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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Denali National Park ~ The Experience

Out of the door at 7:15am and we were headed to the bus pickup spot. A couple from England were at the stop and we chatted about the bus schedule. We got onto the same bus going west to Eielson Visitor Center and onto Wonder Lake.

The main purpose of the long bus ride is to view wildlife and the vista beauty. The first sighting by the bus driver was a Grizzly Bear and two cubs. Now, let me tell you that I would have not spotted these three guys. The bears were pea size up a mountain. You have to know where to look. The ideal spot is in a ravine with grass. Once we figure that out we had many sightings of these herbivores.

The bus now left the forest area and ascended into more of the alpine terrain. Someone hollered out “Wolf!” The bus driver stops, a wolf crosses the road, looks at us and doesn’t run away. The next thing the wolf does is start to howl! This howling went on for a few minutes. That was enough time for everybody on the bus to grab a picture of this rare creature. The bus driver said that she been driving these buses for 16 years and that is the first time she actually sees a wolf howling.

"Let Me In to Your House!!" Said the Big Bad Wolf!
The bus continues down the road for a couple of miles when bang another wolf in the road. This wolf is on the road and walking in the road. This went on for a 1/8 of mile. He stopped and started to smell something in the road. Bang! Again, he jumps off to side of the road and going after a ground squirrel. The squirrel dives into a hole. The wolf starts digging and listening! He jumps a foot ahead and digs again. The dirt is flying! A bit of moss flies into the air. The wolf is now kneeling, digging. Bang! The squirrel jumps out of the second exit hole and runs for his life. The wolf jumps through the air thirty feet across the tundra. Bang! The mighty jaws of this wild animal caught its prey. He drops the squirrel to the ground and looks around, nearly meaning to say, “look I got it, are you watching?” He calms down and picks up the lifeless squirrel and off he went.

The bus driver again says that was a National Geographic moment. She went on to say that there are between 70 and 80 wolfs in Denali. There is six million acres in the park and seeing two wolves and watching them do what they did is a moment that might never be duplicated by most people.

The rest of the trip we saw Dahl Sheep, Caribou (up close) & more Grizzly Bears. The vistas were spectacular! The Polychrome Mountains were perfect. We did not see Mt McKinley. Even with the sun shining the mountain makes its own weather and was shrouded. It’s sister mountains were visible.

Smile Your on Candid Camera!
It was a day that I will remember for the rest of my life. I came to see and I did!

That is what we did and saw


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