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Thursday July 11 2013- Fairbanks to Denali

Alaska fact- Area per person- .93 square miles for each resident

We left the Elks Lodge at 7:20 to go to a gas station for diesel, $4.19/gal. We headed south on Hwy. 3, meeting up with Margie, Wayne and Cindy at the first rest area.

Fairbanks to Denali

Fairbanks to Denali

We continued south on Hwy. 3 to the town of Healy. Our destination was Denali RV Park and Motel. We checked in, after a little mix up. Someone had put our reservation into their book but not in their computer. So they told us to go to the wrong site. The guy came out and sent us to different sites, fortunately before we parked,  and we settled in.

At 1 PM, we hopped into Wayne’s truck and headed the eight miles to Denali National park. Just about 1 1/2 miles up the road, Cindy called out Moose in the lake! So Wayne, who did not believe her at first, backed up on the side of the road. We all jumped out and ran across the road. Sure enough, there was a momma moose in the lake and her two calves in the grass.

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Calves

Mamma moose and calfs

We started a traffic jam! With all of us out there with our cameras, by the time we left there were 8 cars with all their assorted passengers taking pictures!

We continued through the town of  Denali and turned right into the park.

Denali entrance

We mistakenly went to the Wilderness Access Center. We needed to be at the Visitor Center, so we ran back to the truck and drove to the Visitor Center. We saw the bus and ran over to it, and right after we got on, the bus left the center for the Sled Dog kennels.

Denali bus

The sled dog shows are at 10, 2, and 4. So we just made it! We had been told that there is no parking at the sled dog area, but that was not true. We could have just driven up there! Oh, well…

We arrived just prior to the 2 PM show. We were able to see some of the dogs before the show.

Sled dogs@ Denali

The Ranger came out and spoke with everyone. Then they set the dogs up in the sled, which the dogs were all excited about, and they ran the course. Then they took one of the dogs back to its kennel, because that dog eats rocks! They are not sure why, but some of them just like to eat rocks!

Rangers hooking up the dogs-Sled dogs@ Denali

Sled dogs@ Denali

The sled dogs are bred to be tall, strong, nice and have heavy coats. They are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, as they all appear different.

Bob with one of the dogs-Sled dogs@ Denali

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They are very nice dogs. There were three puppies with their mother. I asked the ranger how old they were  ( 8 weeks, and are being weaned). One of the puppies was a little terror. The ranger said, that is the girl and she is just like her mother! You can see the puppies at  “Denali puppy paw” on You Tube.

Puppies playing-Sled dogs@ Denali

We returned to the bus and were delivered back to the Visitor Center. We wandered around the center until their movie started. It was called the Hearts of Denali. It was okay.

We browsed in the gift shop and returned to the truck. From there were went to the ‘boardwalk’ in Denali. We wandered through the stores. I bought my pin, and we returned to the RV park. The ‘boardwalk’ is directly across the road from the Denali Princess Lodge were we stayed in 2005.

We ate dinner and watched TV until 9:30, when we went to bed early! We have an early morning…..

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