The morning was filled with chores at the trailer. We left Cantwell around noon headed for Denali National Park. It was sunny and warm—around 68 degrees. Although we had not planned to try to stay at Denali Park again, we found ourselves hoping that they would have room in Tek Campground for us. Unfortunately, they did not and we decided to get tickets and take the bus as far as Fish Creek the next day.
The park has a free sled dog demonstration that we attended. The ranger in charge of the program was from where else but Ohio! The park has around 30 dogs—3 teams of 10 dogs each. They are used to break trail for winter activities and to monitor the park boundaries in the winter. Is was a lot of fun to be able to pet all the dogs and see how excited they were when they were chosen to pull the sled.
In the evening we attended the ranger program at Riley Campground and were delighted to run into a couple that we had met in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. We spent way too much time swapping stories and soon it was 10:30 p.m (and still daylight of course). Then we ended up talking to another couple that owned an Airstream and it was very late by the time we found a spot to stay for the night. Of course we had signed up for the 6:30 a.m. bus tour. There are just way too many hours of daylight out here!
Armed with coffee, we boarded the Denali bus to ride to Fish Creek. The sky was clear—not a cloud in the sky—which meant that we had a chance of seeing the mountain today. It was warmer than our last trip through the park and we did not see as much wildlife—only 1 grizzly, 1 wolf, 5 caribou and 3 moose. All the animals were a great distance away. Fortunately, we had a wonderful view of Denali!
Tired and a little sad that we had to leave such a beautiful national park, we headed down the road for Fairbanks. We arrived in Fairbanks around 7:30 and had a late dinner. Spent the night in Fred Meyers parking lot close to a state park that we wanted to arrive early at the next morning.