Alaska forum We are finally on our way to denali.The weather has been sunny again, and the mountain is in full view.The drive to denali is fairly easy as the roads are in good condition.The scenery has changed again, and it isn as pretty as some that we have seen.Of course the view of denali kind of makes up for it all. We made only one stop on the way at denali view north to take some photographs.This is a very picturesque spot, and makes for some fantastic photos.Make sure to walk to the top of the trail,(Short walk)To photograph the mountain. We arrived at the park early, and had lunch at the entrance to the park.We are going to spend 3 nights inside denali national park at the north face lodge. Our bus left the station at 1:30pm and we were on our way.Not too far into the trip we saw our first bull caribu.Halfway through the trip we stopped at the east fork river for lunch.North face lodge puts out a very nice picnic spread for this stop. Back on the bus, we continued to see more wildlife.We saw a golden eagle, and a grizzly ichaelordicont bear with her three cubs.Along with the wonderful wildlife, are the unsurpassed mountain views.Polychrome pass did make me a little nervous however, since the drop off was quite steep, and we were literally at the edge of the road with no guardrails.I was at the window seat. We were nearing the end of the 90 mile journey, and our destination was in sight.I had just put away my camera when we rounded a bend and a moose and her calf came into view.Unreal!It couldn get any better than this. We arrived at the lodge at around 8:30 and were warmly greeted by the staff.They had some refreshments for us.As we relaxed with our coffee etc.We were given our room assignments.We decided to retire early ichaeloronlinehop for tomorrow was a new day. Up early today, for the lodge serves breakfast at 7:30am.A bell rings and you are summoned to breakfast.We met the rest of the staff today.Everyone here is extremely nice.All the folks here are from different backgrounds, and have settled in alaska and at the lodge for different reasons.At breakfast we were told of the different activities available for the day.We chose the"Moderate"Hike.Our naturalis guide was named tayler. We started out behind the lodge, and were soon lost to the wilderness.We hiked along and were introduced to the plants that were growing along the wayside.Our guide was very informative and kept up a running commentary on the plants, and on alaska history.Along the path, in a boggy area we saw the tracks of a moose and her calf.We also saw some caribu tracks, and some wolf scat. The wildfloweres here are abundant, and varied.It was very interesting to learn their names and their growth habits. A ground frog was spotted along the path, and we learned that they are a rare sight here in alaska. Walking on the tundra was a unique experience.It is very spongy and wet beneath your feet.It feels like you a walking on a soft matress.We had to climb up a steep hill, throught this tundra, in order to continue our hike. Finally at the top, and out of breath, we got to feel the permafrost beneath our feet.This was another unique alaskan experience. We continued our journey to our lunch destination, which was at wonder lake.We all agreed not to climb another mountain(Really a large hill)To picnic on the summit overlooking the lake.By this time, the entire group was pretty well tuckered out.Lunch at the lake was very nice.Wonder lake is very beautiful.It sits in the valley and is surrounded by mountains that are covered with various leves of vegetation.Lunch here was a very nice respite from the hike. Alas!Lunch was over, and the walk back to the lodge began.We did take the easy route back, and walked along the gravel path to our destination.Along the way we got to see a beaver at work, and some very beautiful wild irises. Back at the cabin we took a rest before our dinner bell rings at 6pm.The dinner tonight was very good.We dined on steak, garlic mashed potatoes, and broccoli.Most of michael kors uk sale the vegetables that are served here are grown in a greenhouse that is located on the property.From the salad that preceeded dinner, to the flourless chocolate cake for dessert, all was enjoyed. We did not attend the naturalist talk tonight, because we were tired from the hike.The naturalist was presenting a slide show on the life of the caribu. Resting for the night was our pick of the evening.All in all another magical day here in alaska. We opted to take the naturalist foray today.This was to be a little less strenuous than yesterday.We will also get to spend some time at eilson visttors center which i am looking foward to. The naturalist foray today was unbelievable.We saw some fantastic plants and animals.Some of the animals that we saw were moose, muskrat, beaver and fox.We also saw anothe grizzly bear. Some of the birds were the american wigeon, ring neck duck, willow ptarmigan(The alaska state bird)And a trumpeter swan. We walked along a short social trail to find a spot for lunch, when someone spotted a bear den.The guide led my husband and i, up the hill to view the den up close.All the others decided not to do the climb.Never in my lifetime did i ever think that i could see and experience this.What a perfect spot for a lunch break. After lunch we went to the eileson visitors center.Here we saw the bear.The bear was walking on the trail that people were using.The park ranges went into action and got everyone safely off the trail. After leaving the visitors center we walked along the tundra to look for wildflowers.The wildflowers grow abundantly in alaska, even though the growing season is very short.We saw 23 different wildflowers in a very short distance.The flowers are of various colors and sizes, and are extremely beautiful. Back at the lodge we readied ourselves for dinner, which tonight was salmon.I opted for the vegetarian dish which was tofu.The dinner was preceeded by a black bean soup, and dessert was a mango orange custard with sauce on top. We did not attend the naturalist lecture series this evening either.The lecture was to be about hunting and trapping in denali national park.We decided to relax and get ready for our 5am wakeup call.Tomorrow we say goodby to the north face lodge and denali national park. Camp denali, and north face lodge are the only accommodations in denali national park with views of mt mckinley.It is 90 miles into the park and is on a gravel road.The lodge is small and can hold about 36 guests. Staying here was like a dream come true.The staff here made everyone feel very much at home.Being able to go out into the alaska wilderness with a trained naturalist was beyond my wildest dreams.The sights, the sounds, and the smells, will forever be imprinted on my mind.This is the real alaska.