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August 12th 2013
Published: August 12th 2013
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Mt. McKinley
Denali National Park to Anchorage 239 Miles

Days 21 - 22 - 23 August 6, 7, and 8 Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

We made a stop about 68 miles into the drive and we saw the top of Denali, and so did Leisel. There was a town named Houston along the way population 1340 and only a post office noted on the trip log. We got gas in Wasilla. Anyone recognize the name? It is Sarah Palin's hometown where she was mayor before becoming governor of Alaska. But, that is not where she can see Russia from. Then on to the Golden Nugget RV Park.

This was an exciting stop right off the bat. Nicole and Jason have been collecting our mail since July 1st and that was the address we left for them to ship it to. There were bills and some of Pat's Trailer Life Magazines and even some of his Birthday Cards. Thanks y'all, you did a great job sorting through it. The original bra for the car had also been delivered.

Day 22

While the rest of the group went on a bus tour of the city, Pat and I loaded up

Leisel viewing Denali
Leisel and I led the way to the repair shop to have the aqua hot checked out. We left the RV and caught up with the group at the Sourdough Mining Company for lunch. Ribs, Chicken and the fixings. We got to see a couple of Reindeer and watched a movie. The film was very interesting and traced the history of the land, showing how it was attached to Russia thousands of years ago. In fact horses came from that area all the way down into Canada, but died off here and were reintroduced to North America years later.

We went back to the repair shop to get the verdict. There had been a moment of hope when the mechanic had found a crack in the front valves and replaced them, but after firing up the heater it was still leaking. So, we will have it checked out in Bend when we get there in September. They will need to hold the coach for at least 2 days and pull the heater and check the valves in the back of the unit.

Day 23

The group went over to the Alaska Native Heritage Center. It was a

Mt. McKinley
wonderful presentation of Alaska's Indigenous cultures. More than a museum it was a journey through 10,000 years of Alaska Native history and culture through art, dance and game demonstrations and traditional Native dwellings. The wall of Alaska in the background is color coded to the different tribes. The red part of the map was the Athabascan Tribe they were nomadic and traveled down into Canada and the United States and linked up with some of those tribes and can even understand their language. The green area is the Eyak Tlingit (Klinket) Haida and Tsimshian Tribes. This is the are known for Totem Poles because they have trees as big as the Red Woods in California. Can anyone guess what the Tlingit had to offer to the TV/Movie world? Their language and some of a couple of other tribes languages were used in developing the Klingon language for Star Trek, the natives can understand the Klingons. Since, the language was passed on by mouth and not written one of the languages was almost lost when one of the elders died. Luckily a non native linguist had been working with her and taped her and written some of it down and it

has been saved. They have developed a written form of all the other languages. The waters above the purple section (Unangax & Alutiiq) are where "The Deadliest Catch" is filmed. The presenter pointed out the natives fish the same waters alone in a canoe. Just sayin'. The Yellow (Yup'ik & Cup'ik) and Orange (Inupiaq & St. Lawrence Island Yupik) still hunt whale and are given a quota based on the number of members of their village. The Orange tribe experience 90 days of sunshine in the summer and 90 days of darkness from November to January. To keep themselves in shape to hunt they have developed several games of strength and agility. They hold an Eskimo Indian Olympics every year. They also demonstrated their dances. Due to the fact that the space is limited they move only their arms, the dances have themes or stories and are performed to drumming. The youth are learning these traditional dances and games at the Heritage center after school and during the summers. We then took a tour outside to visit the dwellings. Many up north lived underground the guide said one dwelling was found that was as big as a football field and

Chocolate fountain at the Sourdough Mining gift shop
the entire tribe lived there. The whole story was quite amazing.

We went downtown and had lunch with friends and then shopped. The wagon master and tail gunner couples hosted a picnic dinner.

Additional photos below
Photos: 22, Displayed: 22




Pat parking the coach between two other rv's in a completely full park. Amazing

The Alaska Native Heritage Center

The colored tribal map. The presenter also pointed out that Alaska stretches as big as the the rest of the USA. Imagine the green part in Florida, the main part on the rest of the lower 48 and the Aleutian Islands reaching to Hawaii.

One of the winter games to keep up strength and agility

Note how he is holding his foot with the opposite hand. The goal is to become completely vertical. He pushes himself up in a one arm handstand

The dances

Whale jaw arch framing the lake and the heritage center

Entrance to one of the dwellings.

Pat demonstrating how small the hole is

A gathering room for meetings

A totem pole depicting an Eagle

Anchorage visitors center

A sign on a downtown lamppost declaring statehood and being over twice as big as Texas.

Is that Sarah?

No, just her spotting Russia

Fishing in Ship Creek

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