Alaska 2014

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.  Comments added AFTER coming back to San Jose are in [square brackets].

 

Report 39. Day 39. Thu, June 12. In and Around Denali Park. THE MOUNTAIN.

 

I'm excited because there are very few clouds in the sky. We are hoping for a clear shot of Mt. McKinley. Oh, let it be, let it be.

We pile into the truck and drive the highway to the park entrance, and in we go. We continue to the same spot we were at last evening, and OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS SAKES ALIVE, there it is. {Only a few people get to see this sight. (there is a 30% chance to see it they say). For us it took getting here early before the clouds form.}

 

Another fella is there, having walked from a nearby campground. He is from Maryland, and has heard that there are 400 people on the mountain RIGHT NOW, CLIMBING IT! I find this impossible to believe. He says only about a third of them will make it to the top. {They keep park rangers permanently on the mountain during this season to assist the climbers at several "base" camps. They say they have already had one climber die this year.}

Great to think of though.

We decide to go into the park as far as private vehicles can go, and we make it to a bridge with a parking lot. We enjoy putting the binoculars on a number of Dall Sheep up on the hill. This is as far as we can go today, in our private auto.

I try to set my camera down in the driver's seat, but I don't get my wrist out of the strap first, and I fling the camera onto the pavement. I cross my fingers and test it. Whew. It seems to be ok. Careful, Bob.

While we are looking at the mountain, Sharon is on a bird she believes to be a redpoll. But the song doesn't match iBird Pro's redpoll song, so that's a no to redpoll.

We decide to look around for a breakfast restaurant and celebrate our lucky day. {We look and look but can't find a restaurant open this early or even offering breakfast until...}We find a golf course, with a sign indicating breakfast is being served, and we jump on it. Excellent.

An hour later, or so it seems, we are still waiting for our breakfast. The waitress has come out several times, "Can I get you all anything else?" How about breakfast, we all mutter. She comes out again, and first 'explains that "perfection takes a little longer" and later tells us how the cook is in training. There is another group of four here for breakfast. They were here before us, and they haven't got theirs either, so we know not to get too excited until they get theirs. Which they finally do.

Let's see, we've been here since, oh I don't know, last Tuesday!!!

Then the first of ours comes. After giving us time for about half a bite, the waitress comes over, and says, "How does it taste? Good, huh?" It's pretty funny. Then a supervisor comes out of the kitchen to apologize for how long it took to get the food, and begs our understanding. We're ok now that we have our food. I mean good night, how long does it take to fix some eggs and toast?

We head back to our camp, but Shirley wants to get a photo of the bus used in the movie "Into the Wild", about the kid who went into the wilderness but died because the swollen river prevented him from leaving his camp (which was an old bus), and he wasn't getting the right nutrition from the food he WAS eating {He actually died because he ate some roots that he thought were safe and they poisoned him}. This bus is on display at the place we had dinner last night. Now to be clear, this bus WAS the exact bus used in the making of the movie, but it was NOT the actual bus the kid camped in.

That evening, Shirley told the story of the Winston cigarette people using an audience to try to make up their slogon. They found people in the audience with the names of Sea, Garrett and Schultz, so they came up with "Winston tastes good, like a Sea Garret Schultz."

Sharon isn't feeling very good, and decides to start taking cipro. I take her place using her nasal spray. I've got kleenex stuffed into both nostrils and I am gorgeous. Shirley seems to be ok, but Jerry's got a little cough going.

None of this keeps us from playing Rummikub, though Sharon is only playing to be polite. I don't think she wants to be. {When I counghed, my chest burned which I took to be sign of bronchitis so I'm glad we had the Cipro.}

I'm excited about tomorrow. It's our full-length ride into the Denali roadway, twelve hours duration.

Cheers to ya,
Bob and Sharon


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