Well, the results of the Denali Road Lottery are in! We won a ticket for Sunday, September 16th. Angie won for the same exact day.
I reserved a camping space at Riley Camp Ground right inside the park entrance. We have reservations for Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16. Last year, Angie went and left early in the morning from Anchorage. She said the experience was wonderful, but the day was long and she was totally exhausted when she finally got home. We'd like to avoid the exhaustion. The drive into the park itself will still take an estimated 10 hours or so on Sunday, especially if we see wildlife along the way and stop to watch it in its natural habitat.
I'll know more when we receive the package for permit pick-up. The name that won was actually my sister's name! I entered for me, my daughter, my nieces and my sister. My sister's name is the only name that was chosen out of the 10 entries we made for the lottery. I guess I should contact her and thank her for being my sister!
I'll make sure to post LOTS of pictures on my Flickr account after we return. Until then, I'll be learning all I can about Denali, its history and legends. I am also reading a book about the first woman who ever climbed Denali. The book is called The Accidental Adventurer: Memoir of the First Woman to Climb Mount McKinley, by Barbara Washburn. I've got a little less than a month to find out all I can. I find it shocking and a little sad when I tell people that I won a ticket and they tell me they've lived here for 10+ years and NEVER gone to the park. I fall more in love with Alaska every day, and don't understand why some poeple who live here take living her so much for granted.