Wednesday, June 20, 2012


 Alaskan's say "the mountain is out" they are refering to Mt. McKinley or "Denali" as most Alaskans call the 20,320 foot mountain, the tallest mountain in North America. We visisted Denali National Park with the North Carolina VBS team but were disappointed that the mountain was hidden by low clouds and mist.

The park was not established to preserve the mountain but to protect wildlife. Six million acres are the home ranges of moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves and grizzly bears. Again I'm having trouble up-loading pictures.

Visitors are able to drive private vehicles for the first 15 miles into the park. We boarded buses to travel for 8 hours into the park. In additon to the 36 species fo mamals, there are moe than 100 species of birds including the golden eagle which we saw. There is only one amphibian, a wood frog.  There are NO snakes.
 We saw the Big Four, moose, caribou, bear, and Dall sheep. This red fox appeared on the road and ran ahead of the tour bus for a short while.

There were several small flocks of Dall sheep high on the mountain cliffs. One group was close enough for us to photograph.

The gravel road into the park interior is winding and narrow as it follows the edge of a deep vally. When one bus approached a bus going in the opposite direction, we all prayed that the road was side enough for both. I seemed to be on the drop-off side. The road followed a braided river flowing with snow melt and silted water from the glaciers.

leaving Denali, we rushed the N. Carolina team to the airport for their return home. Returning to camp, and a well deserved rest, we spent this past week painting the inside and outside of the dining hall, chapel, and painting the trim. Then sanitized the bath houses, cleaned the guest house, and are presently working again at the church removing debris as the contractor is replacing the roof.

Summer has arrived. This morning's temp. was 55. Yesterday's high, 75. Tomorrow is summer solstice. Sun set at 12:15 a.m., sunrise at 3:13 a.m. 21 hours wwith the sun above the horison. However it's never dark now, only dusk.

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