Friday, August 9, 2013

The Denali Trip

How the time flies.  In just two weeks I'll be moving back to Hong Kong!  I'm pretty excited.  I'm going to spend a week in Arkansas, then go to Istanbul for a few days (extended layover), and then I'll be in the land of milk tea!  Should be fun times, right?  

Now I'm quite busy finishing up work, getting logistics worked out, and trying to fit in some fun stuff.   I figured it would be some kind of crime to leave Alaska without going to Denali, so last week Nathan and I made the trip.  

We left Friday evening and drove to Denali.  It's quite a long drive but the scenery was great and we had some interesting podcasts to listen to (Freakonomics and Hardcore History!).  When we finally made it to the southern part of Denali, we stopped at a scenic lookout and took some pictures of a mountain that could have been in some kind of villain cartoon.  It was really dark and pointy and funny-looking.  Unfortunately, my pictures didn't turn out so well.  When we drove on into the park, we glimpsed Mt. McKinley through the the mountains and clouds.

By the time we got to our campsite at the entrance of the main park, it was after midnight.  We drove around trying to find our name on a campsite but never did.  After twenty minutes of looking we just pulled into an empty one and set up camp.

I'm not much of a camper since I rarely sleep, so I was up at five thirty.  Although the weather report predicted rain, it was a beautiful morning.  When Nathan woke up we boiled some water on a tiny portable stove so we could have oatmeal and tea and coffee.  We had opted to take the eight hour shuttle bus (four hours each way) and we got on the one leaving at eight. 

The scenery was quite wonderful although it was difficult to stay awake since I had barely slept the night before!  We got to see a mama bear and her cubs, a moose, two caribou and some ptarmigans, although the ptarmigans were the only things that were actually close.  Overall, it was a pretty fun trip!  And of course now I can check it off my list.  Check.

On the bus, ready to go!

It may look like just a bunch of blonde rocks but it's actually a mama bear and her babies taking a nap.

Pretty scenery.

Kind of looks like a green screen, dunnit?