Hi, I just returned from a trip to Denali National Park. I did a lot of research for my current work-in-progress, and also had a grand time enjoying the scenery, animals and the people I hung around with there. I have so much to share that I’ll be writing about Denali for the next few weeks.
We’ll start with what all the Alaskans will ask about: 1. Did I see any animals? 2. How was the weather? and 3. Did I see the mountain? Anyone who’s been to Denali knows that these are the items that dictate whether it was a good trip for most of us. If you’re freezing to death and don’t see anything interesting, it’s not a good trip. But on this occasion, I can say I was successful on all those elements, and more.
Yes, I saw lots of animals. On one particular day, we saw nine bears, including mama bears with cubs. Plus, there were caribou, moose, Dall sheep (from a distance), fox, a few birds, and lots of wildflowers. The dramatic highlight was sighting a cow moose, then realizing she was walking toward a bull moose, then seeing them look downhill at a bear. The bear stopped bathing in a pond, noticed the moose, and started to charge. The moose split up and easily outran the bear. He was probably a young bear who was just testing it out, because the distance was such and the bull moose was big enough that he really didn’t stand a chance of catching him for dinner. But it was exciting to see the scene.
The weather was great. We had a little rain but it was fairly warm, and there were two days of full sun. I am bragging here, but I never thought I’d get a tan in Denali.
Which leads to the next question: Yes, I did see the mountain! Denali (Mt. McKinley) honored us with its full view more than once. I was staying at Camp Denali which gave me a better chance of seeing it, but the clear sky made it happen three times in the five days I was in the park.
You can see pictures on my Facebook page–click on the “facebook” tab at the top or search for the Lynn Lovegreen author page! 🙂
I’ll talk more about the wonderful people and the history of the place in future blogs, but I do have to say that folks were friendly and helpful and I learned so much while I was there. Thanks to the following who helped me with research connected to the trip: Jenna and Simon Hamm and staff at Camp Denali; Mary at Kantishna Roadhouse; Kantishna residents Mike & Carol Conlin; Marianne Jakob at Deneki Lakes B & B; Jane Bryant, Kirk Dietz, and Kim Arthur from NPS.