Friday, July 18, 2014

Denali Bus Rides, 7/18 & 19/2014

On the road again Friday July 18
 First stop on our eight hour bus trip.  On and off drizzle.
 Dall sheep horn is 13 years old. (At Toklat Visitors Center)  Ranger explained the growth lines.
Note the molars on the grizzly bear skull.  No fish for them to eat here...the rivers have silt from the glaciers.  The bears eat plants and bushes, meaning tough stems.
 Signs are posted on the picnic tables of all the things not to leave out...including canned goods. 
We started the bus ride in rain but the sun is out.
A nursery of caribou.
 We were a mile away but told to whisper. Some of the caribou just stared at us.
 Who are you?
 Mom and her baby.
 Arctic ground squirrels act similar to prairie dogs.
 At the Eielson Visitor Center.  I peeked out our window at 3 am and it was twilight. It does NOT get dark here. Not this time of the year.
 We saw so many Dall sheep up HIGH in the mountains. The photos are not good enough to post but this painting is mesmerizing.
 The only predator of the Dall sheep is the golden eagle. We were treated to seeing a golden eagle flying high outside the Center.
 Stunning quilt

 Eielson Visitor Center.
 We went on a Ranger led Tundra Hike. (in a drizzle)

The road back to our campground.
 Caribou were taking their time sauntering along the road.
 Can you see the buses below?
 Stunning mountains.

 The buses get a thorough cleaning every night but after a short time on the road they are covered with dust. Squeegees are available at rest areas to clean the windows but it's a losing battle as they are soon dirty again.
 Approaching a curve on Polychrome Pass.

This was opened by a bear.
What a fantastic trip.  Through the drizzle, rain, then overcast and sunshine we saw hundreds of caribou, many Dall sheep, an Arctic squirrel, golden eagle and grizzly bears.

Location:Denali National Park

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