* Here is the conclusion to thrilling saga of our vacation hunting trip! If you’d like to start at the beginning, please click here. *
In the morning, The Bull climbed the ridge again to confirm that the herd of caribou had, indeed, moved on. There was no point in staying there any longer, so we loaded the kids up in their jammies and got an early start headed west. We ate snacks for breakfast and looked for animals for a few hours.
Soon, The Bull saw a cow caribou with a calf. He decided to get a closer look; if the calf was male, he’d be legal. I got a picture as he was heading out.
I spent a little time picking up purple rocks. Real, honest-to-goodness purple rocks! Not maroon or red.
Anyway, The Bull he got closer to the caribou sooner than he expected and scared them off. So we rolled on down the road a ways. I took a couple of “kids in jammies” shots.
The littlest, munching on her cheez-and-crackers.
The oldest, trying to touch his chin with his tongue.
The middle one, a.k.a. “the green kangaroo,” making a scary face. (I am totally grossed out by the dirt in them fingernails!! UGH!)
Finally, late morning-ish, we stopped for breakfast. I didn’t feeling well so I laid down in the truck while The Bull scrambled up eggs and potatoes. I decided to look out over the valley, thinking, “Wouldn’t it be funny if I saw a caribou while we’re sitting here?”
Sure enough! Can you see it?
No? OK, lemme zoom in a little. . .
I took over breakfast duties while The Bull chased down what ended up being a cow caribou off on a solitary morning stroll. Before long, we had full bellies and were on the road again.
We continued on slowly for the next four or six hours, but we didn’t see anything more exciting. We stopped again at the Brushkana campground for a late lunch, but we didn’t stay long.
However, a few miles down the road we saw this.
And yes, of course, it’s a cow. But this time it’s a moose! Another motorist came up fast and zoomed around us, which scared her from where she had been (right beside the road) to where you see her now (trying to hide in the trees.)
See? It’s hard to see them critters in the trees!
We also got a rare sight of this beauty as we got close to Cantwell.
That is Mount McKinley, the tallest peak in North America (20,320 feet above sea level!) I’ve lived and traveled in Alaska for 16 years, and I think I’ve only seen the entire mountain two or three times. Usually it’s covered with clouds. This is one big mountain and she makes her own weather.
By the time we got to Cantwell, we had decided that we’d not be camping another night, so we drove quickly back to our friends’ house, showers, and civilization.
And flush toilets, and did I mention showers? Yeah, civilization is nice!
It was SOOOO good to sleep in our own beds when we returned home! The hardest part of trips, for me, is the unpacking. It just takes so long! Unloading everything from the truck and trailer, and cleaning it all up, and putting everything away. . . it just seems to take forever.
The clean up on this trip was substantial. I stopped counting after 20 loads of laundry, not including the sleeping bags which needed to go to the laundromat. Like I said, everything was coated in dust! Everything we had taken with us needed to be washed. That’s every piece of clothing, every blanket, every coat, everything!
The food was put away fairly quickly, but I still have to open up the tub with the kids’ games (etc.) and sort through it all and put everything away (and we’ve been back two weeks!) I’m still not looking forward to that task, which is probably why it’s been left for so long!
Although we returned from our hunting trip without meat, we did take lots of neat pictures of most of us (“somehow” I managed to avoid being photographed all week!) We also came back with lots of wonderful memories. And really, that’s a grand way to spend a week’s vacation, don’t you think? The kids had a blast. I’m sure if we asked, they’d be ready to go again next week.
It might take me a bit longer to be ready to go!
* Thanks for joining us on our adventure! I hope you have enjoyed this mini-series. If you happen to get to hunt the Denali Highway, I wish you well! *