Northwest bound travel blog

A merry band of hikers

We crossed meadows and streams

This stream is spring fed rather than glacial melt - not as...

We snacked on blueberries (a favorite of bears) as we went

Amazingly heavy with cones

A mosquito - our constant companions

Big and small bear prints

Full grown Black Pines, small because they grow on permafrost

Pine Grosbeak

More prints - right on our trail

McKinley River with Mt. McKinley

Mt. McKinley revealed!

Mt. McKinley in the background

We were within 22 miles of Mt. McKinley

Wonder Lake, mountains clouding over

Wonder Lake but Mt. McKinley is hidden already

Fishing in Alaska

Area around Wonder Lake

Fall is coming already

Kantishna, AK Our day began with a 6-mile hike to McKinley River. Since the air was quite brisk, we started out with hiking boots with thick socks, backpacks, jeans, 2 layers of shirts, mittens, hats, jackets, mosquito head nets, and rain gear. By noon we shed all we could and were down to short sleeves. Unfortunately that gives mosquitoes an even more tempting target. We were glad to hear that the heavy mosquito season was over because the swarms we encountered were bad enough. Whoever first packaged DEET in a spray bottle is our hero. Nonetheless, we saw some amazing scenery. We also saw a lot of signs and prints of bears but saw no actual bears on the trail. Our hike took us through meadows, over and through several streams, across a large rocky moraine and through Tioga forest before reaching mile-wide McKinley River. We were 25 miles away from Mt. McKinley and able to see the mountain the whole time. There were very ligh and cooperaative clouds!The mountain was completely revealed to us. We are considering ourselves very lucky to be able to view it so well. We did not return to the lodge until 1:30. There we grabbed a quick lunch before heading out to Wonder Lake. Wonder Lake gave us another marvelous view of Mt. McKinley. There we tried to learn about fly fishing from some folks we met and then Jim tried his hand at spin cast fishing. He was thrilled to actually fish in Alaska. Unfortunately, he had the same results as when he fishes in the lower 48. We wandered around in the area until it started to sprinkle, making it back to our shuttle just as the heavens opened up. It was a lovely rain, even if it did completely hide Mt. McKinley.

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