I realized that months have passed and I still haven’t finished sharing details about our Alaska trip. Since we’re enjoying some time in the Rocky Mountains this week, I thought it would be a good time to talk more about the lovely Alaskan vacation.
On our first full day there, we visited Denali National Park. I had very high expectations for the park because I was told that this is where you see the majority of the wildlife. If I’m being honest, I sort of expected it to be like a safari park of sorts…we ride around in a bus and feed wildlife from little cups. Obviously, I had the wrong idea. Apparently, the week we were there was the week all of the animals took a sabbatical. Or a vacation to Canada. We did see a few miscellaneous animals in the distance. Not. One. Bear. Though. Unfortunately, it was also a very foggy day and there was some residual smoke from recent forest fires, so we missed a lot of the mountain views too, including the majestic Mount McKinley (which I think was renamed to Denali shortly after we left). If you noticed the etching on the window in the photo above, you can tell where Mount McKinley was supposed to be. All we could see was fog. Turns out that it had only been seen 3-4 times so far this summer. I wish I would have known those odds before I rode a bus for 8 hours!
Even though we didn’t see as much of the mountains or wildlife as we’d hoped, we did get a ton of good photos and enjoyed the cool features of the visitor center. My favorites there were the American flag flying high against the mountain view, that awesome handmade quilt, and the book in which someone sketches the view of Denali every single day. So awesome! My favorite part of the park was Polychrome Pass. I loved the variety of colors and textures there. As with all of of the Alaskan scenery, I feel like it was impossible to catch its true beauty in a photo.
The trip to the park and back and the long bus ride there proved to be very exhausting. We drove 4 hours there, rode 8 hours on the bus, and then drove 4 more hours back to our campsite. Not kidding. We were exhausted by the time we turned in for the night. We were already quite tired from making the journey to Alaska the day before. Nonetheless, the visit to the park was a great way to kick off our trip! And I’m happy to report that I didn’t get motion sickness on the bus – hooray!