Sunday, June 22, 2014

THE MOUNTAIN IS OUT

6/17/14
Denali National Park
Savage River Campground

Happy 80th Birthday to Joe.  What better way to celebrate his birthday than to take a narrated bus trip into Denali and then dinner out.  Life can't get much better.

This will be an 8 - 9 hr trip with lots of stops along the way.



My first sighting ever of a grizzly bear, these cubs are a good size and probably last year's babies.






lots of these pictures are taken through the bus window




And here is Mount McKinley,  the taller peak between the clouds is the south peak, the taller of the two peaks.  This was just breathtaking to see such an awesome mountain.  She was in and out of the clouds all day we we saw her many times.

 Just a pretty view along the way


















We were at a view point with three other buses and we were all outside looking when suddenly the bus driver yelled "everyone back on the bus, bear coming up the road"
And he was serious, even yelling at several people that were lingering along.  Four buses = 200 people, we were still getting on the buses and another bus pulled up right next to us so this was the only shot I could get of the bear, she had two cubs only about 6 - 8 weeks old weighing about 10 lbs Our driver was a retired wildlife biologist from the Denali area.


This little red fox was just wandering up the road next to us
















Turn the corner and there she is again.





Another red fox, this one was just walking by and then suddenly  he wasn't there.....he had jumped up in the bushes and came out with a ground squirrel.  This guy was quick.












   Look close, he is in the bushes


Again look close he has the ground squirrel in his mouth.  The ground squirrels here are look like a prairie dog only much fatter, They also have tunnels all over so they can just hop down one hole and travel along the tunnel system.










 Isn't he handsome?





We finally arrived at Eielson Visitor Center.  The clouds kept closing in on the mountain and by late in the day she was gone.


Sub-alpine flowers























This is the tundra and we are allowed to walk where ever we wanted.  The dirt area on the left side of the trail is where a bear was digging to get to a ground squirrel.  There are mounds all over and the bears know that the squirrels are in there someplace.  At times the bear will stand on his hind legs and then come crashing down with his front legs on the squirrel hole, then squirrels poke their heads up at other holes.  Kind of like "Wac a Mole"

 another place where the bear was digging for squirrels







The ground squirrel.
















 The grizzly is now called a Brown Bear according to our naturalist, look at the size of his rear foot.







Large bull moose trying to hid in the tall bushes.



That's it, have a blessed day

Nancy

3 comments:

  1. Happy 80th birthday, Joe. What a great trip you are on!

    ReplyDelete
  2. A great trip! Happy Birthday, Joe!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah, so that's what the mountain looks like. We just got back from Alaska and didn't have the lovely weather that you enjoyed. Great pictures.

    ReplyDelete