The majority of these photos are from within Denali National Park. We spent the bulk of the day in the park. If we had more time on our trip, it would have been great to spend more time there but on a tight schedule, you have to make some omissions. One day was still enough to nearly develop carpal tunnel and a claw hand.
Day Four: Tok, AK to Mile Post 231 - George Parks Highway, AK
Our campsite in Tok was named the Golden Bear and the guy working there clearly named it after himself. Really reinforced that stereotype of beards in Alaska. Got back on the highway and drove to Fairbanks. Along the way was the community of North Pole. The most notable thing here was the giant, gaudy Santa Claus statue (as if kids didn't have enough fears of a fat man rummaging through their homes late at night) and a tourist trap of a store selling Christmas junk. They also had some depressed reindeer available to gawk at. The "excitement" continued in Fairbanks. Being as uninteresting as it was, we didn't spend much time here aside from fuelling up our vehicle and bodies. Once we found our escape route out of the city, we made our way towards Denali National Park. We snagged a campsite near the park entrance where we set up camp in the rain. The campsite was right on the Nenana River and despite the rain we whipped together a meal and made good use of the tarp. Good way to get a shower in, like it or not.
Day Five: Denali National Park, AK to Palmer, AK
Before we got to the park, we had dropped Lissie off at a kennel nearby. They played music for the dogs in the kennel. I'm not sure that she can really appreciate music, but it's a nice gesture. There is only one road into the park and they offer shuttles than run roughly every 30 minutes. Somehow we lucked out and got a clear enough day to see Denali's peak. We didn't have our hopes up considering it was cloudy before and apparently you can see the peaks only about 30% of the time (though I'm not sure how accurate that statistic is...). The entire day was full of some of the most amazing sights I have seen. Plenty of wildlife was visible from the road (and some crossing it). Grizzlies, Dall Sheep, Red Fox, Caribou, Unicorn, Moose, and the Arctic Ground Squirrel. Eventually we returned to the park entrance so we could continue south. Along the highway there was an old abandoned hotel made to look like an igloo (pictured below). There was a lot of weird structures seen from the road up here, but this probably tops them all. Further down the road, we drove through Wasilla (no Palin sightings) and found a spot near Palmer to spend the night.
Check out Mona's great set of photos from Denali here.