Rainy, cool weather is the norm this summer in Alaska, and the locals aren’t happy about it, as their summer outdoor fun is part of a cherished heritage. One guy told me that he considers summer any month where he didn’t need skis to get around, roughly April through October, depending on latitude.
Camp was Denali North View, a parking lot with outhouses, but a fine view of Denali (Mt. McKinley) on the rare occaisions the clouds reveal it. Jesse & Angel pack their gear for the overnight hike and Celeste takes them to the trailhead while Rudi indulges in his various vices alone with his warped thoughts.
Kesugi Ridge is a high, isolated trail, on the high alpine tundra above bears and their ilk. The down side is its a high alpine trail exposed to the elements, and that is what they are going to get as a storm is moving in.
They got little sleep as high winds and rain battered them all night. Rudi loaned them his light weight camp stove and propane canister telling them “there’s plenty of gas in that there can”, which of course ran out before they could fix their dinner. With little sleep or food they faced the morning wind and rain only to find a map error meant they actually had almost 20 miles to hike, instead of the fourteen miles they had planned on.
We’ll return to them later.
Celeste and Rudi move camp to Byers Lake to wait the hikers. Having done a little math of their own, they realize the extra miles will be a problem. Rudi is thinking “more grog for me”, while Celeste worries about their welfare. Must be a “Mars/Venus” thing.
Rudi sees what he believes is a potential campsite for the night, if they have to wait for the hikers.
Angel and Jesse arrive having made the correct decision to cut down a shorter trail and hitchhike down to Byers Lake after a 14-mile hike, and the group sets off to Denali National Park. The boys get to ride in the rain again, but it’s only 100 miles or so, and they are getting used to it after nearly three weeks on the road.
They enter Denali National Park and head to their campsite 13 miles in at Savage River. Rudi loves these names: Savage River, Tatlanika, Moose Jaw, etc. where they camp night after night. Days Inn, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Pierre, Waldorf, etc. eat your civilized hearts out!
Tomorrow at 7 a.m. we head into the Park and for 8 hours search for wildlife. With Angel and Jesse doing the looking, success is guaranteed. Rudi has trouble finding that outhouse, much less a moose at a mile off.
Great bear photos from Angel will be offered up next post.
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Rudi G & Jesse