Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Great Escape - Day 28: Butts, Racks but no Denali

As you might surmise from the title, we were not able to see Denali mountain today, due to low clouds/foggy conditions that started almost at the base of the famed mountain.  Sigh.

Note: Don't be like me and pay $25 for the breakfast buffett; get the breakfast sandwich like Martha did and save money!

We rode out at 6:30AM under heavy overcast conditions and would "enjoy" light to medium rain shower throughout most of the 8+ hour ride in this bus:

photo courtesy Martha

Weather conditions, wet bus windows and long distance shots required made for less than stellar pics below but you'll get the idea.

 Overcast and rainy....

 Caribou with nice rack

  photo courtesy Larry Hall

 photo courtesy Larry Hall

 Bear Butt!

Luckily, Larry got a couple of decent shots of the bear's front half along with one of her cubs:

 photo courtesy Larry Hall

 photo courtesy Larry Hall

After the bear sightings, we were soon at the turn around point for the bus, the point where one would see Denali, the mountain, if it wasn't for fog and low clouds.  So, no Denali sighting for us today.

But here's a shot of Denali from 5 years ago, from outside the park, at a rest stop along AK Highway 3 on the way to Wasilla.

Back then it was still Mt McKinley, this was in 2013,
now it's named Denali

Here's some pics that turned out from our trip back to the park entrance:

 More Caribou with nice racks

 The sun came out, finally, in the last hour or so of
our tour, way too late for anything except these 
mountain shots

 Hey what are those small white dots in middle of rightmost
third of the pic above?

 Dall Sheep!

So, we did see some wildlife, if at a distance...except for the first set of Caribou who ended up crossing the road in front of the bus!  Still, not seeing Denali itself was disappointing.  But then, only about 30% of visitors see Denali.

Once back at the Denali Park Village where we are once again overnighting, Martha and I went for a couple of miles of hiking:

 Tomorrow, we take the bus to Fairbanks!

Here's tonight's sunset....though the nearby hills blocked the actual viewing of the sun itself.


RichardM said...

Did you take the bus out to the Eielson Visitor Center? Beyond that there isn’t much. But at least you saw some wildlife. I’ve taken the bus out to Wonder Lake before and it was like a 16 hour round trip. And the mountain was still covered in clouds. A friend got a permit to drive in and camp at Wonder Lake. The clouds cleared at 3 am and we got a fantastic view. But that was in the film days and I have no idea where those pictures are anymore.

redlegsrides said...

I think we went way past the visitor center....all the way to the turnaround point at Stoney Overlook.

and I just added sunset photos.

RichardM said...

Stoney Hill Overlook is around mile 61 of the road. Just short of Eielson Visitors Center but it is one of the most spectacular views of Denali when its out.

The rain did make for some nice sunsets.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks, I’ll correct the name on the post. As to spectacular views...maybe next time. :)