6:00am - no coffee, the whole world feels like its spinning and I am staring at this prison bus which is to be my home for the next 13 hours. Lord please protect the other passengers.
After all the non-stop vehicular travel of the past few days, my equilibrium is way off. Each time I stand still, I can't decide if we're having an earthquake or I'm going to pass out. I debated opting out of this adventure because blowing chunks on a packed out school bus is no one's idea of fun. But, I do hate to miss out on anything, so I sucked it up, located an emergency bag and boarded. I'm glad I went -- best cure for that spinning feeling -- just keep moving.
Eric, knowing I'm not the best road tripper, had the foresight to grab a map & point out how far we were along the journey as we went. Genius! We also met a guy from Emerald Isle that had driven his motorcycle all the way here. Crazy, but it made passing the time between animal sightings more enjoyable.
Speaking of animal sightings -- moose, caribou, sheep, grizzlies and some of the most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen.
The park road was gravel, very narrow and many times on the edge of a big drop (no guardrail). As a kid, my dad would take me and a bunch of other kids skiing in the mountains of Virginia on a rickety old 4-H bus much like the one we rode today. I remember being so scared that we would drive off a cliff and die that I would force myself to go to sleep so I wouldn't feel it. Same level of terror today but no sleeping for fear I'd miss the scenery. It was amazing, untouched and beautiful.
We saw the top of mount McKinley. Pictures can't do justice to the vastness of that mountain.
We stopped at a lodge in the park for lunch where we also learned to pan for gold.
I believe I made reference to Ocracoke sized Mosquitos in an earlier post. Ocracoke ain't got nothing on this place! I was afraid the mosquitos would carry my kids off like some bird of prey. We tried to get some photos, but no one could stand still very long.
Our guide told us two stories about them. One which resulted in someone being air lifted out of the park due to the unbelievable amount of mosquito bites. The other in which a man was literally driven crazy by the things. I believe them both. I am a coastal NC girl that lives in a swamp and I have never seen anything like this in my life!
After dinner we even caught what was as close as you'll get to an Alaskan sunset this time of year.
All in all, it was a good day. One of those condor mosquitos has made its way into our cabinlet. I'm off to bludgeon the thing to death so we can get some sleep!