Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Busy Day for Bears

It had been raining during the night and was not looking like a good day for travel in the park.  The weather seemed to settle down a little later in the morning, so we decided we would take a bus into Toklat and back.  We knew we didn’t want to have the same bus driver as the last two days as he seemed to be more concerned about keeping his schedule and didn’t really seem alert to wildlife.  He had been driving the Eielson bus, so we were going to avoid that one and take the Toklat bus instead.  However, when the Eielson bus pulled up to our stop, it was a different driver, there was room on the bus, so we went with it.  Altogether today, we probably saw at least 7 different grizzly bears throughout the park, and the sightings started early with this one.


The bus stopped by the caribou antlers left by the wolf kill from a few days ago.  A raven was feeding off what was left.


A herd of dall sheep was high on the hillside.


Our next grizzly bear was running around frantically.  As quick as it was moving, Ken thought that it’s mother may have abandoned it to fend for itself while she goes on to conceive her next cub or cubs.


Here’s our third bear to cooperate for the camera.


I wish the photo of this next bear would have turned out better, but it stayed in the brush a little too much.  It had much darker coloring than the other grizzlies we’ve been spotting in the park.


This grizzly photo turned out pretty good.


We also saw several caribou today.  This photo shows a couple of them and the big fellow on the hill has a large set of antlers.


We continued to Eielson Visitor Center where we looked around a little, but didn’t get a view of the mountain as it was cloud covered once again.

On the way back to the campground, we saw the herd of dall sheep again and got a better photo than earlier in the day.


We also saw a golden eagle but it wasn’t close enough to get a good picture.

And finally, this is a photo of Ken posing with our bus driver Anna.  She has got to be the best bus driver in the 2 years that we have explored in Denali National Park.  She has a terrific outgoing personality and is very knowledgeable of the park’s wildlife.  She also talked quite a bit about the wildflowers and described their appearance, and gave their common name as well as the Latin name.  If in the future you visit the park and see her driving, you’re in for a good ride.


Tonight is our third night at Teklanika Campground and tomorrow will be our last day in the park.

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