So, last we left our intrepid heroine, she was being attacked by giant antlers -because tiggers are curious cats and can't leave anything alone! O.o Eventually, eeyoremama got me out of the woods, and back on the bleeding bus. It was very heartbreaking to be on that bus. It went speeding past all kinds of lovely turn-offs, where, according to clues, there were boxes *sob* For instance, we sped right by the very house in Girdwood that collapsed during the earthquake and across the street from which Nana C had planted a box. i waved forlornly from the window. . .
So, i was forced to just look at scenery. Poor me. And so, that's what today's blog is about, the AMAZING, STUPENDOUS, PHENOMENAL, COLLOSAL, ABSOTIVELY, POSILUTELY GORGEOUS place that is Alaska. It is Vermont or North Carolina on steroids. It is . . .i wanna go back.
On Day 3, we spent 5? 6? hours on a bus driving from Anchorage through Talkeetna to Denali National Park. This is one of the reasons we chose this trip (that and because of our points, it was basically free): it has been a lifelong ambition of mine to see her -Denali. The mountain, not the park. i announced this to our guides the first day, and they prepared me to be disappointed. Only about 30% of the people who go to Alaska get to see the mountain, because it's so big (longest vertical rise IN THE WORLD) that it makes its own weather. i do not want to walk on her (i'm too much of a warm weather cat for that). i just wanted to see her, in person. That involves one looooooooooooooooooong bus ride.
First, you go over Hurricane Gulch
Then you go through the Matanuska River Valley, near Palmer and into Wasilla:
i think that's the right valley - i'm not sure. it's beautiful towering mountains. that's what it is. . .
And then into Talkeetna. In Talkeetna, they serve you a fancy lunch in a big resort, where you're supposed to be able to see Denali (tallest mountain in North American, one would think, right?) Well, there she is! Right there! See her?? Right in the middle of that picture!
So we continued on, to the Grande Denali Lodge, just outside the gates of the Park. It's on the side of a cliff!! Don't believe me?
|we're on the road -it "circles" over to that hotel. Oh Joy. eeyoremama is afraid of heights.|
Mr. Umbrella knew this was the trip of a lifetime, so rather than hiking for boxes, we went up in a teeny tiny lil plane, looking for Denali -even though he gets motion sick.
do you see all those clouds in the background? yup, you guessed it. Even though the pilot tried for over an hour, this is what we got:
no, that's not Denali, that's the lil mountain in front of her. *sigh* the glaciers and the plane ride were cool though.
The next day we went hiking in the Park. i wish we had lots of days to spend just there - part of the next trip. EVERYone should go to Alaska and see this treasure. Someone tried naming the mountain after President McKinley and he never even bothered to check it out. What a waste! Just LOOK at these pictures - and we were only 4 miles from the Visitor's Center.
|mountains and trees. there's a wolf in here too -but you can't see it.|
|The next day, we got in the bus to drive all the way down, back through Wasilla and Anchorage, to Seward, on the coast. I got up in the morning, grateful to have seen the park, and still kind of sad that I didn't get to see the mountain. However, as we were driving away, on the south side of the park, our bus driver suddenly pulled over, and made us all get out:a dream come true|