The only sound to break the silence in this spruce forest for the past hour was the lonesome whistle of the Alaska Railroad train as it passed nearby. It’s good to know the train is running, albeit on a reduced schedule.
From what I gather, the Denali Park tour bus was finally going to start operations today, July 1st, on a limited basis with just two buses per day and only going to a single location within the park. The buses will run at 50% capacity so as to allow for social distancing. I find myself hoping that isn’t an overly optimistic prediction of the available number of paying guests.
This is the first time I’ve camped inside the park and I’m sad to say, I’m finding it depressing.
There are some tent campers, truck campers and a few motorhomes here in Wolf Loop, just widely spaced out. Hopefully, there are more over in Bear Loop. Caribou Loop isn’t open at all. Considering this is peak summer season, it’s a stark reminder of the reality of the pandemic affecting the world around us.
On the bright side (there always is one!), Ronni and I got to watch a large arctic hare take a dust bath in the sunshine today in the empty site directly across from ours! Oh my, was Ronni all aquiver with excitement!
As we get into the evening hours, I can make out the flicker of a couple of campfires through the trees, and the sound of children playing. I imagine marshmallows will be consumed soon.
It’s been chilly enough during my stay here (40s at night, low 50s during the day) to keep the mosquitos from being a nuisance, which has been nice. In fact, looking back, this entire trip has been a lot more bug-free than the last few. Yay for that!
I’ll be saying goodbye (for now) to Denali National Park tomorrow morning. I’ll probably take the time to empty my holding tanks first, but even so, I should be trucking down the highway before noon.
The quiet here has been nice and the forest has been an interesting change of venue, but the closer I get to home, the more I find myself dwelling on the non-stop bad news. I promised myself a complete break from the news, but my cell phone insists on bringing me daily “alerts” and “breaking news”, leaving me less isolated from all of it than I had hoped.
I am concerned for my family (many of them in CA and TX), my state and our country as a whole … but I’m going to try to hold that worry at bay for another day or two.
Perhaps I’m more fragile, emotionally, than I like to think … but I NEEDED this break and I’m not sorry I listened to my heart and body and took the time for myself.
Boy, is “Roada” going to need a good bath when we finally get home!