Boy, this is hard to get caught up on after missing a couple of days. It is also difficult to make a selection of pictures to post out of approximately 250.
We left Cantwell with cloudy skies and cool temps. It was a short 40 mile trip. We turned in to the Denali Park road and right there by the road was a moose--what excitement! After our required visit to the wilderness center to get our permits and a visit to the information center we were on our way to Teklanika Campground. This was a 30 mile drive into the park on a gravel road. We went slow because we wanted to see the views and wildlife. One of the first things we noticed was all the Snowshoe Rabbits. They seemed to be everywhere. We found out later, their population is at record numbers right now. This is part of an 11 year cycle where their numbers rise and fall. This cycle is followed by the rise and fall of Lynx. We were not successful in seeing any Lynx. A park ranger showed a picture with 6 Lynx that was taken this spring. The photo was taken just down the road from where we are camped about 5 miles.
After setting up camp we all hiked down to the Teklanika River to check out the views. To our amazement a male and female Caribou appeared directly on the opposite bank. This seems to be a very good start. We have some rain during the night.
Tuesday morning and we are off to catch the 5:30 am bus. Lucky for us we are 30 miles down the road and the bus doesn't get to our stop until almost 7:00. While waiting with some folks from New England, a wolf appeared out of the woods across from us and headed across the road. Can you believe it? We haven't even got on the bus. Our bus will take us to Wonder Lake and back.
The trip yielded us 8 Grizzly bears, 1 Wolf, 1 Fox, 20+ Dall Sheep, 10 Caribou, many Snowshoe Rabbits, and a couple of Ptarmigan. Our original plans called for having a picnic lunch at Wonder Lake and taking a later bus back. One step outside the bus and we were attacked by the infamous Alaskan mosquitoes. You just can not believe how thick they were. Needless to say we were right back on to the bus for protection. Still had lots of the critters in the bus but it was much better than on the outside. Lunch was partaken in the protection of the bus.
Because of the weather there were no views of Denali. This was the only down side of the trip however.
The trip back yielded a sow with yearling cubs and a sow with spring cubs (very cute).
When the bus reached the Teklanika River Bridge, Mike and Sue got off and walked the river back to the Campground. They found wolf prints as they walked. I continued on to take care of Aggie who had to stay at the trailer all day. Aggie is a great traveler and is not a problem to leave for long periods in the trailer. She seems to sleep most of the time.
We had a campfire in the evening and enjoyed the rest of the evening at camp.