Stories From the Denali Road

 Our Denali Humor


 On our 2014 road lottery road trip Weekend, we had fun coming up with fun stories along the road, that we want to share them with you.

Danelle’s stories will be in Purple, Tony’s will be in Red.  In no way are we trying to offend anyone, and if we do, please forgive us.  We will try to make this family friendly.

 Early to be Rude, late to see Anything,

Two of us got to Salvage River early and was parked off to the side waiting for the gate to open. This car comes up, passes us and another truck before almost hitting the stop sign and then waits as the rangers set up for the day.  We caught up to him later, flying down the road at at least 35mph and not even looking for wildlife!  It was like he went to wonder lake to do a selfie, sad thing, he had two teens in the car, wonder how they are around other people..   Slow down, you can’t see anything through dust, and neither can we!!!IMG_3017[1]

Flock of ptarmigans-

While listening to Danelle’s blah blah blah, I was singing 80’s songs in my head…about the time I was getting to the song “I ran”, a “flock of ptarmigans”  flew out of the bushes! Lol if u don’t get it see our foot notes.

Aminals…. yes you read this right!

We started soooo early this morning, it was still dark. I swear the animals were as tired as I was and decided to sleep in.  After the sun finally started to shine a little light on the subject, we were frantically searching for our first sighting. Looking all over God’s green, orange and yellow earth, I looked at Tony; after what felt like hours of nothing; with the straightest face I can muster and said “We have been on Facebook and the front page of every newspaper earlier this weekend. You missed out! We are NOT in the mood to be seen today!”

I swear if the temperamental aminals could flip a bird, they would or at least stick their tongues out for a few raspberries. 😛

Carol M’s mile post-

So we where traveling along and came up on a mile post that said, 76.8, we both laughed and thought about a friend of ours who one night at her house, kept saying, I bought 6.3 lbs of chicken wings, so that should be enough…   Well we went hungry that night cause it wasn’t enough chicken wings… but thought of her today….

Denali was a tease and wouldn’t give a total flash–

Okay talking to the guys out there, you know how women wear stockings or sexy clothes to tease us.. Well this mountain was wearing some sexy clouds, but only on the top!  I know this sounds so wrong but this is how we dealt with not seeing the great one!  All day long the clouds on top, would move to the left or right, but never showing us her Peaks!


Mental Fowl…

Granted we see ducks quite often, but these were no ordinary ducks.  One of the first good size ponds we come to there are three ducks.  We park to check them out and all of a sudden they all dive. Not just feeding with heads in the water, but complete submersion.  So we wait expecting them to pop back up. We see air bubbles but no ducks.  After about 10 minutes of waiting I asked if ducks can commit suicide or is it actually possible for them to swim under water for long periods of time.  We determined they were suicidal and we had just witnessed their demise.

Not two ponds down, we tried our luck again with more ducks.  This time we couldn’t get a clear picture of their heads and the synchronized swimming but rather their angst and their decision to moon us. Not just once but continually until we decided we had been disrespected enough. I swear they did it on purpose. 


Don’t go around me – while wobbling

So one of the longest parts of our trips, was caused by a “discussion”.  Now if you are married, you know that really means an argument!  The one thing about an “argument” is the women always think they are going to win.  

So we are on this long narrow stretch of road and we come up to a grader, with the normal sign, “stay back 50ft P1010528

Since I work in a haul truck at a local mine, I know how this works. So I start moving up on this guy to pass, when Danelle freaks out, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Sign says stay back 50ft”  I laughed and started to gain ground on this guy to pass, when she mentioned it again… so as we “discussed”,  I would move up, and fall back…  Finally the grader came to a stop, and driver got out, Danelle was like, “See you made him mad!”  He came back and asked why I didn’t pass him all the chances I had… I turned to Danelle and said, “Well? Hon, why didn’t we pass him?”  She didn’t say much… about that time a ranger pulled up with lights and got out and approached us. He asked how we where doing, then asked if I had been drinking?  I was like “no sir, not since last night”, and he said “well you where wobbling down the road.”   I said “yes sir, that is what the writing says”.  He told me not to get smart with him.  I pointed at the grader P1010530it says to “follow me wobbly”!  So two lessons in this story.

  • One, don’t obey everything you read.
  • Secondly, when you are right, IT’S A LONG RIDE BACK. I think she tried to push me out of the truck once when the bear was walking by it.


You know Flat Stanley, we had Flat Moose…

The first moose we saw was hard to recognize.  She stood so still and was looking right at us. At first I thought she was a decoy put out so that the animals would get a laugh, but then saw the bull standing not far from her. I swear you could hear him say ” Martha, don’t move or they are gonna shoot ya!”  So she stood like a statue as to not be seen.

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Wonder Lake or Kantishna….. Decisions, decisions…

We went to both.  First toured Wonder Lake, looking for possible camping spots for next year.  I really want to camp in the true wilderness before I get too much older. Do bears scare me, not really. What scares me the most is the amount of mosquitoes that will be around the lake if we camp there.

The road to Kantishna continued to go forever.  We saw a few lodges and wondered if anyone lived there full time.  Turned around and thought about possibly staying in the cabins there. Thought about how we would get back there in the summer time without our own vehicle and other logistics.  While contemplating all the possibilities and enjoying the sounds of fall, Tony jumps about a “ghost truck” that appeared behind us out of no where.  We were pretty sure we turned around at the end of the road, so where did this guy come from.  Made us wonder even more and begin to pray for a safe return home.

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I was so excited to see him, I started pointing and yelling “BOO, BOO!”  Tony slammed on the brakes so we could take pictures.  We scanned far and wide with the binoculars to see the rest of the herd, but this caribou was all alone.  We sat and visited with him, taking his picture and admiring his rack.  What a beautiful animal.

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 BEAR to DIE for-

So we were checking out the hillside, seeing SNOW.  Then out of nowhere the snow had legs. A man comes up to ask what we are looking at, I told him Dall Sheep…. He glanced up at the mountain, and said, “IF you want to see a bear to die for,he is down about 3 miles! He is huge”   So we were like okay, but as we drove those three miles to see this bear to Die for, our minds wondered.   Are they throwing tourist to him to keep him around so us Alaskans can get great shots of him?  Or you take his photo and he eats you, but your family can brag, Check out this awesome photo dad got before the bear ate him?    Things that make you go hmmm…


cropped (162 of 441)This bear traveled across the road about 3 cars in front of us, then after 30 minutes crossed the road again right behind our truck.  I swear he nudged the bumper.  Tony wouldn’t roll his window down to get a great close up, which he said was my fault.  “I would have if you weren’t with me.  I get over cautious when you are with me.”  (In other words, he would take bigger risks if he wasn’t worried about me.)  I told him I would have been half way out the window trying to get the shot no matter who was in the car.  I love that he loves me so much to actually protect our family from the unforeseen and unpredictable.


Towards the end of our long day, we started seeing fewer and fewer animals.  I was getting depressed ’cause all I wanted to see was more.  More bears, more moose, more sheep, more caribou…More of all, but so many miles were just beautiful scenery with out any foreseeable animals.  We started praying to see something on our way out.  God didn’t disappoint.  A few different pairs of moose and dall sheep being chased by a bear atop the mountain ridge, only to be seen through binoculars but we did see them…. YAY!!!

We hope next year we win the lottery again and are able to share this adventure with our kids! We hope you enjoyed our fun trip, we enjoyed being silly and poking fun at our wonderful adventure.

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