All aboard the train back into Denali NP! As the new day begins, the promise of great things ahead initiates with this beautiful sunrise.Even this moose cow stops what she’s doing to check out the fabulous sights and sounds of Denali.No matter the weather that you are greeted by, just wait a few moments or hours, it’s bound to change. Though the misty, low clouds make this a gorgeous atmosphere as seen by a vista at the Savage River overlook pullout.Usually we head out early for a few runs along the park road looking for wildlife opportunities and friends to catch up with. By mid-day, Tom has one thing on his mind … Bean Cloud coffee shake from The Black Bear, a delicious coffee house located across the street from the entrance to Denali NP. Our good friend Rebecca knows that this is a required stop when she rides along with us. 🙂A usual hike, one of only a few established trails in Denali NP, is the Horseshoe Lake Trail. Crossing over the railroad tracks I can’t help but stop, get low, and snap off a few images. Railroad tracks have always fascinated me.The water on this mornings hike was exceptionally still, which provided for wonderful reflections. Along the way, while exploring the shore along the river, we heard the train whistle blow. How lucky to get a second train sighting! That deep blue and yellow train, set against the greens and yellows of the early transition period into the fall colors towards the front of the park, made it all that more special.Well, until a rainbow come out and topped it. How lucky we had been with our travels and the weather this year in Alaska!Tom is quite fascinated by beaver dens, lodges, and activity, so it didn’t surprise us when he decided to ham it up for the camera.During the late afternoons and early evenings, we would “troll” for wildlife along the park road. Of course, being in the midst of the beginnings of the moose rut, encountering bull moose gathering about was the prime target of our quest. Usually, it wouldn’t be long before we got those encounters that we desired.This particular bull moose was one of only a few that still had traces of velvet on their antler paddles. It was so amazing to see it hanging off the tines, like unraveling threads hanging down.Sometimes, while pleading your case for an additional night at the campground during a holiday weekend, you come across the unexpected. I could hear another gal doing the same right next to me, then heard, “Hey lady”. To my surprise, my good friend Renee was standing there, after just arriving to Denali without a reservation. Well, neither one of us could get the extra night in demand, but we had our campsite for the night already, so we just had them join us! How much fun we had sitting around the campfire, dropping our droopy marshmallows into the fire, enjoying a bottle of wine, and catching up with other, something we didn’t think that we would get to do until we returned to Anchorage. So much fun that we ended up talking and laughing it up … right through the fabulous display of northern lights! Ugh! Oh well …. it was worth it. 🙂On our last day in Denali, the mountain was still out, though just a tad covered mid-section by a thin layer of clouds. I think that those clouds add a bit of character to the mountain view.When breaking during the day within Denali, I always take the time to see what their information signs have to offer for the day. I was so struck by this quote by Margaret Murie – “Beauty is a resource in and of itself … I hope the United States of America is not so rich that she can afford to let these wildernesses pass by or so poor she cannot afford to keep them”. So eloquently spoken and never so true as today.Yes, we truly LOVE Denali and this amazing vast environment of wilderness, wildlife, adventure opportunities, and views that take your breath away!More dall sheep sightings along the way. These two guys were consistently there each day that we passed by.One last thought when experiencing Alaska to remember: “Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary in life” – Rachel CarsonWith that in mind, we made our way towards Anchorage to begin our journey home, somewhere along the Denali Highway. I was restless that night and peeked outside around midnight or so. Something was outside wanting to bid us farewell … until next time. It was the aurora, once more, though behind some sporadic clouds. Of course, I had to snap a few shots. 🙂 My spirit was refueled with energy and excitement.So, until next time … adieu Denali … as Arnold says … “I’ll be back”!Hope that you enjoyed our images and stories from Alaska 2015!
Next Up: Think White ~~~~
©2015 TNWA Photography / Debbie Tubridy