Day 13. Wednesday 31 August.
Whoever it was told us that the trains didn’t run at night lied. At least two very long, very loud and very loaded freight trains went through, about 20 metres from where we were parked. In a sense it didn’t matter, because our bed turned out to have a ‘honeymoon mattress’ which meant that we met in the valley of some very tired foam, and didn’t get much sleep (and nor for the reasons of 44 years ago!). So it was not a restful night.
But we survived. Our first event for the day was a small plane tour of about an hour over Mt Denali, or Mt McKinley, depending on where your loyalties lie. This was spectacular, and although we offer some shots, they do not do it justice. D is not a great fan of flying at any time, let alone a single engine plane built n 1955 (although it was a bit like Captain Cook’s axe, as most parts had been replaced or refurbished!)
Flying through a gap in the mountains with cliffs at eye level or higher on either side did not excite him. Even though the pass is called ‘747 Pass’ because, theoretically we think, a 747 could fit, those rocks seemed awfully close! T on the other hand was in heaven.
Into wheel mode and driving north was magic…the gold of autumn birch, the blue pines, heavy with squirrel food nuts on top, rivers fast and milky, Denali (at 20,000 ft.) the sun and sky…simply wonderful. The Alaskan Veterans Memorial was very impressive.
Moose safely munching beside the road within the park seemed appropriate, since tomorrow is the beginning of the 2-week moose-hunting season (a moose will feed a couple of families for a year). Then a change to tundra country, with trees smaller and marsh land. Autumn has certainly arrived up here.
Now in Denali Park and beanies/jackets are out. Tomorrow we go rafting. It would be good if the rain gods stay away.
Late note: the internet here doesn’t seem happy to upload photos, so we’ll do those later and edit this post.