Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Denali NP

Denali National Park is full of tourists just like these and for good reason. The place reeks of amazing wildlife, scenery, and wilderness. I'm so glad it's a conservation area, so glad people like this get a chance to enjoy it.

Sure, they travel in a bus. They don't camp. They stumble over blueberry bushes that untie their leather boot laces on three hour morning walks that exhaust them for the rest of the day. But this park is as much theirs as the dummies who walk its length, twice or more. As much as the guy who dies in a wrecked green bus on the park border, a death by starvation, bad luck, and inexperience on a dream-quest.

They are the ones who get in a small plane and even without landing to face challenges like high winds, frost-bite, cracks and cornices, the depression of a summit un-made, fly toward the mountain and find it the best thing they ever did in their life. They get excited over bear prints in mud and caribou and even moose, if you can believe that!

The park belongs to them as much as to us and when a sow and her teeny blonde cubs walk so near that any closer you'd be scared, when you follow a bitch wuff trottin' sideways down the road at 10 yards for 10 mins, then watch as she dives into the willows to nab a vole -- but misses and cocks her head quizzically, then you know that all the miles and all the scares and all the years under your feet don't make any difference between you and them and that's what this park is meant for.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Roman,
    I just got back from pizza and beer with Erick (Toussaint), one of the guides at DBL that spent time with your group. He seemed very much impressed with both the guests and you.

    I spend a lot of my professional time in the park doing just what you're talking about--leading 3-4 hour mild hikes (I worked at DBL last year doing Erick's job and am at the Murie Science and Learning Center this year--and totally agree. These are people who dream their whole life of coming here and have genuinely powerful experiences.

    I'd like to talk to you about packrafting trips in/near the park (I got an Alpacka this summer and have done a few already) and other places in the US (I'll be in Oregon all winter). If you're up for it, send an email my way: milesbarger [at] gmail.


/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */