Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Let's just say that when you have 12 people going camping, and almost half of them are under 10, things don't always go as planned. We did have a great time despite things that when wrong. We left my house two hours later than I had hoped for the long drive to Seward. Dinner didn't go as planned, so we had Arby's on the way. We got to Exit Glacier National Park about 11:30 p.m. My daughter and I took two girls around the walk-in only campsites and found one big enough for three of our tents. After getting those set up we all climbed into bed and fell right to sleep. In the morning we went out to the food shelter where there were two other families already cooking and made breakfast. After breakfast we went into Seward to the Sea Life Center. We had a great time there looking at all the animals. There were some sea lions, seals, and otters in recovery ponds that we looked at. The girls loved the huge tanks with the sea lion and diving birds in them. You can watch them from upstairs and then go downstairs to see them underwater. The entire troop stepped on the scale next to the sea lion tank and found out that all 7 of the girls there weigh almost half as much as the sea lion there. When they were done looking, we ate lunch outside the center and looked at the ocean.
We went back to the campground, grabbed a few things and went up to the Visitor's Center. We hiked up to the glacier, and the area around the river at the bottom of the glacier. The girls had fun playing in the sand and throwing rocks in the river. It was very windy up by the glacier, and the girls thought it was neat when I explained why it was windy up there, but not below. We went back to the camp and made dinner. There was a family of boys from Switzerland there playing Uno, and the girls were watching them and got invited to play. They had such a fun time that the four adults did everything for dinner and cleaning so they could play. Unfortunately, our girl with severe allergies had broken out in bad hives from something. We gave her Benadryl and my daughter (our first aider) and one of the moms rushed her to the emergency room. They got back and into bed about 1:30 in the morning. We don't know for sure why she was breaking out, she felt perfectly fine, it was just her skin.
The next morning, we packed up while one of the moms went into town for a shower. While she was gone, I tried to start the car and it wouldn't start. When the mom got back, my daughter and I drove toward town to get to a phone and call for a tow truck. The guy got the car running finally and we headed toward Denali National Park. We stopped back at the Exit Glacier Visitors Center so the girls could turn in their books and get their Junior Ranger Badges. I found out the girl with the hives also has exzema. We told her to use the baby wipes and wipe herself off. By the time she got on the bus her skin had cleared up. On the way to Denali there was a bad accident south of Anchorage that held us up for over an hour. We pulled into Denali at 2:30 in the morning and slept in the cars. We needed to be up at 8 for showers before getting on the bus at 11.
I woke up at 7 freezing and the teen that was with me was awake. We woke up the girl in the back and went to get our stuff out of my daughter's truck, and she was awake too. I got the girls in the shower so we would have a head start on the day. We got everyone else up, and while they showered we got our bags ready to go and started making lunch sacks to take on the bus. It was an 8 hour trip into the park and back. The bus ride was great. The girls saw a lot of caribou, some pikas, a moose, and a grizzly bear that was about a quarter mile from the bus. We got back, made dinner and got in bed.
The next day we packed everything up and got into the cars to go. My car wouldn't start again. We finally found a mechanic that could come fix it. The two moms that came left us with four of the girls and headed home while we waited for the mechanic. One of them had to get up early to go to work the next day. The mechanic was great. He fixed the car, and the power steering in the truck that had gone out the day before. He also explained what he had done, and what my husband will need to do to make these fixes permanently; so much better than the guy in Seward. We drove home very happy with some great memories. We got home at 9:30 p.m., 7 hours later than we hoped, but it was all good. We really did have a great time, and I am ready for another camping trip; but only to one spot. God is so good, He took care of us the entire trip.