. Actually we were only 20 miles from our camp just a few miles south of the Denali Park entrance. Now, there were only 50% clouds and I could not believe my eyes. Our camp was called Denali Grizzly RV park. It sat next to the Nenana River. The park was the usual gravel lot with RV sites. Our RV does back up to a thicket of bushes and trees. The bad part about this park was my parking abilities. It was a back-in but not at all the hardest of the trip. It took me several attempts to get it parked which ticket me off - I should be much better than that. After set-up, we deiced to check out what we came for - Denali National Park. It was just 6 miles down the road. We first went to the Visitors Center where we saw this great little film showing off the park on perfect sunny days - which does not happen so often. So you can actually see Mt. McKinley on film. We'll see what happens in a few days when we take a bus deep into the park. Right after the film we walked to a bus to take us to the sled dog kennels. They had to pack 4 Blue Bird Busses to get us to the kennels which was just a two mile jaunt down the main park road. The place was filled with around 30 dogs and half of them were very excited. So it was a beehive of activity. We went around and talked to some of the keeps and petted some of the nice dogs. They were so much bigger than ours - averaging 60-80 pounds. Then came the sled-dog demonstration. They hooked up 5 dogs - a usual snow team will have 8 to 12 dogs. After a little introduction, they took the sled around a small track - these dogs were ready to go and have so much power
. This is the season they hate - the summer. There optimal temperature is minus 20 to 30 degrees. After the demonstration, we hung around for 30 min. to check out the puppies and talk to some more of the keepers - we love dogs so we were craving information. However, by the time we wanted to leave, all the busses had left. So we had to take the trail back to our truck - just a nice little 2 mile trek through the forest. Back at the truck, we drove to the RV to have a little dinner of salad & French Bread Pizza. After all this, Pooh wanted to go out for a trail. By the time we made it back to Denali NP, it was after 8:00 PM. We took what was called the McKinley Station trail which started at the visitor center. Round trip was just over 2 miles so not a long trip. The first part of the trail took us down a forested hill to a creek with a huge Alaska Railroad Bridge to look up too. This area was nice with the sun hitting the mountains in the background. After the bridge we walked to the large campground in the park - I would have stayed here but there are no hook-ups and we do not have a generator. Next time I come to Alaska, things will be different. The campground had one of the best little shops we have been in. It's like Wal-Mart that has been shrunk down to 1%. The trail back to the center was by the road and I was feeling very tired so it was a hard trek up the slight hill. We went back to the RV and I was totally spent - no energy left. Not even the energy to blog. So I snacked a little and read a bit, before I turned in early for this trip.
For the SEVENTH straight day, there is no sun!! So I was ready to get out of Talkeetna and the bad weather. Talkeetna its self is one of the best small towns in Alaska and I really enjoyed it. Just wish the weather would cooperate. If you do come to Talkeetna, spend several days just hanging out downtown to watch the world come and go - along with a ton of Cruise Ship passengers. No, the coast is not near, but most Alaska Cruises also have a land portion of their trip, and Talkeetna is on the cruise BUS path. With overcast skies, the Parks Hwy. to Denali was not all that special. There were several pull outs and hotels with the name "Denali View." So supposedly Mt. McKinley was out there somewhere, but way under the clouds we were seeing. As far as we could see, this could be anywhere in the mountains USA. Not very exciting. We pulled out to a view point for our lunch on the go. There were actually a few breaks in the clouds for the first time in a week. We'll see how far this goes. For our scenic lunch I had the standard Indian style noodles with some chips. Nice quick and easy lunch before we were on our way