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digibud 05-05-14 01:56 AM

Denali Park
7 of us road a section of the Denali Park road before it opens to tourists. A couple of bears were in the Teklanika river bed killing unsuspecting squirrels. No other deaths were noted.
Strava (Bike Ride Profile | Denali Park Tek to Polychrome 5/2/14 near Healy | Times and Records | Strava) shows section at 20%. My garmin 500 doesn't show anything close to that. Interesting difference. I think my Garmin shows 13% as about the highest and I'd guess it is closer to reality.

polychrome_april_2014 Photo Gallery by bud kuenzli at

I'm the only one with a beard :).

Yankeetowner 05-05-14 06:11 AM

Beautiful photos! I would love to bike through Denali, but I'll never ride a Blue Bird bus there again...knees smashed up against the seat in front of me, etc. (We did see a wolf wearing a radio collar, a couple of caribou, and what were allegedly bears, but looked like specks on a distant mountain.) But I love Alaska, particularly Afognak Island, Eagle Point, and Valdez.

Biker395 05-05-14 07:35 AM

Looks like a great day with good friends. You guys are really bundled up ... what were the temps?

digibud 05-05-14 10:01 AM

1 Attachment(s) do this ride most often in the time before and after the park is open when people are allowed to drive their cars to Teklanika where the mountains begin. Later in the summer we will do a family trip with other grandparents and grandkids when we take busses back further back with our bikes attached and then ride one way back to Tek. I only ride the park school busses and while they aren't roomy or comfy, I don't mind them too much.
As to wildlife, on any given day you can drive the length of the park and see nothing. Other times bears may be on the road right next to the bus. Any given day is a crap shoot but over time I've seen some fantastic things like a lynx mother teaching her kittens to hunt and caribou trotting alongside my wife as she road and a fox running along to my side keeping pace with me.
This day started out about 30F and ended around 46F. My second ride this season started around 50F and ended over 60F. It was the first ride in a while there where I didn't use any leggings or long sleeves. I only put on a light windbreak down one hill. On this ride it was quite windy, blowing 20mph in places and probably up to 30 at the top of Polychrome. We had to go very, very slowly around some areas as the wind would nearly knock us off the bike if we weren't careful. I broke my collar bone here last year with my wife along. Another long story :).
Here's a shot of a griz after rounding a corner and seeing him about 20 feet away. A bit close by anyone's standard.

HawkOwl 05-05-14 10:35 PM

Actually "He" is most likely a "She". At least she looks like all the other females I've seen. Used to see quite a few upriver.
Still, basic point is right on. Denali is Not a zoo. There have been casualties from people getting too close to the natives. Some had interesting stories, emphasis on had.

Anyone who can drive, hike or bike that area is in for a treat.

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