Waking up latish I had managed to miss breakfast AGAIN. I was a little annoyed as the breakfast stuff had been put away quite early compared to when our bus was due to go into the Denali National Park. We set off early to get to the Visitors center and arrived 1 hour early; this gave me time to grab something to eat but it was still annoying because I had to pay for it.
We all got on the bus again, the robotic park rangers did there talk again, and instead of going the whole way into the park, we got off after 2 hours and the idea was to hike around for a bit before catching the bus back I wasn't massively keen on hiking in Denali; firstly I had over slept and so forgot loads of stuff (like suncream and mosquito spray), secondly I hadn't got all my usual hiking gear (most of it was at home as I couldn't carry it … I'm traveling, not hiking), but more importantly, just like at MaCarthy, the free maps were shocking. Yet again the scale of the free maps was too great to navigate from, and due to the Denali park specifically not having any trails (they figure that allowing people to move freely within the park will do less destruction to the wildlife than having trails … nice idea but not great when you are trying to find your location) it would have been useless to try to pinpoint your location out there … once more I was surprised that Trekk America hadn't got any detailed maps for it's customers to use; did they expected their customers to purchase their own for just one visit (where as Trekk America could use them again and again)? Therefore most of the hike was done on the road and after about 1 hour and 30 minutes I, and most of the others, flagged down a bus and headed back. The others split into two groups of two (Jonathan and Chuck and then Anjtia and Linda) and both hiked along the river.
Once back Alex, Sandra and I spent a bit of time in the gift shops looking at stuff; like usual I was after a book of photos of the landscape and wildlife in Denali, however none of them took my fancy and so I left it. We then chilled about and it wasn't long before Chuck and Jonathan joined us at the visitors center. Johnathan was laughing as Chuck was laying out every possession he had on him in the sun; apparently Chuck and Johnathan had attempted to cross a river with the end result being that Chuck had fell and had been, neck deep, submerged in glacier cold water. He described the feeling that it was freezing (it woke him up) and luckily he had a fleece that was still dry that he could change into. It was quite funny seeing Chuck layout 1 dollar bills, socks, boots, credit cards on the floor in the sun (it looked like a garage sale) but I stopped laughing when he laid out his camera, camera memory cards and mobile phones. It made me realise that I hadn't backed up any photos I had taken on the trip so far, not even made a copy of them onto my computer. Luckily all of Chuck's stuff worked after being dried out but that possibility of loosing all my photos made me, that night, go through them all and put them onto my netbook … as soon as I have internet access I'll upload them.
Apart from spending the evening checking my photos we went back to the same pub as yesterday, as there was a live band playing tonight; however because of the band they were checking ID and George couldn't get in … I didn't really feel like spending any more money and so I headed back and talked to him and Gwendolyn, who had stayed back at camp, before I headed to bed.