Continuing where I left off a few weeks ago, here’s Part 3 of my adventures in Alaska.
The next stop on the journey was Denali National Park and on this day I was celebrating my birthday. More on that later.
The drive from Mt. McKinley Princess Lodge to the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge was about 2 hours. Our room was wonderful, with a view of the river below. This is supposed to be the largest hotel in Alaska. Like the Mt. McKinley Princess Lodge, the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, though affiliated with Princess Cruise Lines, is not exclusive to the cruise line. You can stay there even if you’re not booked on one of their cruises. It’s a vast piece of property with the hotel, restaurants and shops. This is where I took the Gravatar photo of me in the fur coat!
The Denali Natural History Tour started at 2:30pm, so we had a great lunch at the King Salmon Restaurant. We boarded an old school bus for the tour of the park. At the park’s front entrance, we saw a moose with her babies and there were plenty more moose to see along the way. Of all the animals that are abundant in Alaska, I saw more moose than anything. Not any bears, a few sheep, but lots and lots of moose. Thirty-nine species of mammals make their home in Denali along with about 170 species of birds, 10 types of fish and one amphibian, the wood frog.
Denali National Park and Preserve is, of course, named after the centerpiece of the park, Mount McKinley. Mount McKinley is also called “Denali,” which means “The High One” in the native Koyukon Athabaskan tongue. The park will be celebrating its 100th birthday in 2017. There are six million acres of land, but there’s only one road through it.
For dinner that night, my birthday dinner, I had totally yummy elk sliders at the world famous Alaska Salmon Bake restaurant. You can eat exotic in Alaska without eating salmon. As you know, I’m not a fan of seafood. On my birthday this year, 2013, it will be 100 years since the first man reached the summit of Mt. McKinley’s South Peak. He was a native Alaskan named Walter Harper.
The following day we would board the train for the 10 hour journey down to the port of Whittier where we would embark on the next leg of the tour aboard the Island Princess cruise ship.
Dates of Visit: June 2011
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