The Firejumpers post. Alternatively: Don't party with people who jump out of planes onto the burning earth for a job post.
Due to the crazy terrain, lack of pavement, pull-outs, and wildlife in Denali, the Park Service does not allow private vehicles along the one road into the park. All tours must be by bus or on foot. this was a good thing for me because I was having trouble walking the morning of my tour, and certainly was in no position to drive.
We met some firejumpers in the parking lot since we had to walk into camp. They had been on the job in the brush for the past few months. Due to heavy rains they had the weekend off and came to see Denali and take part in the bluegrass festival. They were real dudes, super cool and hooked us up with some beer jerky.
We set up camp and decide to grab the shuttle bus to the nearby pizza joint to eat, have a chill night and wake up early to go on our pre-purchased tour. Along the way we saw the firejumpers again, apparently the bluegrass festival was a bust. Now its a group of dudes headed to the Bar-grill chugging beers, with pocket reserves.
The shuttle driver wouldn't let us take beers on the bus, something about responsibility? So we did the responsible thing and chugged a few each. Ordered food, round after round came through. Next thing we know, the firejumper is taking off his shirt and dancing. Then trying a shirt nailed to the wall on for size! Each and every girl comes through our table. morebeers, more shots and we are sitting in the middle of a wedding party. after seeeing the brides (there were 3 right?) we decide its time to go, the firejumpers are still the life of the party... waiting outside in the rain for the shuttle bus, not sure which way is up. all the sudden someone steals the shuttle van! people are running and yelling outta the bar. The wedding party can't wait to get back. Can't blame 'em, I guess. somehow we make it back, not quite sure how.
Sometime the next morning I make it to the Denali Park tour bus, as seen in pictures here. Thankfully I could seperate myself from the families during this time. I get back @ 9 pm to find Harper still sleeping in the tent, and this on my motorcycle, courtesy of the firejumpers....
A big, hearty Thanks, firejumpers. You guys rock, all the important things to make our life, a HighLife. Also, Thanks, US taxpayer, for supplying us with the above necessities via firejumpers.
finally, a note to self and suggestion to you, don't party with people who jump out of planes onto the burning earth for a job.