27 Jul 2015--On Friday we left Wasilla and headed to Denali National Park about 200 miles away. I only mention that distance to give you a general idea of just how big Mt. McKinley is, because from about 130-140 miles away we could actually see it!!! The mountain is 20, 320 feet high, making it the tallest mountain in North America. And due to the weather patterns created by the Alaska Range, which it is a part of, only 5% of tourists ever get see it!!!
McKinley is still a growing mountain, but I read 2 different displays as to how much. One said it was growing .04 inches a year, while another said 3/4" a year. "I report, you decide!" hahaha.
I mentioned the weather patterns, and we experienced that phenomenon. By the time we drove into a designated "pullout" to see the mountain about 110 miles away from the mountain, it had all but vanished due to the fast moving cloud cover. It is actually behind the mountains on the right in this 1st pic, and above my head in the 2nd.
The gorge is above Ellen's head in the 2nd pic, and although we didn't see any eagles, I included this picture that shows their different color/age patterns because I had mentioned it in a previous blog.
This movie shows the Alaska Range and an up-close "smidge" of where McKinley is...Remember, this is about 110 miles away!!!
We got to the RV park that we had reservations for only to find out that although we made them over 3 months ago, the workers annotated it incorrectly. So, somewhat peeved (haha), we had to scramble at the last minute to find some place else to hang our hats for 5 days. Fortunately we found a place, and still had plenty of daylight to go (haha), so we ate dinner and then headed into the park to get the lay of the land. The Visitor's Center was closed so we just drove the 1st 15 miles of road that tourists are aloud to drive on to see if we could see any animals. We didn't, but we saw some nice scenery along the way, so that whetted our appetites to get into the park the next day and see what more it had to offer.
The next day we took a bus tour and saw some incredible stuff...you won't believe your eyes, so stay tuned!!! haha