What a long day. It may not have been strenuous but as anyone who has ever been confined in a tight place, whether a plane, a train or other form of transportation, for a number of hours can attest, that gets very tiring very fast. In the end our train ride was 11.5 hours! If it had been more roomy I’d be cheering that we got the extra time!
The dinner show was “the Music of Denali”. It’s the story of the first summit of Denali (Mt McKinley) told in song and dance .
The players are also our waiters and waitresses. They even get some of the audience involved. Dinner was sliced beef or salmon. The beef was good. I think Sandy ate the Salmon and I’m sure it was good. After all, this is Alaska! By the time the show and dinner were over and we headed back to our room, dusk was finally starting to fall.
Tomorrow we had the park tour in the morning and the dog sled tour in the late afternoon.
The Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge is located on the Nenana River Canyon one mile from the entrance to Denali National Park. A shuttle runs from the lodge to the visitor center on a fairly regular schedule.
The layout of the lodge is not like a hotel. The rooms are arranged in separate bungalow style buildings. They are built in a very rustic style and named for various animals. Our building was “Wolf Den”.
The beds were large and comfortable but we both noticed that there was very little heat in the bathroom.
There must have been some or the pipes would have frozen but it sure didn’t feel like it! Just part of the ambiance.
Even though we are on Princess property, there is no “on-board” account and meals are not included. We’re on our own. There is a “strip” of stores, souvenir shops and a couple of restaurants across the highway from the main lodge but we stayed on the Princess properties for our meals.
In the morning I was out first and discovered the canyon while waiting for Sandy. I was hoping to see some animals but no luck just, of all things, sea gulls!
Once Sandy caught up with me we headed over to King Salmon (the main restaurant) for breakfast.
The Princess hospitality continued as the waiter was top notch. I think he was from Florida too. It was amazing how many of the staff were from other states.
I’m not sure we met any Native Alaskans working on the property.
Following breakfast which was the size a lumberjack might want, we started working our way slowly up to the main lodge. (I never did manage to finish a whole breakfast the whole time we were there)
We really got a kick out of the carvings for sale with their little signs.
The main lodge was a 2 story affair with a souvenir shop, courtesy internet (15 minute limit) , and a coffee shop on the first floor. The 2nd floor was filled with comfortable chairs and couches where everyone waited for the tour buses. There was a registration desk and a tour concierge located there too.
Our Natural History Tour was at 11:00 and we settled into wait.