Today we needed to stock up on groceries and discovered the beauty of Fred Meyer. They are part of the Kroger chain, of which our local Fry’s is also part. However, this Fred Meyer was nearly twice the size of our Fry’s store and complete with a clothing and garden department. I’ll just sum it up with: WOW. Yes, we were very surprised to find such a large store in the relatively small city of Fairbanks. So we bought our groceries and a ton of souvenirs and then headed over to see one of the original paddle wheel boats along the Chena River. The sun was shining and the day beautiful and if we’d had more time we would have taken one of their river cruises. It looked like lots of fun. Instead we had to be content with looking at everything and then managing to finagle a photo op with an Iditarod winner and his top sled dog.
Then it was off to reach Denali National Park. It was only a two hour drive, but as we are discovering, summer means road work in Alaska and this stretch was no different. Several stops waiting for a pilot car with no real idea how long the delays would be. All I can say is at least were able to contain ourselves and didn’t have to jump out of the car to pee in front of the tree in front of us like one lame guy.
So we finally made it to the park. When I was very young (no, I won’t say how long ago, suffice it to say Alaska was already a state…) we camped at Wonder Lake at the end of the park road. Back then you could drive out there but today only select few are allowed to drive the road. The rest of us have to take a bus. We had reserved a spot because I read that, while they take walk-ins, one might have to wait a couple days to get in. I recommend making the reservation. After we got checked in we took advantage of the daylight and drove out to the farthest point we could go in the hopes of seeing McKinley. Though the day was bright it was too hazy to see so I am worried about our tour tomorrow. They say only 30% of the visitors actually get to see the top of Mt. McKinley.
Sorry, I am really rambling. My point is that because it was so light we drove out the road and guess what we saw? Yes, a giant moose. And, super close up.
Okay, an early morning so that we can catch our 6:45 bus. It seems like we’re sleeping in daylight but each night we’re tired enough that we all fall asleep within minutes. (Did I tell you Rebecca isreading Harry Potter? So far I’ve only hear the first three minutes each night before zonking out.)
Tomorrow: Will we see the mountain???