Nine and one half hours on a train riding through scenes of unspoiled beauty, wide-open spaces full of forests, streams, rivers and lakes is a special treat. The high domed ceilings of the our train gave floor to ceiling views of the beautiful South-central Alaska wilderness, but I must say by the 5th and 6th hour it becomes more difficult to stay focused.
Identities have been altered.
Photos of some sights along the train route.
We arrived at the Denali Princess Lodge and had the evening at leisure. The next morning we were treated to a Historical Tour through some of the park and stopped to watch a movie on how difficult it was to build a road through the park. Then, through the swarms of mosquitos we braved hiking out to a small ranger’s cabin, slapping and waving away the mosquitos.
Next we met Diane, an Athabascan woman. All of her family members have the last name Charlie. So meet Diane Charlie a native of Alaska.
Diane told us of her family, spoke about each of the generations and how they still embrace many of the old ways, but she has a television, washer, dryer, electric lights, stove, refrigerator and many other modern conveniences. Diane’s message is one of peace, friendship and common concerns for the land. She said we who have stood before her today are her friends and are now friends among ourselves. We stand together hearing her song to us and to the mountains. She is lovely and kind to share herself. She did indicate it would be lovely and kind if we shared with her. I am thinking TIP!
MT. McKinley: MOUNTAIN OF HOPE
Mt. McKinley is called the mountain of HOPE in my opinion because of the optimism, the chance, and the anticipation that you will in fact see the mountain, this famous towering mountain of 20,302 ft. It is the largest mountain in North America and a big draw for tourists from all over the world. They say that only one in four visitors ever see any part of the mountain. I am certain it is one in four thousands! You find yourself on the viewing deck of the lodge imagining that you have the power to blow the mist away. There is so much mist and such a vast openness to scour. There are so many mountain peaks in the distance. You think, perhaps you are seeing it. There are hoards of mosquitos making your viewing uncomfortable. A man comes over to you and asks you to view through his binoculars just below the two little dark clouds. A peak comes through and you start jumping up and down. Pretty soon the news travels and grown up people are clapping and jumping like excited children, smiling and gasping in the joyousness that they have been like I mentioned before, the one in four, more like four thousand to see the mountain.
Below is a photo of the view that all the joy filled people who were jumping up and down, smiling and clapping their hands saw. I know it looks like a blank photo. There is a trace outline of the Mt. McKinley peak, I think.
Mt Mckinley, maybe…
You see it don’t you?