Denali Park. Bus day 2 

We left at 0745 to head  into Denali Park for the day. To begin with we followed the Teklanika River. The rivers here are braided, like home, in fact the area is incredibly like NZ. 

We saw a number of birds including Spruce Grouse,  Ptarmigan and  Golden Eagle, plus the relatively common Black billed magpies and white capped sparrows . We also saw Arctic ground squirrels, which are super cute and hibernate, slowing their heart rate to only a few beats all winter.  

The other river that runs through this park is the Toklat River. Denali is classified as a sub Arctic desert because of the low precipitation, 10 to 15 inches. The permafrost prevents the water soaking in so in spite of the low rain fall there is a lot of surface water. 

Dall sheep are the reason the park was set up. They are endemic, very white and have lovely horns. Their major predator is the Golden Eagle. This bird has a wing span of seven feet. 

The park is over 6 million acres, including the highest mountain in North America, Mt Denali, which used to be known as Mt McKinley. Denali is the native name. It means the high one or great one.  

1230 We’ve just joined the 1% club. Denali is visable from the end of the road!! MJ, our driver, let us off to walk on the tundra, which was nice. It’s pretty hot on the bus.

Lunch was a box pack provided by the Princess Tour. The only edible part was the crackers, cheese and hummus. Everything else was super sweet disgusting gut rot. Food here is generally way too sweet. Sugar is added to everything. No wonder they are so over weight here.    

Finally on the journey out of the park we saw one bear trekking along a river bed and another grazing blue berries on the hill side. Then not long after that, someone spotted a moose, way up a hill. Then a mother moose and a calf right by the road in the trees. Made my day, seeing the moose.   

And MJ stopped the bus where we weren’t meant to do we could take pics of the autumn colours. I did a quick visit to the info centre, then shower and dinner soon. 

One for you, Matt 


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