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Denali National Park, Alaska

On 24th August, after driving north in the pouring rain, taking in Wasilla, but failing to see Russia, we arrived for a couple of nights camping in Denali National Park. There was limited visibility along the way and certainly no evidence of any mountain in the Alaska Range.

We arrived in Healy and had a few beers at 49th State Brewing Company, where you can see the replica of the Fairbanks City Transit System Bus 142, used in the movie "Into the Wild".

The following day we moved to Savage River Campground, 13 miles into Denali Park. We checked out the Dog sledding centre and then once we'd set up camp, we jumped on our bikes and had a quick cycle before finishing the day with a Ranger talk covering the local geology (living life - on the edge)....

The park is huge and no cars are allowed after the 15 mile mark, so next morning we put our bikes on the shuttle bus and took a ride 70 miles into the park. The weather was improving and we had sightings of moose, grizzly bears, caribou and Dall sheep. We got off the bus at Eielson Visitor Centre and cycled the next 20 miles to Wonder Lake. Great up and down ride with spectacular views of Mount Denali, North America's highest mountain at 20,310ft. The mountain is often obscured by summer's overcast or rainy weather, but Mount Denali and the surrounding peaks finally revealed themselves out of the clouds, apparently one of only 15 clear days so far this summer.

From Wonder Lake, we got the bus most of the way back, jumping off at Sable Pass for a 10 mile downhill ride, in the hope of catching sight of some more grizzly bears. The only animal we saw was a ground squirrel, quite harmless, but in the excitement Rachel managed to fall off her bike, the second accidental dismount in two days!!

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