June 01, 2016

Denali National Park

After I settle into the hotel I learn that my Denali Park tour has been rescheduled from 5:00 am to 9:20 AM. This is probably a good thing as if I want breakfast before leaving on the eight hour tour. I need to shuttle to the Princess Hotel, have breakfast, and wait for the tour bus there.

Breakfast was delicious, and complimentary because of the inconvenience caused by the fire. When I board the tour bus we are told the back section of the bus is roped off because she has to pick up another group of passengers at the park visitors center. You can imagine my surprise when most of the other boarding passengers were my family that I did not expect to see until I arrive in Anchorage in another two days.

The park tour was good. The weather only partially cooperated with lots of clouds and a little rain. We were not able to see Mt Denali, or Mt McKinley as many of you would know it. This is not unusual, and is the case 70 percent of the time. We did see lots of sheep, caribou, several young bears, moose, and a number of small animals and birds. The scenery again is spectacular. I gave Alyssa, my youngest daughter, my window seat, but she had to pay for it by taking pictures not only with my camera but with the cameras of 3 or 4 people that were sitting on the other side of the bus.

After the tour the 12 of us went to a local brewery in Healy for dinner. Healy is a coal mining town about 15 minutes from Denali and not a place that tourists usually stop. The food and beer was good. For the first time in years I am carded before I can order a beer. Alaska marks the license of anyone convicted of DUI and they are prohibited from purchasing alcohol, this requires everyone to be carded.

Back at my hotel I learn the process for catching the train to Anchorage. Basically I need to set my luggage out by 9:00, check out by 10:00 and board the shuttle bus at 10:45. I do a load of laundry at the guest laundry in the hotel. It is busy and I have to wait about 20 minutes for an empty dryer. Dying clothes always takes two or three times as long as washing. Why then do all laundromats have only one dryer for each washer? Something I will never understand. I hit the pillow about midnight, 5 AM Florida and body time. I will try and sleep a little later in the morning.

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