Mt. McKinley (now Denali) National Park, Alaska
Sunday, July 1, 1973
Our last day at Mt. McKinley was something of a washout, literally. It rained off and on all day, as if to make up for our extraordinary luck seeing the mountain the previous day.
We got a late start that morning, and didn’t even leave the trailer till close to noon, having decided to walk down to the visitor center to see if there were any ranger walks or other things to do that day. Apparently not, since we decided to hike to Horseshoe Lake to do some fishing. That turned out to be more interesting than it should have been given that we didn’t catch anything, because inadvertently we managed to sneak up on a moose.
The trail to Horseshoe Lake was steep and overgrown with alders and other scrubby trees, and it was hard to see too far ahead of where we were walking. The moose was at the shore, not too far from where the trail branched into a loop circling the lake, and it raised its dripping head just as we realized what it was, and that we were way too close to it. It stared at us, and we stared at it, and then we decided that discretion was the better part of valor and that it could have that spot and we’d find somewhere else to fish.
Just as we climbed back up to the road, the skies opened and started pouring rain. Fortunately, one of the park shuttle busses happened to be driving by, and the driver stopped for us and took us back to the campground, fishing gear and all.
We stayed inside the rest of the day, with the rain pounding on the trailer sounding like bullets. We didn’t even go to the campfire program that night because it was too wet.
And that was our last day at Mt. McKinley.