Bill & Deanie's Trip To Alaska 2012

Previous Page June 24th June 25

Today we took the shuttle bus to Eielson Visitor Center.  The tour is $34.00 per person  and 8 hrs round trip.  Eielson Visitor Center is at milepost 66 of the Park Rd.  It was a nice day other than a little windy.  Partial clouds but no rain.

We took this same trip back in 2001.  They have completely rebuilt the Eielson Visitors Center.  The driver was very nice and he was very informative about the area. 

This time we didn’t see many animals.  Our first sighting was an Eagle that soured over the Green Bus.  We saw a couple of bear at a very long distance.  Same for the Dall Sheep, they were way up on the mountain.  The Caribou were the closest animals that we saw. 

What was very different about this trip was that this time we saw the mountain!  The tallest peak in North America!  First glimpse was the bottom, top being in the clouds.  That was on the way to and at the Eielson Visitor Center.  When we left the center and started back, the mountain peaks were out of the clouds and the lower part was cloud covered.  So we have two different pictures.

It’s too bad there were no campgrounds available in the park.  We should have made a reservation beforehand.  One of the disadvantages of not having a schedule I guess.  Funny we saw a whole bunch of RV’s setting at a large flat area overlooking the Nenana River.  It’s only about 2 miles from the park rd.

The drive to mile 66 is awe-inspiring.  It is so vast and untouched. From the start the Park Service was determined to have only one unpaved road into Denali and no development.  There was considerable push back from those that would like to develop inside the park.  At one point they wanted to pave the entire park road (84 mi.)  It is fortunate the idea was ultimately rejected, as a highway would have changed the whole feel of this last frontier.  One has to wonder as our National Parks continue to decline in visitation, what will happen to Denali in the future.  Do our youth see more adventure to ever increasing technology and distance from nature? Do humans require a connection to nature to remain human?    


June 24 at Denali RV Park & Motel
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(If you don't see the "blue line" grab the map and pull it to the left or right and the line will appear - Also the little minus on the left side zooms you out and the plus zooms you in)



The first rest stop on the tour to Eielson Visitor Center.  Just the open spaces of a real river in the north country!  All of the pictures today were taken on that tour.
The Caribou we saw along the trip.  Most animals were at a distance and this was with the 200 mm lense.  Needed a 800mm!
Polychrome area of the road into Denali National Park.
Just amazing and too hard to capture on film (or bits in this case).
Same spot as above, different angle.
Who are those guys?  Thanks to another one of our bus riders!
Our first glimpse of Denali (Mt McKinley).  I see there is a push to rename it to Denali - We agree!
The wind was blowing like all get out when I took this.  This was the second rest stop that we took on the way up to Eielson.
I shot this out the window of the bus.  We sat in the front seat and had a great view of things coming down the road.  This was the great one, Denali!
Another view and I left the windshield wiper in the picture (on the right).
I got out the 200mm for this shot.  This was taken from the Eielson Visitor Center. 
This was taken from the same spot as the one above.  Hard to see the detail without the zoom.
On our way back from Eielson, here was the view of the two peaks. 
We also spotted these Dall sheep.  They were small until I did some Photoshop work.  Digital photos are great for this! 

Funny the guy in the front was really scratching hard on that rock there to remove his winter coat.
One last look at the vastness of this wonderful place!
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