Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Denali National Park

Scenes from the drive North to Denali National Park.

Denali National park is the size of the state of Vermont.
 I try to imagine what Winter must look like with snow deep.

This is a typical Alaska roadside scene. Rivers with huge boulders,
 water as blue as the sky and tall slender trees.

 The name Mt McKinley is not used by locals as this name was chosen by an Ohio state senator disregarding the local Denali tribes. The local people call the mountain Denali Mountain.

I will have pictures of Mt McKinley later and its two peaks, the tallest 20,230 ft.
 I have been looking at the snow capped Denali mountain for last 150 miles as I drive North.

Monday, June 17th, I drove North to Denali National Park  from Anchorage about 250 miles.

Next week I camp at the Techlanika River site about 35miles into Denali. This camp site is the same area the book " Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer was written about. Chris McCandless, the young college grad who went to Alaska to show he could live a minimalist life in the back woods. Four months later his body was found by a hunter. Recently there were three German college students who went to the same area and were trapped in the abandoned structure Chris McCandless had died in. Luckily they were found and rescued.

When I hike next week into the backwoods of Denali I will not be looking for the structure Chris McCandless was found. I will be enjoying the immense scenery and looking for grizzly bears that could be a problem.

I will be going to Fairbanks to be at the Midnight Sun celebration. I hear it has developed into a week long party with druids who dress up in costume. Hopefully not like 200BC druids and there will not be any human sacrifices or cannibalism.

The real reason to come to Alaska has been to see the untouched beauty of the vast landscape. The wildlife that is so close it is impossible to not see moose, black bear and elk out especially in the morning and early evening. I have seen grizzly bears usually at higher mountain trails, although I saw three grizzly bear along roadside one morning from 15 feet away. With the sun up almost 24 hours a day it is easy to see what is around the area. At this moment it is 1 am and the sun is as bright as 11 am in the morning and it will be this way for the next week until after June 21st when the days will slowly shorten for Winter. 

Along the Alaskan Highway 3 is the Nenana River. 
On a very hot 93 degree June 19th, an adult bull moose was up to his ears in the cool river.
How deep does the river need to be to submerge a moose?  See picture below.

This moose was seen along the road that leads to the backwoods of Denali. 
This moose is over 7 foot tall at his head. There was a Japanese photographer maybe 5 feet tall standing within ten feet of this moose. She was asked to get back in her car by park employees. 

This is a juvenile grizzly bear from the Kenai Peninsula last week. Foggy last weekend, Homer, AK.
I saw two large adult grizzly bears with a cub eating sweet grass along the highway.
 Thought it best to not disturb the grizzly bears with the cub. A dangerous place to be at the time.

  Kachemak Bay, Homer, AK on Kenai Peninsula. Foggy at 1:00 in the afternoon.

There will be more photos and comments over the next six days while I stay at Denali Campgrounds.

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