Continued from the previous page.
SCENES FROM THE BUS RIDE BACK TO TEK
I got my south-side window seat back on Tim's bus and had it to myself the rest of the way
home to Tek at Mile 29. That's the side where I think passengers can get
the best scenic photos from inside the bus, both outbound and inbound.
Here are some of the photos I took on the way
back, when it was more cloudy in some places:
South end of Wonder Lake, where the Wonder lake and
Kantishna shuttle buses stop for a rest break.
Above and below: view south to McKinley River
with Alaska Range (and Denali) in background under
Above and below: views approaching Eielson
from the west
At the Eielson rest stop I took the next two photos to the east and
north as I was walking around the outside of the visitor center.
was under clouds to the west -- glad I saw it so clearly several
That's Thorofare Ridge, where I hiked this morning.
Continuing east on the bus to the Toklat River area and Polychrome Pass:
Above and below: Toklat riverbed, looking
Toklat River, looking north from the rest area
Above and below: Polychrome glacier area and
E. Fork of the Toklat River drainage
I enjoyed talking with the couples in front of and behind me. Both
Kantishna buses I rode (yesterday and today) had really nice people on
board. Good thing, because they have to be hardy, patient souls to
endure that 12- to 13-hour ride.
Critters weren't as prolific as yesterday. I did see three grizzlies, a
mama moose and calf (shown below, near the spur road down to the Wonder Lake
and a bunch of caribou.
Suppertime near Polychrome
Two caribou trot up the park road between Stony
Hill and Eielson, with Denali in the
background, right. Wildlife always has the
right of way on the park road.
haven't seen (at Denali) any Dahl sheep at close range, a bull moose, a mama bear
with cubs, a wolf, a lynx, or a wolverine. There's still time . . .
JIM'S BIKE RIDE
Jim left the Tek Campground on a bike ride to Sable Pass about 10 AM and
saw Denali before it was hidden under clouds.
I'm pleased that he took
some photos during his ride today:
below: Fireweeds are at peak bloom now.
below the arrow.
Zoomed in on
Polychrome, where the road (arrow) is high above the Toklat River Valley
hills on the way back to Tek
of the photo above
Jim rode about 20 miles and saw another couple from our campground out
cycling, too. The highlight of his ride was seeing Denali clearly for
several miles. Unlike some of his rides on the park road three years
ago, he didn't see any big critters today.
The road surface yesterday and today was fine for cycling. It was only
muddy and soft when we drove out to the Tek Campground on Sunday after
all the rain and road grading.
While I was gone Jim walked the dogs several times and took Casey
for a bike ride to the Teklanika River rest stop again. She loves going
there. I also walked
the dogs around the campground this evening. It's always fun to see
who's there and talk to other visitors.
I haven't mentioned anything lately about the long hours of daylight up
here. Daylight is lessening now but is still longer than in the Lower
The sun goes down behind the nearby mountains about 10 PM and it's been
getting a little darker at night. At summer solstice it doesn't get
totally dark this far north. I noticed on the weather board at Eielson
today that sunrise and sunset are a total of five minutes less from
yesterday to today:
Monday: 4:38 AM sunrise, 11:37 PM sunset = 18:59 hours of
daylight. Tuesday: 4:41 AM sunrise, 11:35 PM sunset = 18:54
hours of daylight.
We vividly remember
being at Denali and Fairbanks in early September, 2012 and how rapidly
daylight disappears from day to day in autumn. It's a slippery slope,
literally and figuratively. Neither of us could handle the long, dark,
cold winters up here but we sure do love summertime in Alaska!
Next entry: adventure on the edge -- hiking
and cycling at Polychrome Pass (Tek Pass ride #3)
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup
© 2015 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil