DLTK's Alaska Road Trip
Day 8:  Fairbanks to Denali National Park

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Photo by Leanne Guenther
Sled dog demonstration in Denali National Park

We decided to tour a bit before breakfast this morning on the off chance we found a cool restaurant to stop at. Mom had originally planned an exciting ride on the gold mine train only to discover that the train doesn’t run on Saturday mornings (we were assuming this had something to do with the schedule of the bus tours and the cruise ships, as Saturday seems an odd day to shut down!)

Instead we returned to the Pioneer Park – which had also turned out to be closed on Saturday mornings.  Odd! But its playground area was available so we let the girls enjoy some free time.  After striking out twice we decided to leave Fairbanks and head for Denali National Park.  We had PB & J sandwiches on the road for lunch and the girls watched a movie.

We arrived in Denali and headed for the visitor center.  Kaitlyn signed up to be a Jr.  Ranger program and borrowed the extra activity pack complete with binoculars track casting kit.  We watched a slide show about the park and learned that only park buses are allowed to drive on the park road to help keep the wildlife safe.

We hopped on the bus to the sled dog demonstration.  We got to walk around and pet the dogs and then listened to the rangers talk about how the dogs are still used in the park to help deliver supplies to remote cabins.  It was very interesting and the girls loved the dogs.

After our visit to the National Park we decided to check out our campground.  We were disappointed to find out that we weren’t allowed campfires in our area (they only had group sites).  So we decided to go to a restaurant at one of the nearby lodges.

We picked the fanciest one we could find and trooped in smelling like campfire, bug spray and who knows what else.  The dining room wasn’t open yet so we enjoyed appetizers in the bistro next door. Mom loved the bagels, cream cheese, capers and Lox (smoked salmon) combo and we got to try the Alaskan King Crab Legs.  YUM!

After that we were seated in the restaurant and we had a wonderful supper, Mom and Dad had seafood.  It’s so much better when it’s fresh!

Considering that we were at a wildlife rich National Park, we didn’t see much wildlife.  We did see a few squirrels at the dog show and we are pretty sure one of them was a Northern Flying Squirrel.  We also saw a moose in the river by our restaurant.

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