MP3 track of the day: Boner Jams
Weather: Really good, very hot and sunny but still a little cloudy
Today we had a four hour bus ride (leaving from the visitors center), departing at 10am, into the center of the Denali National Park. The bus ride was so long because it was a sightseeing bus tour that stopped if we saw wildlife, but first the bus had to be boarded by a park ranger so that they could provide us with some information. I thought that the information was going to be along the lines of safety information but no a, what only can be described as robotic, female park ranger came on the bus and roboticaly talked about the parks creation and how she had lived close by to the park all her life (maybe it's time for her to get out). It was supposed to be a serious talk but we all started laughing trying not to show it; I did think at one point that she might malfunction “... Welcome to Denali … Welcome to Denali … Welcome to Denali” etc but it didn't happen. Once she roboticaly got off the bus we passed the park ranger post only to see all the park rangers wave us off like something of the 'Little House on the Prairie'.
Once we got deeper into the park we then eventually got to see a lot of wildlife; grizzly bears (loads of them), moose, caribou, wolves, arctic foxes and my favorite … the arctic ground squirrel. We arrived at our destination, Elison (2pm), deep in the heart of the park and near to mount McKinley. The mountain was covered in clouds (as per usual apparently) but we got to see abit of it. The stupid thing to me was that it had taken us 4 hours to get there, it will take 4 hours to get back, and we were only going to spend 1 hour at Elison (that includes having something to eat for lunch). Jonathan and I had a word with Eddie and asked if we could catch a later bus in which he was fine about; we went to the scheduling office and asked if there were any free places on a later bus and as luck would have it that, due to the amount of people in the park today, the park rangers had scheduled an empty bus for 4pm. I told Eddie the above information and he asked the rest of the group if they wanted to stay; there was about a 50/50 split and so half of us stayed and the rest of the group plus Eddie went back. The hour passed so quickly but I managed to walk around the area a little and I saw a arctic fox along one of the footpaths … very cool.
The time had come to get the 4pm bus back to the visitors centre and so we all boarded … apart from Bradford and his sister Lauren. We set off and thought they must have caught an earlier bus … but no they had missed this service and instead had to get a bus later on. Actually by the time we got back to the visitors center (around 8pm) they had over-took us along the road and we all arrived at roughly the same time. Eddie was there to meet us at the bus stop and so we all headed back to camp.
That night we headed to the pub for a little while before getting back to camp for a fire and sleep … today was a great day and I had see loads of wildlife.
Tomorrow back into the park!