DLTK's Alaska Road Trip
Day 9:  Denali National Park to Anchorage

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Photo by Leanne
Ruby loved the RV trip!!

We got to sleep in a little bit this morning because mom had booked a tour in Denali at about 9am.  And it was not just any tour – it was a whitewater rafting tour down the Nenana River!

We headed to the tour building after a hearty breakfast in the RV. Mom signed all the paperwork (in other words signed our lives away) and we donned our dry suits.  They were quite the challenge to get into.  We had to squish our heads through the tight rubber “gaskets” that were part of the suits, but they sure did work well at keeping us warm and dry.

We drove down the road with Smokey our driver who chatted with dad about the area and the Stanley Cup.  Then we stopped to pick up Jack, our safety boat driver and Shandra our guide.  Kaitlyn thought that she was really cool.

Off we went on our raft.  Shandra did all the paddling, steering and tour guiding while we just sat back, enjoyed the view, asked questions and snapped photos.  We didn’t see any wildlife except for a lot of mosquitoes, but we loved the mountain views and we saw quite a few waterfalls and streams leading into the river.

Halfway into our 7-hour adventure we stopped for a tasty lunch of sandwiches, chips, plums and desserts.  Our picnic spot was at a little sand bar island in the middle of the river – too cool!

A bit down the river we stopped again to meet up with another shorter tour.  Up until this time we’d been on fairly calm water (a mom ride) but from this point forward it was all class 2 whitewater with a couple of class 3 spots.  We hung on tight and the girls squealed and giggled as we entered the more bumpy parts. Everyone took turns being splashed by the icy cold water – though mom seemed to take her turn more often then the rest.

At the end of our ride we thanked Shandra profusely for the terrific time and Kaitlyn got a few photos of her new friend.

Although it had already been a long and exciting day it was far from over.  We drove to the Denali Visitor Center so we could return our discovery pack and Kaitlyn could get her Junior Ranger Badge.  The ranger announced her accomplishment to everybody at the Center in a big booming voice.  Kaitlyn was so proud.

We continued driving for another few hours until we reached Anchorage – we stopped just outside the city at the Eagle River Campground.

We were all a bit nervous when the sign said penitentiary to the right, campground straight ahead and joked nervously about the company we would be keeping, but nothing scary happened.

We did not have to make supper that night because we had stopped in Wasilla for McDonalds on the way, but we still let Kaitlyn make a small practice fire since she’d been waiting for so long to be on campfire duty.

Dad took Ruby for a walk on his way to the pay station and ran into a baby moose.  Silly dog tugged toward the moose like she wanted to play with it.  Dumb Dog!!

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DLTK's Alaska Road Trip Index