Monday, August 2, 2010

Good-bye Denali!

Our little slice of heaven.....

We left our campground this morning with the new campground hosts that came in to take our place.  We are sad to leave as we loved our "summer home" there!  Currently we are at the park headquarters doing laundry and we'll leave for Anchorage tomorrow.

The weather during all of July was way less than stellar to say the least.  We had rain, and more rain, and more rain with the occasional view of sun.  But happily our last weekend in the park was bright, sunny and warm!  That was even more enjoyable as we had friends in the park that we know from Colorado so we were able to enjoy sitting out by the campfire with them!

Our last bus ride into the park was last Thursday and turned out to be quite a suprise!  That morning when we got on the bus, it was, as usual, quite cloudy, so we figured ho-hum, another not so nice weather day.  But what a suprise as it cleared up and Denali (Mt. McKinley) was out in all its spectacular glory!  It is such a sight to see as it rises around 18,000 feet above its base and is 20,320 feet high in its entirety.  Mt Everest, although higher than Denali, has a vertical rise of 12,000 feet above its base.  Unfortunately, I have not yet downloaded those pictures so I'll have to do that later.

My only disappointment at the park is that we haven't seen too many wolves, yet many of our campers have come back telling us about the pack of wolves they saw up close and personal.  The pack, according to the rangers, has 12  adults and 5 puppies and this pack has been seen quite frequently along and near the road by many of our campers.  We have tried, in vain, so many times to spot this pack!  I guess as a consolation "prize" we were treated to a lone wolf walking down the road this morning as we were driving to the park entrance so I did get some nice photos of him.

Yesterday a cargo plane crashed in the park near headquarters, unfortuantely killing the 3 people on board.  We will never know, but I like to think that the pilot in his last moments was able to steer the plane away from the employee camp, headquarters and visitor center before crashing.  Although a tragedy in itself, it could have been so much worse as the crash was very near several population centers.

We watched these two Dall sheep come down a very steep mountain side, go across the stream and then up a steep hill and bank onto the road.  I love this photo of the one in the stream.

We will be heading home soon and are looking forward to seeing everyone!  I'm glad to hear that it has finally rained on our homestead!!

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