Tuesday, July 19, 2011

ATVing at Denali National Park

Denali (or Mt. McKinley known to most history books) is the tallest mountain in the United States.  It's about a 4-5 hour drive from our house and on a clear day you can see the mountain from Anchorage. Amazing.  Matt and I hadn't headed up there yet, so we were anxious to check that off our list.  Denali National Park is HUGE.  You can only take a school bus back in there (to preserve wildlife) except if you win the lottery to take your car in on the one designated day a year.  The bus will drop you off anywhere you want when you let them know to stop, but you can take it for 6 hours straight and never leave the park.  HUGE.
We made it to the official sign on this trip. And commemorated our experience by taking a picture.

Denali/Mt. McKinley (name is argued over, locals only refer to it as Denali) only "comes out" a handful of times a year.  It's usually pretty cloudy.  But with our good fortune (and visitors who brought awesome weather with them) we actually got to see the mountain in all it's glory. 
Because no motorized vehicles are allowed in the actual park, there is this section that was basically cut out of the park for mining back in the day. So we could ride around in there.

Due to it being such a tourist attraction, there was many many photo ops throughout the riding - basically a 1:1 ratio of riding: picture taking.   Not my ideal, but it was still fun.
The gang: Kyle, Paige, me and Matt
My riding buddy. 
Paige didn't want to drive and it worked out well that it was safer to be in a 2-person with seat belts for me. Perfect.

The boys rode single ATVs
Enjoying the creek beds...and actually staying dry!
Learning to skip rocks at a photo op

Matt making sure the baby is okay after a bumpy ride.

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