Denali Wilderness Learning Center

Our last stop in Denali was a visit to the Denali Wilderness Learning Center. This was an honest to goodness glimpse into the real life survival of Alaskans.

Our tour began with a trappers cabin, built around 1909.

As you can see this cabin is very small. It is a little longer than it is wide. The small size makes it easy to heat, and to build. As the life of a trapper is typically solitary, these cabins are built by one person. There is no electricity, running water, or TV. Just you and a dozen sled dogs...out in the middle of nowhere.

We moved inside for snacks and a presentation on the life of a trapper. Our speaker described how she and her dogs make a living during the long winter months. We saw pictures and video of mushing through deep snow. I didn't realize how fast those dogs can go. Continuing the hands on approach to learning we were able to handle a pelt from every fur bearing mammal you can think of. Talk about soft. Those PETA guys have it wrong, fur is wonderful.

Then we were introduced to the next generation of sled dogs.

No, we can't take him home.

Outside we met the current stable of sled dogs. Most of the dogs were barking and excited to see visitors. Except for this one. He is the most serious looking dog I've ever met. I wonder what he is thinking.

The last stop was a visit with a reindeer. You can see our friend here loves to eat.

It is mid July and our reindeer still velvet on his antlers. He also is just beginning to shed his summer coat and grow a thicker one for the winter.

He loves to get fed, but he is not a fan of the camera. Yikes!

So if you're in the Denali area and you want a real taste of the Alaska experience look up the Denali Wilderness Learning Center.


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