Monday, August 11, 2014

Induction into the Denali 30% Club

From 2014 07 09 Denali

During our second week in Alaska, we joined a secret, elite club. The 30% club. It's intense. They do crazy Athabaskan rituals - stuff you only find in those Dan Brown books. We all have tattoos now. Wild.

Well most of that first paragraph was a lie. Yes, we have now been [inducted] into the 30% Club. However, it's not as exciting and wild as I made it out to be but it's still pretty awesome. The 30% refers to those people who have visited Alaska and have seen Mt. McKinley.
Denali National Park is home to North America's tallest peak, Mt. McKinley (aka Denali). The mountain is usually completely hidden by a shroud of clouds, so much so that tour guides can only point in the direction of the mountain and assure tourists that there really is a mountain there. Count us as members of the exclusive club of visitors who have actually seen Denali itself, the "30% Club."

More about Denali National Park after the jump.

From 2014 07 09 Denali

There's only one road into the park and only park buses are allowed beyond the first few miles. We were up and on the road by 5:00 am. The sun had been up for over an hour already. The skies were clear and promising. For much of the drive into the park, the skies remained clear, giving us ever closer views of Denali. In four hours, we made it the sixty two miles to Stony Hill Overlook, our turnaround point. It was still sunny for us, but on the mountain clouds were already forming, making us appreciate our early start.
From 2014 07 09 Denali

Denali National Park is also home to grizzly bears, caribou, moose, Dall sheep, and wolves -- the so-called Big Five. Of those, we saw the first four. Only wolves eluded us, which our tour guide assured us was almost always the case. All in all, a very satisfying day. We were back at park headquarters by mid-afternoon, with a good nine or ten hours of daylight still ahead of us.
From 2014 07 09 Denali

All photos from our time in Denali National Park can be seen on Google Photos.

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