Denali day 3, July 3 – Hiking up Alpine Trail (no pics yet)

It rained a lot last night and when I went to pack up my bed I noticed there was WATER on one of the support boards under my bed! Momentary freak out thinking the roof or window was leaking then after pulling it all apart I realized the propane compartment must not be sealed well on the outside wall since all the after was pooled there. Something else for me to fix, but not too bad, at least I don’t think so.

I got to sleep in late today; it was almost 10am before I decided I wanted to get up. I had coffee and breakfast and was on a bus heading or Eielson by 11:25 with no exact plan for what wanted to do since it looked gray, cloudy and potentially raining which can make the animals come out and make me not want to hike so much. Today’s bus ride had a big group, this time a group of 15 students making a documentary about “Into the Wild.” They hadn’t seen any wildlife as of Tek where I got picked up if I recall and seemed concerned they wouldn’t. There was also another big group of 11 people that had got on the bus at Tek when I did and they had a couple young/pre-teen kids, but they were all quite polite and it was a nice contrast to the huge group from the day before that has been so noisy and wild.

We ended up seeing a couple of bears on the way into the park, as well as some caribou that were really far up on a ridge. The day seemed cool and clear of rain so I decided to tackle my TO DO HIKE, the Alpine Trail that is behind the Eielson Visitor Center.  After leaving all my food in a food locker, an oversight which I would later regret, and only packing in my water and camera I started at about 2:30 and was finally back to the visitor center by about 5:30. Gorgeous views the entire way up and even better at the top. It was well worth it! At the top I encountered a lady who offered me some of a breakfast bar that they handed out to her at the Backcountry Lodge she was staying at and I gladly took her up on it since the climb had drained almost all the energy I had; In hindsight I really  need to work on my stamina before I try it again.  I am considering the trail that goes down to the river, maybe in a couple days after I rest a bit.

I managed to hop on the 6pm bus heading back to the entrance and the big group that was staying in Tek was on it. On our way back we saw more bears, at least six on the way back although only two of them were close enough to get good photos. Also saw a few other wildlife; besides the bears, the caribou buck we saw was a really great sighting. I got back to camp and had “Mac and not cheese” with some fresh tomato cut up.  Again I used the water heater to get some water for a PTA bath and to wash dishes just as more rain rolled in. I’ve taken my ibuprofen and melatonin and will be heading to sleepy town very soon now.

I guess I forgot to write down all my other snacks, though I’m quite sure I had more fruit and a bagel with smashed avocado.  That is better than PB&J I think!

I’m thinking I’m going to need to break up posting my photos since there are so many.  Blog post for now and I’ll add photos as I get to them.

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