Adventure turned to fear when I woke up at 5AM unable to swallow. There was something wrong with my throat, we were leaving for the wilderness of Denali in a couple of hours, and we were in Alaska...my only choice - wake Clay and go to the emergency room. I was afraid that I was having an allergic reaction, but the doctor informed me that I actually had trauma to my uvula (uvulitis - probably suffered yelling at the Mets-Astros game and I've since learned that I have an infection and my tonsils and throat are swollen). He told me not to worry and I would be fine.
So, we started the 4.5 hour drive to Denali National Park. Since we had a travel day, we had plenty of time and took it slow - soaking up the views and the mountains that seemed to never cease.
The next day we started our eight hour tour of the park. Upon entering the park, we quickly saw a couple of grey wolves (apparently a sight that isn't very common) and a red fox. We then ran into the grizzly bears. We watched a mother and two cubs avoid a big bull male. Would have been a sight to see them mix it up. We also saw a couple of caribou, several more bears, and several species of birds. We never saw a moose and that became the rallying cry for the rest of the week...
When we got to the end of the road within Denali, we took a quick look at Mt. McKinley (covered in clouds and virtually un-viewable, which is normal) and then maneuvered to get close to the grizzly headed our way. He got within about 30 feet of the tour bus which was really exciting. On our way out, we saw several more animals, and stopped to see the polychrome mountains. Their coloring makes them really beautiful.
We ended a very interesting day with dinner and a ton of great pictures and video.