The Trip of a Lifetime to Alaska – Land and Sea – Trip Report - COMLETE!! 4/13/12 - Page 10 - PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel
The Trip of a Lifetime to Alaska – Land and Sea – Trip Report - COMLETE!! 4/13/12
About This Page: This is a discussion on The Trip of a Lifetime to Alaska – Land and Sea – Trip Report - COMLETE!! 4/13/12 within the Globetrotting: General Trip Reports, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; Great start.
I'm impressed you did so much after such an early start....
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After 9/11 (flew into NY/NJ the day before and out three days later) I am not a happy camper when it comes to anything out of the norm when flying. I would have lost it completely if I was present for that lady's outburst!
I am so glad you arrived safely. The grass roof on that building is adorable. I'm so excited to see your pictures and hear about your trip. Like a kid on Christmas!!
We were up bright and early as expected this morning with the time change. I think we made it to 4:30 which isn’t that bad. Lucky for us, breakfast starts at 5 AM. They had a pretty good selection. I had a yogurt. Matt and Alexa had make your own waffles. Colin had Cheerios. After that, the boys went down to the creek to go fishing again. Alexa and I walked along the creek all the way out to the ocean. There were quite a few fisherman out, but we only saw one salmon that was caught.
We packed up our stuff and then headed for the airport to pick up the rental car. Thankfully the hotel was holding two bags until we come back on Wednesday, so that made things easier.
We started our journey north to Denali. Everything I had read on Cruise Critic said to stop at the Walmart in Wasilla to get supplies (food and such), but we didn’t see it, and stopped at our favorite Target instead. Loaded up with junk food and water, we settled in for the long ride. Unfortunately we couldn’t spot McKinley at any of the lookouts along the way. We got to Denali around 2:30, and decided to go to the Visitor Center since check in at the cabin wasn’t until 4. We picked up our Eielson shuttle bus tickets at the Wilderness Access Center, and then headed to the Visitor Center. We walked around in there for about an hour. What a great place full of information.
Then it was back to check in at the cabin.
It was naptime for someone, and then we went to dinner at a pizza place next door. It was okay. We got a margarita pizza (Iike we would get at home) but it was made with goat cheese (chevre – of which I didn’t tell the kids) and the dough wasn’t our usual thin crust. Alexa ate two pieces, I had one and Matt had a couple, but none for Colin. So it was off to Subway for him in “Glitter Gulch” (the area near Denali with all the shops/Princess hotel, etc.). This ended up being a good detour, as I ordered our sandwiches for early tomorrow morning for our bus trip (they are open 24 hours – but no $5 footlongs here! )! There was an overlook adjacent to the area with the Nenana River below, so we took some pictures there.
Denali Princess Hotel
We decided to try a short hike near the visitor center. Problem was it was covered with mosquitos since it was “in the woods” and frankly I was nervous a bear was going to come and attack us! I know, silly, but I was scared! We did a quick little loop and decided to get in the car and drive to Savage River. In Denali NP, you can drive your personal car the first 14 miles into the park on the park road, but if you want to go further, you need to get a special permit or take one of the shuttle buses (which we were doing tomorrow morning). We made our way down the road, the weather was clearing, and as we came around the corner, ta da………….Mt. McKinley. Now, as I mentioned in the pre-trip, they say only 30% of the visitors get to see Mt. McKinley. This was a “must do” for me, so to actually be able to see it was all that and more! There was an older woman and her husband parked down a bit ahead of us. As we were taking pictures, she came over as she heard Matt commenting to the kids about them breaking the travel tri-pod before we left, which would have come in very handy right now! So she offered us her husband’s, but we declined. We talked to her for a bit. She said someone else who had just stopped had seen a lynx and to keep our eyes out. They had done the bus tour out to Kantishna yesterday, but her husband complained it was too long. I think that one is 12 hours long. Ours is supposed to be 8 hours round trip. They were cute! At this point, we’re about 80 miles away from Mt. McKinley!
After I had my fill of Mt. McKinley pictures, we continued down the road. I don’t remember seeing anything else wildlife wise. We got to the turnaround at Savage River, and Colin and I stayed in the car while Matt and Alexa did a little hike up a steep hill. You can see their jackets (orange and purple) in the pics.
Here are Matt’s pics…….
Once they came back, we retraced our steps and headed toward the park exit. Not more than a mile after leaving the turnaround, what jumps across the street but the lynx! Sorry, no pictures, he was too fast and went up into the brush. But it was very cool. We were hitting it all tonight! We stopped for a few more pictures of the mountain again, before heading out of the park and back to the cabin. It was a bit hard getting to sleep. We got back to the cabin around 10:30, and the sun was still shining brightly! And there were no room darkening shades. We put ones of the bedspreads over the window to help keep out the light! It would be an early morning as we were on the 6:30 AM shuttle, so we set the alarm for 5 AM.
Looks like a great day! You sure do pack in a lot in one day! All the pics looked great, but I just have to say that all of the pictures of Mt. McKinley look unreal! They look absolutely perfect, as if someone was painting a canvas! I just can't imagine what it was like seeing it in person! Can't wait to read more!
Huge Disney Fan...Always Have Been...Always Will Be!
What a wonderful update!! Thanks for all the info about Denali NP. We will be taking a train from Fairbanks to Denali and we are considering staying at the Princess Lodge - so it was great to see your pics of it.
Meeting Jacques in January 1976!! My first WDW trip.