When Harry and Sally, met Laura and Doug
We went to the Wilderness Centre in Denali Park and got all of our credentials and rules and regulations for staying in the park. There are many. Sort of like staying at your Mom’s. The biggest one is once your go and park in your campsite, you cannot leave by your own transportation. You must take their shuttle system. There are green buses and yellow buses. The yellow buses are tour buses and have drivers who provide narration. The green buses just take you from place to place. These drivers know the park inside out but may choose not to say anything. Don’t you love Government? I asked how do we get on the yellow buses and the ranger convinced me that you do not need these buses, the green ones are the best as they are nice and quiet but if you ask questions, the drivers will answer. I am hoping she is correct as I have a lot of questions. Fortunately Tig met a Ranger friend and so all was good.
Off we go and hit the checkpoint about 20 minutes later. It reminds me of going into East Berlin 30 years ago but their outfits are more like the Boy Scouts, and the rangers are smiling. A very nice woman checks our credentials and asks us if we have enough water and food for five days. She didn’t ask about wine, this confused me.
We keep driving and see no Grizzly bears or wolves and Doug is concerned. He read the brochure and many were guaranteed. We do however see lots of Willow Ptarmigans and they are real and spectacular! You can understand why people thought they were chickens. I could see popping one on the spit, delicious!
We arrive at the camp.
You can choose any campsite you wish. We drive around twice and park. Out pops the neighbour across the way. “Hi, I’m Harry. Welcome to the neighbourhood. Harry left Massachusetts in May with his wife and dog and another couple. The wife, and pals are on the green bus heading to the end of the 92 mile road. Harry is staying with the dog. Harry gives us the lay of the land and we settle in. Doug is fighting a sore throat and sinus issues and decides to have a nap. I go exploring.
We saw a Spruce Grouse on the way in so I decide to go and see if it is still there. I get to the road and Gray Jays are going crazy across the road. In case you don’t know, the Gray Jay has been named the Canada Bird. Lots of controversy, so this may have changed since we have been away. Anyway, they are chirping and flying all over when I realize they are dive bombing a Northern Hawk Owl. How lucky for me as I have never seen this owl before. I think about going to get Doug, but he really needs to rest and the light is terrible. Hopefully we will find the owl again.
I find the Spruce Grouse strutting around. The males have quite the display. Give it a Goggle if you have the time, a beautiful bird.
I head back to camp and meet Harry walking his dog. I tell him about the owl. Turns out his wife, Sally is a birder and he is an SOB (spouse of a birder). So, he is only slightly interested in my find, but assures me he will tell his wife as she will want to know.
Sally pops by about 5pm. I am delighted to sit down with her and share stories. She has had a wonderful day on the green bus. Lots of wildlife. It is cocktail hour and Doug has arisen from his slumber. He brings us wine and we all sit and chat. As we are sitting, a red squirrel enters the engine compartment of the front of the RV. Sally tells us about how a red squirrel entered their driving companions RV last week and ate insulation and wiring. I jump up and bang on the hood and the squirrel runs out. This isn’t good. Sally tells us she has a animal repellent that they put under the hood and offers us one. We say yes and we go over to her RV and fetch one. How lucky are we to meet these people? Sure hope this works.
We have a lovely BBQ, walk out to the road to see if the owl has returned ( he has not) and climb in for the night. The weather is amazing, 65 and sunny. Excited for tomorrow’s adventureThis entry was posted in Uncategorized