We woke up to a beautiful sunny day. Got on the bus at 2:00 pm for our eight hour bus trip exploring Denali National Park. We were able to get a glimpse of Denali. It was faint but you could see the entire mountain. That is a pretty rare treat. We had hoped that we could get a better picture from Eielson Visitor Center, but the clouds had moved in by then and blocked the view. We did manage to see some caribou within the first hour of the trip. This one is still shedding his long winter hair. The hair comes in quite handy in the spring and early summer as it protects them from those pesky mosquitoes!
Upon leaving Toklat, we soon managed to see a grizzly bear and a caribou in close proximity to each other. Although grizzlies are incredibly fast, it would have been unlikely that he could have chased down this healthy caribou. The bear seemed content to dig for grubs and roots.
Near the end of the bus ride back, we managed to see a cow moose with her two calves right on the edge of the road. Our wildlife count for the day: three grizzly bears, several caribou, a golden eagle, a short eared owl, loads of snowshoe hares, three Dall sheep dancing on the mountain, and three moose. It was a nearly perfect day!
Got up the next morning and headed home to Anchorage. We made a quick stop to show Mom the old Igloo gas station near Cantwell. I bet this was really something to see when it was still open and operating.
As it turns out, Mom wouldn't have had to go up to Denali to see a bear. We had a black bear right in our front yard Saturday afternoon! It looked around and then took off up the road. He was too quick for a photo.
Mom and I leave Tuesday morning for her return trip to Tennessee. Greg and I both have enjoyed having her stay with us and explore this great state. The time has flown by! She had a great time and thinks everyone should see the state. Maybe we can talk her into staying the entire summer next year!