We had a morning to kill before the bus ride to the Denali Backcountry Lodge, so we took the shuttle up to the Denali Park Visitor Centre and learned a bit more about the flora and fauna and the history of the gold rush. I particularly liked the recipe for blueberry pie made famous by one of the early pioneers, Fanny Quigley. First, catch, your bear … – see the photo for the full recipe! Life was very tough here.

My reading material for this section of the journey was maybe a bad choice – “Alaska Bound – One Man’s Dream, One Woman’s Nightmare, by Tammy Jones – www.AlaskaBoundTammyJones.com. It is a true story about building a log cabin in the Alaskan wilderness. ¬†Intense cold, dark, icy water and bears all feature in it. As we approach the wilderness, it is giving me some anxiety about what lies ahead – especially as it is a true story!

Mount McKinley
Mount McKinley

The bus ride on the Bluebird was long, but we were rewarded with sightings of 4 of the “big 5” – caribou, bear, dall sheep and moose along the way. I didn’t take any pictures of the dall sheep – they looked like a few white dots on the mountains to me, even with the telephoto lens! The elusive fifth is the wolf – but that js a very rare sight jndeed. It was a clear, sunny day, so we were able to get a good view of Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in the world (in elevation – Mount Everest is the highest).

The landscape here is majestic and beautiful and hard to capture on a photo. You really have to be here to appreciate it.

Our lodgings were very basic indeed, but then, this is the wilderness. We were advised that a key would be superfluous here – I could see what they meant …

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