Monday, July 27, 2009

Denali to Anchorage

Travel day to Anchorage by coach as it's substantially cheaper and faster than by rail. Leaving at 3PM.

Still got in some mountain biking in the AM.
Lynn hung out at the cabin we stayed in and read and just relaxed.

Mountain biking doesn't appear very popular near Denali, it seems. We saw a few folks riding in the Park yesterday. There is no singletrack for mtb bikes, in or out of the Park. Only one rental place that I could find.

Riding the Park is interesting. For starters, you're pretty low so seeing wildlife must be tough. Our bus driver/guide through the Park said that even the professional photographers will follow tour buses a lot of the time as the bus sits higher for a better angle to see wildlife and with 75 sets of eyes or so, a better chance to spot animals. A couple we rode on the bus to Anchorage said that when they were in their bus, about the same day we were in ours, a sow griz and her 3 cubs walked down the road right past their stopped tour bus and climbed up the bank next to the bus. The driver positioned the bus directly across from them and they took pics as the sow and the cubs played. Very rare, based on the drivers comments, but it does happen.
These bears are not like the Yellowstone bears that are looking for food. They are totally wild but the buses don't bother them, as long as the people don't talk too loud or they don't hang out the windows.
There is section of the Park right next to the road, where humans haven't been allowed to enter since the 1950's. The bears seem to congregate in that area.

Then there is the fact that it's a narrow dirt road and with tour buses going back and forth there is a lot of dust generated.

So, I went north of the Park about 20 miles near Healy and biked on what I think is Alaskan single track...ATV trails.
Heading for the grassy ridge on the right.

The top of the grassy ridge.

This is all near where a young man tried to get Into the Wild but died trying.

Put in about 3 hrs. which included a good hike-a-bike to the top of the ridge. The wind was blowing 30-40 mph up there, so didn't stay there long.

Started out from the far tip of Otto Lake. View from the top of grassy ridge.

After the ride found a restaurant that served a good local beer and also Alaskan Sea Scallops....yum, yum!
Saw this in the restaurant, a painting of Mckinley under a full moon.

After lunch we got on the coach for a 4 hr. ride to Anchorage. Got to see some neat mountains near Wasila and Anchorage.
Didn't see Sarah anywhere!

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