07.12.12 Day 12
Tatlanika Trading Co. and RV Park to Denali NP
46.45 miles, 637.1 trip miles
9.8 avg mph, 23.9 max
4:43:09 ride time All pavement
Mostly cloudy with sun and WIND. 60’s
Days of rain: 4
Wow, today was crazy. We did extra mileage yesterday so today would be easier. The wind had another idea. We got up after a windy night, ate, paid for our camping and headed south to Denali NP. Once on the road we quickly realized the wind had not died down over night. It was worse.
We experienced probably the worse head winds either of us had ever experienced input lives. I had to pedal down hill just to maintain 7 mph! It was a long 39 miles, very long. The wind seemed to get stronger as the day went on too.
We got to the park with about a half hour to spear. We used it to get our bus tickets and put our stuff into lockers. I even had time to get a snack since there’s no food sold I the park. We had to bring food for the next 8 hours as our tour was that long.
At 2 pm we headed west into the park with five other people in a park bus. We were headed 53 miles into the park to the Eielson Visitor Center. We made stops along the way and whenever we saw animals. We first saw a pair of moose. One bull and one cow. Both were in thick willows so we only saw their heads. You could still tell they were big. Next we saw a lone caribou who appeared to be taking a nap as he was laying down.
Finally we. I spotted our first grizzly! Within minutes I spotted three more. Then a bit down the road I spotted a sow with two cubs and finally another bringing our total to eight grizzly bears. I have never seen a grizzly bear in the wild. It was amazing even if they were pretty far away. I was so excited and still am.
A little later we saw a heard of caribou bringing our total to 30. We made it to the Eielson Visitor Center and looked around. The mountains were amazing the whole way in and there as well. I took a ton of pictures. If you ever wanted to go to Denali, go! The way back was uneventful. I spotted the sow and one of the other grizzlies again and we say the same like caribou. Unfortunately indie not see any birds. The bus wasn’t really good for bird viewing.
Once back we got a campsite despite being told they were full when we called for our bus tickets. We quickly set up the tent and races into two for pizza and beer. We didn’t order until 11:30 pm! Bellies full we rode back to camp. Riding with a slight buzz and now trailer was a odd feeling. You get so used to the extra weight riding without it is very odd.
At camp we helped the couple next to us fix their flat tire and socialized. It’s now currently 2:18 am and I need to go to sleep. So tired.
Glove count: 20
Tie down count: 35