After our visit to the Denali National Park, the part of our land tour was to go by coach to another Wilderness Lodge.
The coach journey took about two hours along almost empty roads, over Hurricane Gorge and with some great views especially of Mt Denali.
Friday 20th July
When I opened the curtains it was even brighter as the promised almost 24 hours of daylight was being delivered. At the breakfast buffet in the Denali theatre we used our $5 voucher.
This was the Sourdough Breakfast. The breakfast was an ‘all you could eat buffet’ and was only a few dollars more than we had paid the day before in the Main Lodge. I had scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes as well as an excellent cup of drip coffee. On the screen at the front of the theatre old film clips were being shown of prospectors digging, mushing dogs and panning for gold.
In the Main Lodge
Back in the Main Lodge in Reception we waited as coaches came in ones, two or even threes. Outside the guests were being marshalled for their tours or their next destination. On the TV screen there was a list displaying the coach arrivals and departures in the next 30 minutes. We were to be on coach ‘M5’ scheduled for 10 am. On the screen we learned that we could have upgraded to be back on the train down and travel down to the McKinley Lodge for only $109.
As we boarded our bus we were given a packet with our next room keys and itineraries for the next days.
Once our coach arrived we found ourselves with much the same people as we had sat with in the carriage on the train. This included the folks who complained about not being able to pay with credit cards. We did chat to the couple who had advised us to go on the long trip into the park. They had been on the 6 am tour and the bears had been only yards from the bus when they saw them. Their photos of bears and cubs were fabulous.
On our way to McKinley Lodge
Once we were on the way the driver gave us a running commentary pointing out places of interest as well as explaining the origin of some of the names of the places or rivers as we passed. We crossed the railway tracks and had views of rivers, mountains and lakes.
Honolulu Creek was so called because allegedly the prospectors planning it for gold that were having no luck and named the creek for a place where they would all go when they did eventually strike it rich.