This place is amazing

Trip Start Jul 12, 2010
Trip End Sep 24, 2010

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Where I stayed
Riley Creek Campground

Flag of United States  , Alaska
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

   I stayed up until 3 am working on this travel journal so slept until 8:45. I was so sure I was going to have time during a couple of these days at the Park to get it caught up but there are too many other things we want to do. Now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel - it will soon be current and I can do it daily or at least every couple days.
   There are a couple guided hikes each day that leave from the Visitor Center. We decided to go on the one to Horseshoe Lake. We could have walked there ourselves but I like having a Ranger to point out things that we wouldn't notice. So we first hiked to the Visitor Center, then to the Lake with the group and then back to the camper. We really enjoyed it and learned a lot again.
   It was a clear sunny day so we checked the live camera view of Mt. McKinley on our way through the Visitor Center. Sure enought, it was clear! The percentage of days that it is actually visible is quite small, can't remember for sure what it is. Sunday when we were on the tour we saw a small glimpse of one side of it when the clouds cleared and that was it. There will be additional viewing areas when we leave her and go south but the weather forecast is for cloudy and cooler later in the week.
   It was well past lunch time so we quickly ate something and decided to go into the Park. The closest viewing area is in the section that is open to anyone to drive and because we haven't used the regular shuttle buses into the Park so weren't sure how often they ran, we drove in ourselves. After all we've heard this week about the reason for the buses, it makes you feel guilty to put another vehicle on the road but time was short and we thought the odds were pretty good that we'd get a clear view. Well, no such luck. As usual, the sky above was completely clear with just a few whispy clouds but the view to the southwest was completely cloudy. We sat there for awhile and the clouds did thin so if you use your imagination you can see the outline in the one picture that Wayne took but we'll have to hope for a better day to get a clear picture.
    We stopped on our way in at the Wilderness Access Center to get our bus tickets for the Discovery Hike tomorrow and checked for the second time to find out if there was a campground cancellation so we could stay one more night. Yes, there was and we took it! 
   Then we hurried off to catch the bus to take us to the Dog Sled demonstration that is given three times a day near the Park Headquarters. The dogs are used in the Park in the winter when the roads are not maintained. They have enough dogs for three teams. The Ranger explained how they are trained and how they are used.
   I made stew for supper using some leftover steak and then we did laundry rather than go to the Campfire Program. They have a laundry here at the Mercantile next to the campground so it was very convenient. We also got our packs ready for the hike tomorrow.
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