Alaska's Winter Horizon

Alaska's Winter Horizon

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Denali Trip, Day 1

Remember to click on the pictures to make them larger.

Greg got to leave work a little early for the holiday weekend. We picked up the rental car and headed north out of town. Hard to get lost when you leave the city because there is one road to the north and one road to the south. Pretty hard to put into perspective, we are so used to multiple roads leading out of our smaller towns. But anyone in this city of 280,000 people will have to travel on the Glenn Highway if they want to head north. There were only a few cars on the highway with us this afternoon- we got the jump on the Friday afternoon holiday traffic. Our first stop was Palin's hometown, Wasilla. Got a few snacks and took off. We headed for Trapper Creek and our hotel for the night. We were now traveling on the Parks Highway. This afternoon's drive was mostly in the midst of deep forest with the occasional glimpse of distant mountains. We arrived at our destination in enough time to hike nearby trails for about an hour. We had a few nice views of the river below and nearby mountains. Denali's view was mostly hidden by the clouds. These trails which mainly run around the property grounds were more strolls than hikes, except for a few steep inclines. We did have a robin that insisted on hopping along about 5 feet in front of us on the trail. This bird continued to do this for about 10 minutes, finally flying off into the trees. I got a close up picture of fiddleheads, the curled up fern fronds. Many people consider these a delicacy to eat. Got another photo of what appeared to be a plant in the hosta family. Everything is really beginning to get green and grow. We did finally build up a good appetite and went to the 20320 restaurant. This eating place gets its name from the fact that Denali, also known as Mt. McKinley, is 20,320 feet at its mountain peak. Greg had a most delightful burger and I enjoyed the halibut fish and chips. The restaurant had the nerve to run out of chocolate cake before I could enjoy any! The lodge was designed in a rustic style. Check out the door handles! Each pair of door handles was a set of real caribou antlers. There were many gorgeous bronze statues of native animals along the grounds. This lodge is located inside the boundary of the Denali State Park and a ranger was in the lodge to give interpretive talks and demonstrations. Decided to turn in early for the journey tomorrow to the National Park.

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