|Denali Overlook, on the way to Denali National Park|
I mean discovering that an outdoors jacuzzi is not the best idea in Alaska when wet mosquito’s are sticking to your face and biting you and landing in your beer. After the beer filled mosquito tasting we were ready to hit the road and approach the next adventure.
The weather was in the eighties and ideal when we parked at Denali National Park. There are no cars allowed in Denali so we boarded the bus with our camping gear and supplies for three days. We were staying at the Sanctuary Campground and we would do day hikes from there. In order to actually backpack into the bush you have to take a safety class on what to do in case of a bear attack. We decided to skip the class and just camp in a designated campground. On the way into Sanctuary we had our first animal sighting, a caribou on the side of the road. I was alittle disappointed to not see more wild life while in Alaska, although I am perfectly fine with not seeing grizzlies up close. The caribou looked like a big ugly reindeer. After our super annoying bus driver (well Ryan liked her anyways) let us get some pictures the bus dropped us at our campsite and we found a nice spot near a picnic table. The people next to us, who were absolutely COVERED from head to toe in mosquito bites, told us there had been a grizzly spotted in our campsite the night before. That’s not terrifying or anything . What freaked me out, was walking to the portapotty in the middle of the night (Which I had to do alot, I have a girl bladder) without my glasses on, half blind, in the rain (I’ll get to that) just feeling like a grizzly was watching me. I felt like I was starring in an Alaskan horror movie; Revenge of the Mosquito’s, I mean Grizzlies.
|It was this windy!|
|Poly Chrome Overlook|
The people in the camp sight next door to ours were super nice. They even gave us more fuel when ours didn’t work. We ended the day with a few rounds of hearts. Some time during the night it started raining. When we woke up in the morning the sky was overcast and it was still drizzling. So we played a few more games of hearts… An hour later it was still drizzling with no sign of letting up. We had a quick breakfast then jumped on the tour bus to head towards Wonder Lake. We decided its called that because you wonder why there are so many damn mosquito’s. The road into the park is ninety miles long and gravel so it takes quite a while to get to Wonder Lake. We could see huge hay colored grizzlies out the window in the distance. I didn’t expect them to be so light in color. We also saw some moose and Dall Sheep. Wonder Lake was pretty when we got there but the mosquito’s were in thick wet swarms, really insistent. We ended up just riding the tour bus most of the day to stay warm. We ended up back at our camp sight, playing hearts for hours and hours on end. Everyone was addicted to hearts but me.
|I thought this sign was a guy staring at us|
The next morning, yup it was still raining. I can’t believe in all the rain we got that our tent stayed dry! Wow. If you would have said this at the start of the trip, I would’ve just laughed. Have you ever heard of anyone staying dry in a tent when it rains? Well it happened to us. All I can say is that it’s a good job that we spent our time looking for a tent for backpacking so we could make sure that it had all of the features that we were looking for. It’s fair to say that we didn’t let a bit of bad weather dampen our spirits as we decided to take a hike, even though it was raining.
Thank god! A break from playing hearts!
We got off the bus at the Polychrome Overlook and hiked up into the pretty green hills. I’m so glad I bought a rain coat for this trip. The whole time we were hiking I kept seeing a man in yellow on a hill far away watching us, and I thought it was kind of weird but whatever. It wasn’t until after our hike was over and we were heading back to the bus station that I realized “that man” was actually a yellow street sign.
I’m half blind, I guess.
All in all Denali was pretty amazing. We did not get attacked by grizzlies, the weather was very wet and damp but that is very Alaska like. It allowed us to have a true Alaska experience, bugs, hearts and all.