Wednesday, September 17, 2008
A couple of months ago Justin entered the road lottery so we could drive through Denali National Park. Typically, only tour buses are allowed in there and then usually only up to a certain point. However, once a year for four days they have a lottery and open up the road to a certain number of cars so they can drive through the Park. Lucky us, we won on our first year trying so after we dropped my parents off at the airport Sunday morning and picked Justin's parents up Sunday afternoon, we drove four hours north to a hotel outside of the park. We stayed there overnight and then got up Monday morning to enter the park. We saw moose, bears, lynx, caribou, eagles, rabbits, dall sheep and Justin even fulfilled one of his life's dreams to see a wolf in the wild. He was able to watch, through binoculars, as a pack of wolves stalked a group of sheep. He was pretty giddy with excitement after that.
The girls behaved really well considering they were in their car seats with only little breaks from nine in the morning until we returned home at 1:00 am. The picture above is of Mt. McKinley/ Denali- the largest mountain in North America. While this little picture doesn't do it justice, trust me when I say that it was an amazing view. We were also so fortunate to be there on a beautiful and clear day because it has been raining for the last month.
We didn't get many pictures of the animals because they were usually a little ways away and our camera wouldn't be able to catch them well enough but on our way out of the park Justin got out of the car to watch a moose that was in the field next to us. Before we knew it, it walked across the road, right in front of him. I was a little concerned because it is Moose mating season and after being in the car all day, I worried he might smell like a threatening male- or worse, an attractive female. Fortunately he made it back to the car without any problems :)
This was definately a great experience that I realize many people dream to be able to have in their life. The drive was incredibly beautiful and the wildlife was breathtaking. We were also so lucky to be able to have Justin's parents there with us!