I forgot to mention in yesterday's journal entry that we passed Stampede Trail. The very trail that Jim Gallien dropped off Christopher McCandless as he started his journey "Into The Wild". We also saw a replica of "The Magic Bus" that became Christopher's home and where he was found dead by a moose hunter. The actual bus is still out in the bush and people pay a lot of money to take a helicopter ride out to see it. We had the opportunity to watch the movie "Into The Wild" a few weeks before our trip. We loved the movie and have really enjoyed seeing and hearing the references to it on our own journey through Alaska. Thank you Mandy and Brad for lending us the DVD!
The Tundra Wilderness Tour was our adventure today. It was an 8 hour bus ride 62 miles into Denali National Park. The tundra scenery was amazing with mountains in the background. The snow capped mountains in the background of our pictures are about 7000 feet high. Above 6000 feet, it is always winter so they keep their white blankets all year round. The wildlife we saw in the park include: Ptarmigan (Alaska State Bird), Raven, Dall Sheep, Caribou and a Grizzly Bear! The Grizzly Bear was relaxing among the trees but she raised her head a few times for us to see. Hopefully, you can make out the different animals in our pictures.
The peak that I am standing on in the last picture is just a small mound. But, it seemed really high when I was up there with nothing around me. If you look at the bus down on the right hand side of the picture you can see about how high I was (one hundred feet tops). There is a reason that I look a bit tense in the picture but I didn't let my fear of heights stop me. Randy captured my stance of victory when I reached the very top. Whew! I didn't stay up there too long but I did look around 360 degrees and the view was spectacular...like no other view I've ever seen! (Maybe I should crop the buses out of the picture to make it look like more of an accomplishment.)
Tomorrow we travel to Mt. McKinley Princess Lodge.