Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Park Interior

Our shuttle bus driver imparted bits of information to us as we drove through the park. One piece of information was regarding the rivers. We had noticed wide river beds with streams of river going through them. I had assumed that the rivers filled in the spring run off but it turns out my assumption was incorrect. These wide rivers are glacial rivers. The river beds were created by the glacier and have no relationship to the volume of water.

Today we are took a shuttle bus into the interior of Denali National Park. We got up just after 5am so we could catch the 6:30am bus (Colin and Margaret are still wondering how I talked them into that) and yes it started raining. It rained on and off (but mostly on) for the 9 hours we were gone and then poured rain till 8:00pm. The park is very beautiful but unfortunately we did not get to see Mt. McKinley — OK that’s not too unusual as it is obscured at least 3 weeks a month. The bus we took went 64 miles into the park and we saw 4 bears, about a dozen Dall Sheep (including some babies), 3 moose, some caribou and an arctic ground squirrel. At one point the sun came out so Ed and I got off the bus and hiked for about an hour. We flagged down a bus and continued the drive back to the depot. When we got back to the campground I took Zaph for a well deserved walked around the campground. Two fellows standing staring down a path pointed out a cow Moose with her calf – may 25 feet away. Best view of an animal I’d had all day! A park ranger drove by and suggested that I get Zaph out of the area as the moose would think Zaph was a wolf and might charge him. It was hard for me to imagine anything being afraid of Zaph but we heeded her warning and headed back to the trailer where I exchanged Zaph for a camera. Even though it was raining I got some great shots.

Nice little teddy bear, a Grizzly (aka Brown bear)

Ed looking down the "ditch" of the narrow winding road into the park's interior.

A braided river, typical of most of the rivers in this glacial area, the water flow never gets strong enough to cut a deep path, so the water tends to form these many shallow flow paths in the wide cut made by glacers from many years ago

Some Caribou

A brown bear mother and almost mature cub

Dall Sheep

The Moose is Loose!!!
A cow and calf were going to make our campground their new home, lets see, no bears or wolves are permitted, losts of food, just strange two legged creatures and other odd life forms, Yep, nice place. The Park Rangers however had other ideas about where she should stay and worked on getting her to move on.

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