ALASKA – Visit of the Denali Park

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In the morning at the arctic circle, the view from the van is just unreal: a sky without a cloud, a small fog on the plains and a fresh wind. It is just amazing.

Réveil sur le cercle arctique
Réveil sur le cercle arctique

We drive back to Fairbanks for a good shower and some laundry (that might easily take half a day).

In the evening, we are invited to Michelle and Mark’s home. They are a couple of travelers met on facebook and they invited us for a beer.

We have a great time. They invited some friends and we spend the evening talking about overlanding, taking all the good advices they could give to us.

Finally, we accept the invitation to spend our first night in a real bed since we got Tikal back!

The night is already perfect. But as several good surprises may come together, guess who comes to illuminate the night?

 

La vue du jardin de Michelle et Mark
La vue du jardin de Michelle et Mark

 

La vue du jardin de Michelle et Mark
La vue du jardin de Michelle et Mark

It is after a good night, and after having thanked our great hosts, we stop at the Creamer’s Field in Fairbanks, where thousands of birds take a break during their migration travel.

Le creamer's field
Le creamer’s field
Un pic
Un pic
Des bernaches
Des bernaches
Des grues
Des grues

Then we leave Fairbanks direction the south.

The south of Alaska.

Not really the sand yet but a visit of the Denali park.

We will enjoy the park for 3 days. (but you can spend easily spend a week there).

Day 1

After an illuminated night (yes again…), we go to the visitor center and break our pig-bank buying the pass for the national parks and a bus tour in the Denali park for the next day.

Le ciel du denali
Le ciel du denali
Un ciel sans nuage
Un ciel sans nuage
L'arrivée sur notre lieu de bivouac
L’arrivée sur notre lieu de bivouac

The entry of the park for private vehicles is limited to the first 50 km and the rest shall be visited by bus (or by feet but it takes more time).

We spend the afternoon discovering the landscapes by our own.

 

Entrée du parc
Entrée du parc
Premiers kilomètres du parc
Premiers kilomètres du parc
Vue du dernier pont accessible en voiture privée
Vue du dernier pont accessible en voiture privée
Première ballade
Première ballade
Première rencontre
Première rencontre
Au loin un caribou
Au loin un caribou
Caribou de dos
Caribou de dos
Caribou de profil
Caribou de profil
Caribou de face... impressionnant !
Caribou de face… impressionnant !

Day 2

We wake up at 5h50 (it hurts) as the bus leaves at 7h15 from the visitor center. The night has been cold and we are told that the temperature fell to -7°celsius this night… We get into the bus for a 12 hours drive in the park. And actually it worses it. But what might be even nicer is to spend a few days in the park, camping and sleeping outside (we can drop off the bus for a walk at any time). But regarding the recent temperature, it seems that we are not prepared enough for such adventure…

On embarque dans le bus
On embarque dans le bus
Direction wonder lake
Direction Wonder Lake

The wildlife is much diversified and after the squirrels, the caribous, the sheeps, the mooses, we meet our first grizzly, a few meters from the bus. Then a second and another one a bit further…

Un écureuil en plein boulot
Un écureuil en plein boulot
Un clan de caribous
Un clan de caribous
Une peluche sur le bord de la route
Une peluche sur le bord de la route
Oh le nounours
Oh le nounours
Petit sourire
Petit sourire
Oh les petites dents du nounours
Oh les petites dents du nounours
Sur ses gardes
Sur ses gardes
Re un grizzli
Re un grizzli
Un grizzli dans la plaine
Un grizzli dans la plaine

Mt Denali appears (it recovered his original name and is not called Mt McKinley anymore). More than 6.000 m high… The view is great.

Le Mont Denali apparaît
Le Mont Denali apparaît

31-mont-denali

Pique-nique with view
Pique-nique with view

36

34

35

33-la-vue

In the evening we decide to take a break after such physical activity (12h seated in a bus) and go for a beer in a bar next to the park with a well-known bus in the courtyard : the Magic Bus. Yes, you know it:

Le bus magique
Le bus magique

Petite visite
Petite visite

This is a copy of the original bus that hosted Christopher McCandless (Alexander Supertramp) in his adventure in Alaska. The real one is situated into the wild, and the trek leading to it is kind of “complicated”… Anyway we both agree that the copy will be enough!

Day 3

we lose ourselves in trek trails. We become stuck between rivers that we cannot cross. We enjoy so large landscapes (without any unwanted grizzly encounter).

Randonnée près de la rivière
Randonnée près de la rivière
Pas d'animaux mais quelques traces
Pas d’animaux mais quelques traces

Ah si, là une bpete ! mais bien cachée !
Ah si, là une bête ! mais bien cachée !
Coucou
Coucou

A la recherche des loups...
A la recherche des loups…

Then back, on the road.

Next step: Anchorage.

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