike.

But we will not be deterred, goal see park, take a rafting trip, take a bus ride into the park and most importantly HAVE FUN. Except for when the reservation system crashes and NO ONE can make any reservations until it is back up. But we are having fun and enjoying driving the 15 miles up the Denali park road which is accessible to the public and sightseeing.

So I leave you to enjoy some of the photos we have taken here and in the surrounding area:

One other important factor, just to be clear, the National Parks service manages Denali Park and Preserve, but a concessionaire “Aramark” Manages everything else, and boy do they manage it. An example, in the campground, the going rate for a shower is $4.50, yep you read this correctly. I mean don’t read this incorrectly, without concessionaires, a lot of our parks would be in really big trouble. As the USA government is always taking money from the parks service to maintain the facilities. However with the concessionaires, at least they are required to put some of the money they make, back into the park. However, they are in it for a profit, and in my opinion they have never gone into the “RED” and NEVER will.

As Susan Says SeeYa

Safe Travels and Journeys 

Della                     &                      Tilly