Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kantishna Hills

We're staying in a small lodge tucked in the Kantishna Hills of Denali National Park and it is host to all the bush pilots doing sightseeing tours in the park.  Interesting hearing their tales and one pilot that flew in today had to dodge a Bull Moose on the landing strip.  Hiked around northern end of Wonder Lake with once again, a perfectly clear view of Mt. McKinley and the Alaskan Range.

Top of the World

Camped in Denali National Park campground last night in our 25 ft RV which is working out to be really convenient.  Woke up to another day of great weather and clear views of Mt. McKinley. Photographed 3 Bull Moose this morning - very cool and they are huge!  Took a flight from park entrance to the interior of park flying over the autumn colored tundra and snow capped mountain peaks of the Alaskan Range.  Climbed up to 12,000 ft for closeup views of Mt. McKinley.  Also spotted wildlife from plane - 5 caribou and a Sow Grizzly with 3 cubs.  Awesome ride!  Reached our lodge in Kantishna and took a hike up a nearby ridge to see another view of Alaskan Range.  Took shuttle to south end of Wonder Lake and photographed Mt. McKinley reflecting in a pond at sunset/twilight.  The light on the mountains was magical.  We had a long trek back to the lodge, but luckily had a full moon to guide the way.  We were exhausted yet exhilarated.  It had to be one of the longest days of my life.  From the beautiful sunrise to chasing moose to flying over the tallest peak in North America and witnessing its beautiful reflection at twilight, it will be hard to top a day like this!