Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"All our hopes now lie with two little hobbits, somewhere in the wilderness." - Gandalf, The Two Towers

Is it just me, or does this center look more moderness than wilderness?

It started out like a normal expedition. Our steed was ready for the long trip, and The Boy was chomping at the bit. As I did my traditional early-weekend morning snooze while The Boy ate Sugar Frosted Chocolate Bombs, I opened my eyes. In my entire field of view was The Boy’s face.

“Are we going to Denali?”


The Boy took that as a yes, and began packing his motion sensors, monocular, long range microphone, and his pet dog, Scooby.

A road in Denali National Park. Ohhhh, ahhhhh.

About the time The Boy was ready, The Mrs. got up. We had purchased lunches and other sundry food items for the trip, and I asked her if she was ready to go.

The Mrs.: “John, I have to go to work tonight. If we go to Denali, we won’t be home until midnight, and, frankly, I don’t want to work until 2:00 AM teaching wolverines how to dig burrows.”

Me: It won’t take that long.

The Mrs.: Knowing look.

I realized then and there that The Mrs. wasn’t going. That left The Boy and I. We decided to go anyway, and were off on our next expedition: Denali.

Okay, okay, it’s not really and expedition. Every year the folks at the National Park Service set aside one weekend where yokels like The Boy and I can drive our vehicles up and into Denali National Park. I entered this year ($10 fee) and won, so on that one weekend, we could go. It hurt my case that on the previous weekends I’d taken The Mrs. up to the Arctic Circle and down to the subtropics (long story) so she was a bit less than enthusiastic about loading up the entire family into the Wildermobile and scooting halfway across Alaska on a Sunday when she could sit home and watch the NFL.

I understood. But I was going.

Whenever I see a pretty mountain like this, I just can't help but wonder what's in it. Maybe we could dig and find out? Yeah. I like that.

The Boy and I got in the car, and off we went. We made great time, and finally reached the Denali National Park entrance. Signs were helpfully posted to take us to the “Wilderness Access Center.” Now, when you’re surrounded by wilderness, it is surely the sign of government that they’ve gotta put up a big building to tell you when and how you can get there, but, it is government. In addition to the $10 lottery fee, I had to shell out $45 in other fees (hurting the bears’ feelings fee, driving an SUV fee, adding CO2 to the atmosphere fee) to gain a permit to access the park. The Boy and I paid (actually, I paid, he’s a bit of a deadbeat at this stage) and into the park we went . . . what would we see there?

Next: Lions and Tigers and Bears . . . oh my!


Blogger Garry Nixon said...

"Wilderness Access Center". It just doesn't seem right.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Deirdre Helfferich said...

John, you've got a gift for hilarious prose. If I haven't mentioned this before, let me say it here: I LOVE reading your blog.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Jacie Wiggs said...

John, in a previous comment I think I made the mistake of saying that Alaska could not draw me to it, because of the cold and all. Since my Dad died, I want to come and see Alaska as it was a place my father tried to get to, but alas the "Mother type" didn't want to go (my Mom). Just maybe the daughter type will come and see its beauty.

11:36 AM  
Blogger chaipo said...

Glad you got to go! Last year we went and it was fantastic. Can't wait to see the rest of your pictures!

11:56 AM  
Blogger grannypie said...

John, when do they announce the road lottery in Denali? My Anchorage kin don't bother to tell us these things and we happened to be in the state the first weekend it was open. Rats!


12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

loving your blog so far and i've only read the most recent 2 posts. we went to alaska this summer and your recent pics look so familiar !! i wish i could live there like you....but the winters??

--girl from ohio

1:27 PM  
Blogger Suess said...

Hey, we were there too. It'll be funny if you post the same picture I have of the bear family crossing the road amongst all the cars...and not so smart people hanging out watching!

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing pictures! I truly can't wait to visit Alaska. I keep threatnening my kid that we are moving there because I am sick of living around so many ppl. She isn't laughing. :) Thats ok, she is soon off to college. Woohoo.

Anyways, can't wait to hear more about the trip.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

You did it to me again!
I can't believe it!
I am like a stupid kid waiting for the next bedtime story.
You are an enabler.
Now I will never recover.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Duck Hunter said...

This kind of post is what I call a "tease".

6:55 PM  
Blogger dogsled_stacie said...

"Wilderness Access Centre!" Ha!!

Hey, maybe you should put a sign over your door" "Wilder Access Centre" and charge everyone for coming thru the door! Wife and kids included.

10:41 PM  
Blogger John said...

Agreed. It's like having a "Breathing Permit Center."

Thank you!!!

It's raw and wild, which I love, but there's beer here, too.

More to come!

July 1 they announce, and all applications must be in by July 31. It's on their website . . .

Thank you! Winter rocks here. Very cold, plus you get to brag about being outside without a coat in -10F.

Nope, don't have the same batch . . but bears are coming.

It's nice up here, and people are few and far between, 'cept in the clusters.


The Mrs. calls me that all the time.

Ohhh, charge the The Boy! That would make the deadbeat pay up!

8:48 PM  

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