- Photo Essays
It turns out diminutive five-seater planes and I don’t really see eye to eye. As we begin our bumpy ascent and the world starts to spin a little, I’m beginning to think that a scenic flight over Denali National Park in Alaska’s central interior was not such a great idea.
It is known to the locals in Alaska as ‘The Mountain’.
Unfortunately, the chance of seeing Denali (Mount McKinley) in Alaska is only around twenty percent and many visitors leave the Denali National Park disappointed, having seen only the mass of cloud cover that keeps North America’s highest mountain hidden.
It is there, however: in all its 20,300 feet of snow-covered glory.
I feel like I have been driving forever.
Since that first nerve-wracking drive through Anchorage over two months ago I have driven nearly 4000 miles (6400 km) through Alaska and the western states of the USA. I was sure I would never get used to that uneasy feeling of driving on the right-hand/wrong side of the road, and yet now I feel as though I could do it in my sleep.
It hasn’t rained at all today. The sky is blue and the sun is out in full force. None of which is usual on the northwestern side of Olympic National Park in America’s Pacific Northwest.
The tiny lumber town of Forks* where we have based ourselves has an annual rainfall consistently over 100 inches.
But not today.
And so we drove. And drove, and drove. With long, tiring driving days and only a couple of nights for each stop, it was torture to not be on a time frame that allowed us to stay in some of these places for a week, two weeks…a lifetime.
The often mist-enshrouded Point Reyes National Seashore, just north of San Francisco was bright and sunny for our few days there and we were fortunate to have accommodation inside the park itself.
“On the ragged edge of the world I roam, and the home of the wolf shall be my home”
from ‘The Nostomaniac’. Robert Service.
I am awake long before my alarm sounds at 4am. Rising at 4am is not something I do well. In fact, I actively try to avoid any kind of anything before 7am. But today is different: today I plan to see wolves in the wild in Yellowstone National Park.
I know you can’t plan these things but there’s nothing like a little positive thinking to start the day. Actually, I prefer to start the day with coffee – several even – but the town of Gardiner near the north entrance of the park is eerily quiet at 4am and sadly coffee is but a distant dream.
I have to admit, my initial impressions of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming / Montana were far from enthusiastic, and as we drove around on our first day in the park I got to wondering what on earth all the fuss is about.