Trip Start Jan 16, 2006
16Trip End Ongoing
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Once again it is raining this morning. I have had some rain each day here. It usually does not last long but I would love to see some more sunshine.
Anyhow I arrived Sunday afternoon and went straight to Denali National Park(DNP) to try to get a campsite in one of their campground. By the time I got there they were all full so I ended up about 5 miles away from DNP in a nice campground. I'm glad I stayed here because they have electric hook ups and it comes in handy when my only source of heat in the camper is a small electric heater which I have needed for a couple of evenings and early in the morning.
On Monday I went for a drive into DNP
Tuesday morning I got up early (7am is early for me) to take an 8 hour bus tour of DNP. This was the first place I have been on a bus tour that I was disappointed with the driver. He wasn't too informative for the most part. I don't know if it was him or if that is the way all of their drivers are here. Other than that the tour was fun. We started seeing animals pretty early in the trip. the first were caribou which were well off in the distance. Later were saw some grizzly bears, but again they were off in the distance. We did get one clear view of Mt. McKinnley but that only lasted a couple of minutes. The driver did tell us that only 1/3 of the visitors to DNP get to see Mt. Mckinnely due to its own weather patterns. We continue on for a short while and then turned around to head back.
When stopped at a rest area were they have a small visitor center. This is where it got exciting. Just as I was getting back on the bus. They rushed everybody back onto their buses
Tuesday I took it easy. I did make another drive into DNP and then did make reservations to go river rafting he next day.
Wednesday I went river rafting. It was an 11 mile trip on the Nenana River. The water temperature is between 36-38 degrees (brrrrrr) so they put you in dry suits and they work. The river itself is made up of several class III and class IV rapids. After a instructions on what to do if you fall out or the boat flips over and how to paddle we were off. I sat in the front of the boat, which I think is the best place to be because you get to see the most and you get the wettest. I was able to see the water headed to us so I could brace myself for being hit with a big wave
Thursday I went for one more drive in DNP, didn't see much of anything. After the drive I went to a dog sled demonstration. This was cool. DNP has about 30 sled dogs for getting around the park in the winter. Before the demonstration we were able to pet the dogs. Some of the dogs we could go right up to, other we had to wait for them to come to us and a few were actually in pens. They were in the pens because they tend to eat the gravel so they are put in a pen with a cement pad. They then had us wait in a viewing area while they hooked up the doogs to the sled. they only hooked up 5 dogs, but htat was plenty. When they took off, they went fast. They pulled the sled around the track and came up to the viewing area. It was very interesting to see. I could tell that they really love what they do. When they were hooking them up to the sled they all started barking and were ready to go.
That conclude my stay n DNP and I am now headed for Anchorage.