So when I last put pen to paper (sort of) we were just getting ready to go on our Tundra Wilderness tour. We jumped on a bus and headed off into Denali national park. It's 6 million acres and its one of the most impressive things we have ever seen. Alaskans have strict rules about how many people go in and out and it's kept in its true wild form. That's what we loved about it.
So we drove part way into the park. The thaw is late this year and so there was a lot of snow. It felt a bit like being on safari, looking out for wild animals. Ash and I bought a new camera a week ago as they are pretty cheap here and our i phones just weren't doing the place justice. So we had our camera and zoom lense at the ready. We were really lucky as we saw three of the big four! Caribou, moose and grizzly bears. The only thing we didn't see was a wolf.
Obviously the most exciting thing were the bears. We saw two. One was off to the side digging a hole and we
watched him for ages. Bears have just come out of hibernation and so they aren't that fat at the moment but he still looked huge!
I should also mention that we are also lucky enough to be in the 30 percent club. Mount McKinley is 20,000 feet high and the highest mountain in North America. It has its own weather system and its supposed to be the coldest mountain on earth. Anyway it spends most of its time with its peak hidden behind a cloud. So only about 30 percent of people have seen the peak. We had a beautiful view of the top!
Our wilderness tour got us back at about 10pm. It was still light as the midnight sun is well and truly about. Even with dark curtains it still really confuses me as I seem not to be tired when it's 2am and totally light. I suppose it's something that you get used to.
Next morning we went to look around the national park visitors centre and then boarded the train to head to our next stop which was Fairbanks. The train was amazing! The views during the 4 hour journey were stunning. I
could happily have sat on the train for much longer.
So we arrived in Fairbanks. It's a city, by Alaskan standards anyway. Yesterday we went on a steam boat down the river and stopped at a traditional homestead of the native people. We also saw some more dog sledding going on. After lunch we went to the mine and went gold panning. It was really fun and whatever you have at the end you get to take home. I managed to pan 24 dollars worth and Ash found 16 dollars worth. So we aren't rich but it's a nice souvenir to being home.
Now its 6am and we are heading off to the airport. Today we fly back to Seattle. Ash and I are both really really sad to be leaving Alaska. I think that everyone should see this place, it's very special. I think that you have to be a certain type of person to live here, it's a place of extreme conditions.
We are saying goodbye to lots of lovely American people and have become the celebrities of the tour. We are the only English people on our tour so everyone is keen to talk
to us and get our email addresses. We have invites to stay in Mitchigan and Georgia.
Right, plane to catch. Only a couple of photos to upload but we have grizzly photos on the camera to upload when we get to a computer.
Wend and Ash xxxxxxxxx
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