We have had a very busy few days since Vickie arrived. She only has a week and we are packing in everything we can for her to see and do while she is here. We took her on a tour of North Pole first and then we took a three hour tour on the Riverboat Discovery. The cost was $49.95 each but we had the Alaskan Tour Saver book that had a buy one get one free coupon that saved us the price of one ticket. The tour was worth every penny and we highly recommend it.
My favorite part of the tour was the dog mushing demonstration done by Susan Butcher's husband. She was the famous Iditarod winner who sadly passed away in 2006. We also had an Alaskan bush pilot land his sea plane right by the boat which was really cool. Then it took us to a native village where they showed us how they preserved salmon and made clothing of furs and much more about the history of Alaska. It was amazing to learn how these awesome people managed to live where the temperature gets to 60 below zero.
The next day we visited Pioneer Park and then headed for Denali. The drive from Fairbanks to Denali was incredible. We set up for two days of camping at Riley Creek campground right inside the gates of Denali National Park. It had no hookups but the views and the location made it worth using our generator. :-)
The price for camping was only $10 a night and we were only two minutes away from where we took our Denali tour. We took the 66 mile tour into the park for $29.25 each. That is the best $29 dollars we have ever spent. It was INCREDIBLE! We left around 6 A.M and got back home around 2:30 P.M. We didn't get as great a view of Denali "Mt. McKinley" as we would have liked to because of the clouds on top, but it was still fantastic. We were blessed to see two grizzly bears, three caribou, a wolf that walked right by our bus, tons of snowshoe hare, arctic squirrels, red squirrels, birds and more. Next we will be driving the awesome Seward Highway. More later from Alaska.