To summarize…this past August was one of the warmest in Colorado history. Elaine and I, being autumn and winter people, needed a respite. We took advantage of $280 tickets from Denver to Anchorage and a plethora of vacation time I had accrued from work and decided to head on an adventure for the first half of September. I've always been intrigued with the great white north, and have made a number of trips up there for NOLS and various random ultra-endurance bike races.
I've always been intrigued by Denali National Park. I went there once, years ago, with a quick spin around the visitors area, but it was not a proper look. The nice thing about Denali is you can get there and get around completely carless, as they have a very accommodating bus system. Actually, you can't drive into the park at all, so it's almost better to not have a car.
We wanted autumn, we wanted adventure and we wanted wilderness. We got all three in spades. I can't really think of a more beautiful place, and there is much to be said about suddenly being thrust right into the food chain – and not necessarily on the top of it.
We ended up doing a backpacking trip in the Alaska Range for the bulk of the trip. It had been awhile since I had done an extensive packing adventure, and Elaine had never been to Alaska. It will not be our last time for either. There is an undeniable call in my soul for this place, and very early, on a hike in the park while we were waiting for our permit itinerary to clear, Elaine expressed to me that she was, "falling in love with the land." It's hard not too in Alaska. Yeah, we'll be back.
We shot some photos of the trip. There are many more, but here are some of the best. Special thanks to Neptune Mountaineering, Deuter Packs and Big Agnes for their support and awesome gear.