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Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake

Denali

I am deep in the spell
of those who stayed here before me.
Sometimes my mind goes blank
staring at it all—
all the land,
all the quiet.

Linda Schandelmeier, Artist-in-Residence at Denali National Park in 2012, wrote those words in her poem “Denali Sojourn.” Recently, I traveled to Denali and experienced the spell of which she speaks. Above, is probably the most beautiful photo ever taken of Denali, by Ansel Adams. Below, are some of the moments I encountered and, unusual for this writer, I’m going to let the images speak for themselves. Blessings.

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Cover photo: “Mt. McKinley and Wonder Lake, Denali, AK” Ansel Adams, 1947 Willow Ptarmigan, the Alaskan State Bird:  Wikimedia Commons (Mine ran away!)
All other photos are by me, the author.

34 thoughts on “Denali

  1. Dear Readers,

    I had to re-post “Denali” because a mysterious picture of a man I do not know kept popping up. In doing so, all of your wonderful comments were deleted. I’m so sorry! I really cherish them. The huge image of Denali that you see at the top also appeared when I re-posted. It’s a lot of Denali, but then it really is an enormous mountain. 😀

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  2. Very lovely! I used to work on the AK railroad one summer and sure enjoyed watching everything around the Great One change from day to day. It’s a gift that people with cameras and access are able to share this. ❤

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    • We were so lucky, DB! It was the last day that cars could drive in to the 30 mile point and we were one of the last to do that. What a gift! Hey, beautiful, can I take you out to breakfast soon? Like during the week before the 27th would be great. I have to be back by 12:30 for little r care. Hugs. ❤

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  3. I liked that your soul was touched enough to make you want to pass on such a feeling with as much clarity as you could deem appropriate—to think silence was your weapon of choice–humbling. And thank you.

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  4. Beauty+awe+whisper of terror=the sublime
    Ansel Adams new how to capture this in an image. They are not just pretty pictures, but give shape to the idea that we are but a momentary breeze. Thank you for sharing.

    My brother-in-law spent a year in Alaska, working a king crab boat. He spent some time in Denali and said it was a terrifying experience being dropped off there with his backpack. This was at least 15 years ago.

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    • Thank you, Jilanne, for adding some flesh to this stark post. I think you and your brother nailed it. Denali is so impacting on one’s senses, one’s wee being, that there is a feeling of both wanting to embrace it and hide from it, like gazing at God maybe. 🙂

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      • Hmmm, I like both yours and Jillanne’s comments. Big big waves, that is all I can relate to it. The Grand Canyon did not do that for me, but being at the foot (in the water) of really big waves is awe inspiring . . .

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      • I love that image, Katie. I, too, was a surfer. Rode a 15-footer at Redondo Beach during a storm until my board cracked in two against my forehead. Still have the bump. Yep, Denali is a BIG wave.

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  5. You’re so right Jilanne.

    What an awful day that was! And the thing is, the wave was an 18-footer, as I recall, not the largest wave ever, but the problem was his leash tethering him to his board. Better to lose your surfboard than your life. Sad, sad. By the way, when I wiped out we didn’t have leashes; they hadn’t been invented yet and everyone rode big boards, even small girls. Mine was a 9′.

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  6. So happy to have been there with you and r. and d and c. I am constantly blown away by the quality of your pics and the b&w just adds to the quality of your skills. Al my love, R.

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    • Thanks for your comment, skywalkerstoryteller. When my daughter was at UAF, we drove from the Arctic Circle down to Homer and back up to Fairbanks again. We adored Homer! Everyone we met was an artist or a writer or both and the area was gorgeous. Now, after many years of surgical training, she has moved back to Fairbanks and I spend several months each year visiting. Nice to know you’re in AK.

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  7. Pingback: Denali - Travel The USA

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