traveling to Alaska, one never knows what might be in store as far as the
weather is concerned. For the most part,
we have had three months of the most amazing weather anyone could hope
for. I guess it’s our turn for some
since we arrived in Denali almost two weeks ago, it has rained virtually
nonstop. Yes, there were a few nice days
last week (when we were sick!), but all I can remember is rain, and more
rain. I hate to complain, but even the locals
are sick of this weather.
been so much rain that the park road has been closed on and off due to mud
slides. Yesterday, the road was closed at
mile 53 because of snow! Yes, snow in
August! I’m just not believing it. The temperatures have really plummeted as
well, and it will likely dip below freezing during the next few nights. Highs are only in the low 40s where we are. Brrr!
Now, to top everything off, the park is under a winter weather advisory
until noon tomorrow! Seriously?
|Baby, It's Cold Up Here|
|You've Got to Be Kidding!|
most full-time RVers would take this as a sign to get those wheels moving and
head to someplace warmer, Tim and I are committed to working at Denali National
Park through next Friday. Tim is
conducting an on-site archival survey and accessioning project, and the work is
going well. This project is not as
glamorous as cataloging a historic photograph collection, but it’s an essential
part of museum management.
with Denali has been a bit different than previous ones with other parks. Typically, Tim and I work together, with each
of us undertaking different components of the same project. Here, Tim has been focused on his project,
while I have been doing whatever needs to be done to help the park’s museum
curator. I do get to work with Tim on
occasion, but mostly I’ve been doing other tasks. The staff has been great to work with, and I’ve
been learning lots of new things, which I always enjoy.
|Hard at Work|
and I have had to spend a lot of time walking from building to building in the
park headquarters area, where the roadways are under construction. I have to confess that my most enduring
memory of working at Denali National Park will undoubtedly be this endless
construction, constant rain and slippery mud.
Employees at the park have had to deal with construction for the last
three years, and I really do feel for them.
They are ready for it to be over.
|Walking Through the Rain and Mud|
|Dodging Construction Equipment|
the perks of volunteering at least 32 hours per week at Denali National Park is
that our campground fees are covered by the park. That is especially nice when the rates top
$40 per night for full hookups.
Volunteers are also encouraged to get out into the park, and we are
given a voucher for a trip on one of the park shuttle buses.
friend Kathleen has gone out of her way to make our lives very easy while we are
here. Not only did she let us stay with
her last weekend, but she also picked up groceries for us while she was in
Fairbanks last Monday. The tiny markets
here only carry a few items, so that was a huge help. Kathleen also gives us a ride to and from
work every day, which is especially nice since we are traveling without a car
in Alaska. We can leave Kitty behind at
the campground and not have to try and find a place to park the RV.
|Watching the Trees Change Colors Day by Day on Our Way Home From Work|
actually took the day off today (volunteers are only required to work 32 hours
per week), since our propane gauge registered empty. Although I had thought about using my bus voucher
to venture farther into the park today, my priority was driving to the nearby
town of Healy to fill up with propane so we would have heat tonight. I also wanted to see if I could find a somewhat
larger space heater than our tiny one.
Have I mentioned that it’s been really cold? The
trip was a success.
left, however, I decided to drive the RV to mile 15 in the park, which is as
far as private vehicles are permitted.
At least I would get to see a little bit of the park today. Much of the landscape was enshrouded in
clouds, and visibility was limited, but the drive was still beautiful. It even snowed for a while, but the sun tried
to peek through the clouds from time to time.
|Driving the Park Road|
|Hoping for the Sun to Peek Out|
snow blanketed the nearby mountains, and fall colors reminded me that winter is
not far away in this part of the world.
The snow added a new element to the park experience.
|Loving the Fall Colors|
|Walking Along the Savage River|
|Looking Down at the River|
|Deciding that It's Just Too Cold for a Hike|
|Noticing the Little Things - Snow on Mushrooms|
|Enjoying the Breathtaking Views|
|Hoping to See Wildlife|
|Admiring the Snow-Covered Mountains|
rutting season has already begun, and photographers were lined up along the side of
the road to capture the action. I
stopped and watched for a short while, and I was even able to see a bull moose
in the distance – the first one for me this summer.
|That Seems Quite Tasty|
|I Can See You|
Brrr! It sure looks like more like October or November in the photos.. But the snow is very pretty from where I sit:) Love the bull moose...gorgeous antlers! Hope it warms for you and sun appears before you have to leave!ReplyDelete
Autumn has definitely arrived in Denali, and the colors are really gorgeous. I'm glad you can appreciate the snow from a distance! Ha! The weather is supposed to improve next week, so I'm crossing my fingers.Delete
As hot as it has been in Rome, I sure would enjoy some of your cold temperatures now. Sorry the weather has not been cooperating for you ... but I must say Denali is beautiful with all those fall colors ... enjoy what you can. Heard a few weeks ago that Mt McKinley will officially become Denali (if it hasn't already) ... I think it's only right that the name be changed back to its original.ReplyDelete