Thursday, 20 June 2013

Canada Hols - Denali National Park

Tuesday was our day in Denali National Park and Preserve. On the bus we heard about the free dog show put on by the rangers, so we went to see what it was all about. Amazingly the rangers use dog sled teams to do their work in winter – opening up roads, transporting scientific equipment and general surveillance. They demonstrated with a sled team attached to one with wheels. When the rangers went to select their team, all the dogs went crazy barking “pick me! Pick me!”. They had 6 new puppies this season (you can see them on webcam at The dogs were mostly tied to their kennels and because of the heat were lazing around in their roped off areas. Some were in cages and when we asked about them, were told that they were the dogs who ate rocks. They don't know why and can't stop them, so all they can do is cage them. We then walked back to the Information Centre and saw a moose on the way. At the information centre they showed a very interesting film about the history of the park. We then walked down to the Horseshoe Lake. It was no-where near as far as we had been led to believe, but mosquitoes were thick and fact I think the park should be renamed Mosquito Park. We walked back to the Princess Lodge to collect our hand luggage, before catching the bus back to the Railroad station to get on the train for the four hour journey to Fairbanks. On the way we saw moose as well as beaver lodges, as well as Clear Air Force Base, one of the 3 Ballistic Missile Early Warning Sites. They have their own power generator and uses enough power to power 700,000 homes. Each Antenna weighed 1 million pounds. At Nenana (coincidentally the same name as our rail car), was St Mark's Church from 1905, one of Alaska's first churches. As the airconditioning in the train was still playing up, we arrived in Fairbanks very hot and tired and keen to get to the hotel. We were put up in the Westmark, and had the 'Forget-me-not' Suite, which seemed quite luxurious, with a separate lounge. At 1am I got up to take a photo of the street and moon, as it was still very light.


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