Alaska week continues with us missing the bus from Wonder Lake Campground and spending the morning staring in wonder at Mt. McKinley.
But first a quick recap.
Thus far we slept in an airport full of stuffed animals, hiked through Alaska’s oldest national park, crossed a stream teaming with fish on our way to the raptor center, explored downtown Sitka, ate the best King Crab ever, slept in a cabin by a shrine, camped beside a glacier (and saw a bear!), took a death-defying puddle jumper to Gustavus and hiked to one of my most favorite places in the world, hopped on a boat and spotted whales, seal, puffins, eagles, moose, bear, and calving glaciers,ate hands down one of the most memorable meals of our lives, got trapped in an airport for hours, then took a road trip up around the Kenai Peninsula, paddled down the Moose River (and saw a moose!), hunted for blueberries and stayed in a haunted hotel, hiked up to Exit Glacier before making camp at Denali National Park, took a 5.5 hr camper bus through Denali to Wonder Lake Campground and got caught in a rainstorm while hiking to Reflection Pond. When the alarm went off at 4 something in the morning we both took one look at each other and immediately decided that we weren’t getting on the early shuttle. We reset our alarms and went right back to sleep.
With all the traveling, constant early morning wake ups, and extended daylight hours, our internal clocks were all kinds of jacked up. We awoke just in time to have breakfast perched atop our picnic table and catch the last bits of sunrise. Mt. McKinley stood shrouded in clouds for most of the morning but they soon shifted revealing a view even more spectacular than the days before. Once again we felt as if we were in a totally fake environment — a place too saturated, too vibrant, too larger than life, too magical to ever exist on Earth.