Alaska 2018

Thursday August 9, 2018
Booze train to Denali

Friday August 10, 2018
Busride in Denali

Saturday August 11, 2018

07:55 Alaska time 08:55 California time
Dusty: Saw 2 ospreys and a few bald eagles on the train ride but no real exciting wildlife
Dusty:  Went to Jeff Miller's Husky Homestead dog sled tour last night (Kathy's pick, was excellent, is #1 rated activity on TripAdvisor for this area)
Dusty: saw a moose on the road both going and returning from dogs
Dusty:  8 hour bus trip into Denali today, should be good weather, got to see Denali some more on the train yesterday, but it was almost always obscured by trees along the tracks...


08:22 Alaska time 09:22 California time
Paul: Did they let Kathy keep the pup??

08:31 Alaska time 09:31 California time
Dusty: They don't let anyone keep the puppies.

08:33 Alaska time 09:33 California time
Dusty: Jeff King, won iditerod 4 times
Dusty:  One of his his daughters gave much of the presentation, she may run the iditerod in 2019 competing w her father

08:37 Alaska time 09:37 California time
Kent: Don't they juice those dogs like the TDF bike riders?

08:41 Alaska time 09:41 California time
Dusty: Our only other planned excursion is Mendenhall Glacier and whale watching out of Juneau

08:42 Alaska time 09:42 California time
Dusty: The didn't talk about juicing the dogs...
Dusty: they eat over 10-12k calories per day on the trail....dogs undergo full physicals, bloodwork, and ekg before the iditerod

08:43 Alaska time 09:43 California time
Dusty: In the 30s here this morning..
Dusty: waiting for bus

08:53 Alaska time 09:53 California time
Kent: Nice and cool! 
I find it hard to believe a musher would allow someone to spike his dogs food
Kent:  They pretty much live together
Kent:  Maybe the not failing NY times is just hunting  for click bait.


09:03 Alaska time 10:03 California time
Dusty: Interesting, I might have seen this at the time
Dusty:  I'd never heard of tramadol until i heard Lawson Craddock refused to take it after his fall

09:40 Alaska time
Savage River Valley

08:21 Alaska time 09:21 California time
Paul: About 20 minutes into your bus ride look Left up the Savage River Valley
Paul: About a mile from the road up that valley is where Mike and I had our first of two grizzly encounters

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Finally we got the 'the end of the road', at least for our tour. 
The road keeps going, but we're stopping here and turning around.
I took dozens of pictures.
We had a short 20 minutes at this spot.

Dusty: Saw a couple on bikes at the turnaround point
Dusty:  Was going to chat them up but then heard Russian, decided I didn't need the waste a few of the precious minutes we had at the spot figuring out how good their English was
Dusty: Kathy and I also decided they were having some sort of drama that I didn't need to get involved in....

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Dahl sheep
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After a very long but very satisfying day on the bus we went to Lynx Creek Pizza and Pub at the Denali Princess Winderness Lodge, which is right next door to the McKinley Chalet Resort.
It became apparent to even the uninformed cruise ship travellers like us that Holland America and Princess are two brands of the same company...

17:21 Alaska time 18:21 California time
Dusty: Saw 10 brown bears from too far away and 4 bull caribou, one right next to road
Dusty:  Dahl sheep from like a mile away
Dusty:  No moose
Dusty: Star of the show was Denali itself, got to see it from many vantage points and the view was nearly cloudless all day..
Dusty: they say only about 30% of visitors get a view this good, we were really lucky

17:25 Alaska time 18:25 California time
Dusty: Couple of the bears were asking for you, Paul...

17:46 Alaska time 18:46 California time
Paul: They must have passed on stories to the cubs of the two blonde idiots that got away....

17:49 Alaska time 18:49 California time
Kent: Nice Dusty!  It looks huge and cold
Kent:  Elevation gain from kahiltna landing strip is 13000ft
Kent:  Speed record is insane round trip in 11hr48min (33 miles)! 
My biggest vert was Weisshorn - elevation gain from hike start Randa was 10200ft with much thicker air and I spent 2 nights in the hut.

17:49 Alaska time 18:49 California time
Dusty: We were still like 40 miles from Denali at our closest point

17:51 Alaska time 18:51 California time
Dusty: Very few people can walk 33 miles in under 12 hours, that is simply nuts!

17:52 Alaska time 18:52 California time
Dusty: We never got above 4000' that I saw

17:53 Alaska time 18:53 California time
Dusty: Will probably never do that again, there's almost no way to beat our view..
Dusty: would be a huge disappointment to see a poorer view

19:05 Alaska time 20:05 California time
Dusty: Denali was a looming monster like I've only seen in pics of say k2 and Everest

19:07 Alaska time 20:07 California time
Dusty: Guide on bus tour was amazing, he's been doing this for decades and sounded like a television show
Dusty:  He did say a local brown bear was estimated at over 34 years old...

20:32 Alaska time 21:32 California time
Ray: Good timing!

21:15 Alaska time 22:15 California time
Dusty: Denali vertical gain is about 2x Whitney, distance is about 1.5x, and they both start at about 7000'
Dusty:  Took me around 13h or so to do Whitney in a day


Alaska 2018

Thursday August 9, 2018
Booze train to Denali

Friday August 10, 2018
Busride in Denali

Saturday August 11, 2018