alaska: day 10

Monday, day 10, was really about dogs.  Well, actually only about an hour of it, but they were just so cute and nice and I just loved them and after looking through all my pictures again, I just want to go back.

Anyways, Monday morning we took a bus from the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge to the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge.  Th weather at McKinley was rainy and chilly, so we were thankful when things cleared up a bit at Denali for us to spend time outside hiking (and with the dogs of course).

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Across the street from the Denali Princess Lodge was just a few eating establishments, but one in particular (the only one we tried, actually) I highly recommend.  We visited it twice in the 24 hours we spent in the area, and their black bean burgers (vegan!!) are excellent.

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Buses were a major theme of our trip, especially the land portion.  From the lodge, we took one into the park in order to do some hiking and see the sled dog demonstration.

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And now…the part we’ve all been waiting for…

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Believe it or not, sled dogs are legitimately a big part of Denali National Park (beyond just bringing in tourists like me).  Primarily, they help rangers get around in the winter when no other form of transportation is feasible.  The dogs did a demonstration, pulling some rangers on a sled around a small practice track, and then we were allowed to pretend like we were doing the same.  Before and after the demonstration, we were able to pet some of the dogs that weren’t sleeping and were feeling friendly!  It was so fun to learn more about these beautiful, hard working dogs and get so up close and personal.

After the demonstration, we decided to hike all the way back to the lodge, rather than taking the bus.  It turned into quite the trek, but it was so very beautiful and peaceful.

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We wrapped up the day with pizza at a restaurant at the lodge and an early bedtime, if I remember correctly, as we had a very early bus tour through Denali coming up the next morning…

Read more about our trip here (day 1 – embarkation), here (day 2 – at sea), here (day 3 – Ketchikan), here (day 4 – Juneau), here (day 5 – Skagway), here (day 6 – at sea), here (day 7 – at sea), here (day 8 – disembarkation and Anchorage), here (day 9 – train ride and Talkeetna).

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