Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Day 3 - The day started with some showers but the weather cleared towards noon. We were rethinking our decision of spending 2 more days in DNP and debated if we should cut down a day in the park and instead add a railway trip from Fairbanks and back to our itinerary. Research revealed that, that leg of the railroad trip wasn't very highly rated, besides it wouldn't have worked out timing wise. Also, V was feeling sick from the night before and wasn't feeling any better in the morning. So the railroad idea fizzled away and we decided to stick with our original plan.

Rain clouds gather
I spent the day writing and talking walks while V rested. I had a chance to speak with the owner of our lodge (DK) and hear his story. A native of Dallas, TX, DK came to Denali about 30 years ago as a tourist and never left. He found himself a job and continued to work in the area. Eventually, he saved enough to open the lodge and has been running it successfully for the last 15 years. I was fascinated by his story but learnt over the course of my trip that this was a common story of many Alaskans. Such is the lure of this beautiful land!

Day 4 - V was feeling slightly better and agreed to venture outside the room (yay!) We decided to head to the park and spend the day in the park, V's health co-operating. 

We started our park visit by looking at the exhibits in the main Visitor Center. Post lunch at the Morino grill (the only restaurant inside the park) we took the nearby trail and hiked up to HorseShoe Lake. V was still feeling weak so we decided to take it slow. Later in the afternoon, we spent some time at the Murie Learning and Science Center. V was beginning to feel low on energy, but I kept pushing him gently and encouraging him. After all, this was going to be our last day in the park. 

As a last thing for the day, we decided to drive up to the Savage river milepost (mi 15). This would allow us to spend some more time in the park without exhausting V. I hiked up to Savage Rock and came down via the River Trail while V rested in the car.

The view from the Savage River Trail was breathtaking! - majestic mountain ranges in the distance with snow running down their slopes...the river flowing through the verdant valley....the wildflowers...the imposing Savage Rock...the bridge over the river. It was truly a sight to behold!

Every so often a shuttle bus would go across the bridge and from my vantage point this big bus looked like a toy against the panaromic backdrop. I was so glad that we made it here and were able to spend time just taking in the view.

We ended the day with dinner at Lynx Creek Pizza before heading to our lodge in Healy.

Savage River Trail

Panaromic view from Savage River Trail

A bird and a marmot seen along the Savage River Trail