Thursday, July 22, 2010

Savage River Valley

Yesterday afternoon we made our first foray into Denali National Park. The visitor's center has lots of information specific to the park, especially on the wildlife which exist there. We also were able to view a movie on scenes of the park during the four seasons, and a ranger gave a talk on the glaciers which are located in the park. Most vehicles can only drive fifteen miles into the park, which is the Savage River valley. From that point on there is a guard gate and only gravel roads. Below is a picture of the river valley, quite a picturesque area.
There is one large rock formation which dominates this river valley. My brother Wayne and I hiked up to the base of the top ridge. Below is a picture which I took from this viewpoint.  A corner of that rock is shown in the picture below.
 In the Savage River valley where we hiked yesterday there are quite a few wildflowers. Because of the short growing season they do not grow very tall but still managed to catch my attention yesterday with their striking colors. In the picture below there is the blue harebell, the white narcissus anemone and the shrubby yellow cinquefoil. Today we took a bus trip further into the interior of the park. More on that in my next posting.
On our way out of the park last evening we stopped at an overlook which was supposed to provide us a good view of the big mountain, Denali. Fortunately we were able to get a small glimpse of it. In the picture below it is the white half circle behind the mountain range in the foreground. If we get a clear day before we leave the area I may yet get a better picture of it.

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