North to Denali
The farther north we went the easier it was to see that spring hadn’t really sprung yet. The scenery was spectacular but it was snow and ice. As the Denali Express rumbled over a trestle bridge we could look down into the steep chasm below. This was pretty rugged country.
A pair of caribou raced across a frozen river as we passed by. At one stop some mushers came on to talk to us about dog sledding. About that time someone spotted a coupled of grizzly bears fresh out of hibernation. They were just tiny dots in the distance. After the first excitement of the train ride wore off it began to get a bit long. Lots of people used the time to nap. The 9 1/2 hour trip seemed endless. Probably because it stretched to 11 hours before we pulled into the station in Denali.
Off the train and onto a bus
We all tumbled off the train and were immediately loaded onto a bus for the short trip to the Denali Princess Wilderness lodge. The accommodations weren’t bad. And even if the weather was cold we had the warm Alaskan welcome to shake off the chill.
We didn’t have long to linger in the room because dinner was being served along with a stage show. The waitstaff were also the performers and they were amazing. After the show it was time to head to bed. The sun was just setting this far north but we had an early morning tour. We were going into the National Park. Hopefully we’d finally see some animals. Our park adventure was a half day tour. Turns out the best tour would have been the all day trip but once again we relied on our travel agent when selecting the excursion.
Into Denali National Park
In the morning after a huge breakfast at one of the resort restaurants (which were not included in the package) we climbed aboard another bus for our trip into Denali National Park. We began to see a little more animal life. There were a couple of moose and some caribou but no bears. We really wanted to see bears. When the all day tour returned they said they has bears surround their bus. Clearly we should have taken the longer trip.