Alaska's Winter Horizon

Alaska's Winter Horizon

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Labor Day in Denali

Sorry for the delay in posting. I've been out of town for several weeks. Thought we'd catch you up on our fall trips. We left on a Saturday to go on a trip to Denali. After eating dinner that night, we drove into the park on animal patrol.
 As it was cold, windy, and drizzly, we were completely shut out. On Sunday, we decided to do something different so we drove to the other side of Healy and took Stampede Road.
This road leads to the Stampede Trail made famous in the book by Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild, and its subsequent movie. Stampede Road is paved for about the first four miles and goes on for about another four miles. But beware, the road is very rough and a high clearance vehicle is preferable for the rest of the way.
We took our time in our little Ford Fiesta and went the distance. Most people leave their vehicles at 8 Mile Lake and start their journey on the Stampede Trail.
 The road goes through a swath of land managed by the state of Alaska with Denali National Park just to the north, south, and west of the state lands.
 Although we saw several vehicles, mostly trucks with trailers for ATVs, we didn't actually see anyone else the whole three hours along the road. We took the opportunity to walk around and enjoy the beauty and solitude.
 Greg walked out into the marshy, boggy area for a bit.

 If you are thinking about hiking to the Chris McCandless bus, do not take this trek lightly. Some people have died trying to make the journey.

 This year alone many others have had to be rescued by helicopter after suffering injuries or not being able to get back across the rivers. We finished off the afternoon by doing a little fishing on Otto Lake.
 Greg managed to reel in a rainbow trout before the cold and rain got the best of us. After dinner, we drove back into the park but didn't see any animals.

 On Monday before heading home, we again drove into the park to Savage River. This time we did manage to spot a moose. The drive home was rainy but we got home safely Monday night.