WARNING: The following picture of a male grizzly consuming a moose calf might be too graphic for some. Viewer discretion advised...
Just kidding, it really just looks like a furry brown rock. But believe me, based off of the epic story the tour group who went in two hours before us told, of a momma bear with two cubs fighting a momma moose because she had already killed the moose calf, that actually is a bear eating a baby moose. Alaska is wild, man!
Day 3: Tony Went Into the Wild...
One of the wildest things about Denali is that in the summer it is never got fully dark. We were told that between 3:00am-5:30am it got to a dusk-like darkness but I went out at midnight (felt like 4:00am east coast time) on our second day there and got a good snapchat of what that looked like:
Even with the late night, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to get a jog recorded on my GPS watch all the way up in Denali. Since Rah is typically an early riser we went out and got a morning run in, and who should we run into but our dad! I guess Bizer minds think alike.
We got to tour Denali National Park, and learned about how the park was created, and the history of the park. Over the course of the day, we received maybe three different "What To Do If You See A Bear" talks (not all of them with consistent information, in fact, often it was contradictory). This was enough that it went from the realm of "OK, maybe this is a remote possibility" to "wow, people must actually see bears here sometimes."
However, even with most of the group engaged in a park employee telling the story of the difficulties faced by early park rangers, reenacting it outside of the actual cabin rangers lived in in the 1930s, we turn around and who should have WANDERED INTO THE WOODS BY HIMSELF??? Tony, what was he thinking?!?! Luckily his bright orange UT coat gave him away and my mom was able to bring him back to the group and the rest of us could rest easy knowing he wasn't gonna be any bear's lunch.
|We don't want you starring in Into the Wild, Too Tony to Care!|
|Denali National Park|
She sang us a song her Grandfather had created as a tribute to the mountain (sound starts quiet but it's there):
|Tony and the girls!|
|posing by himself|
Because I can't resist taking pictures of tiny nature:
After touring the park, shopping for souvenirs and a quick bite to eat, we split up and since my moms knee was bothering her, and Tony was a bit worn out, they went to the Cabin Night show with singer/dancer/servers and all you can eat seafood. Yum!
The rest of us went white-water rafting the Nenana River. With 6 class 3 rapids and 3 Class 4 rapids (one which we avoided because the water was too high), it was a lot of work and a lot of fun.
|Our Family Group|
|Us plus Dad's co-worker, his wife and sister-in-law. His wife helped us organize the trip. He was very nervous about rafting|
|In our gear, I decided we looked like an early nineties show about aquatic space ninjas, the blurry picture just helps the idea!|
When rafting, we actually got to hop out and float next to the raft at one point, and our dry suits did their jobs and kept us dry. I also almost fell out on one of the first class 3 rapids (called Ice Worm, ew) since I was in the front and we hit it perfectly. Our guide was great, he went by "Wookie,"and that gives you a great picture of who he is.
|Our raft, minus dad, plus his three co-workers. The guide is the one that looks like he belongs in Alaska :)|
Day Four: Denali to Anchorage to Whittier
The next day, it was time to say goodbye to Denali :( and make our way down to our cruise ship at Whittier by way of Anchorage. I already shared most Anchorage pictures, but I didn't share the photos from our brief stop at an Animal Reserve... where we got to meet moose, caribou and bears, oh my!
I was so excited to see moose up close, we had glimpsed two in the wild in the two previous days but they were nothing more than a fleeting impression.
|Check out this stud!|
|but first, I moose take a selfie!|
|BABY MUSK OX!|
|I Musk Ox how you are so adorable!|
|Elk-scuse me, I'm looking for a deer friend|
|glacier carved valleys|
|Her mate Adonis, lost a wing and was rehabilitated at the reserve, unfortunately he cannot fly to live with ehr in teh wild so every day she shows up and waits in the tree outside the reserve|
|Just swimming... watching you!|
|Hello friends, I know you want to get to know me but apparently it's feeding time so how bout we keep this fence between us K, thanks!|
The next phase of our journey was very different as we experienced the Alaskan Coast on excursions from the cruise ship The Norweigan Sun. I'm so glad that we added in the extra few days to see Denali and the Wild Frontier of Alaska's interior. Since I can't think of a uniform way to sign off these posts, I'll leave you with a joke one of our guides told us (based on the fact that reindeer are just domesticated caribou)
What do you call a scary Reindeer?