The road to Denali

“There is a patience of the wild—dogged, tireless, persistent as life itself—that holds motionless for endless hours the spider in its web, the snake in its coils, the panther in its ambuscade; this patience belongs peculiarly to life when it hunts its living food.”

It’s been a full seven days since I first arrived in Alaska. Road weary and worn out I am. Last night after kayaking I leave Seward and make the two hour drive back to Anchorage for a restful night’s sleep before hitting the open road again.


“There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.”

I’ve been on this road before, yet it all feels like new, virgin territory that I am seeing with eyes wide open. This is the road that will take me to Denali. Chills run down my spine just thinking about it.

When I was on this road before driving to Fairbanks, I stopped at a rest area overlooking a valley with a clear view of North America’s highest mountain. I didn’t realize how lucky I was at the time, as only 30% of people actually get an unobstructed view of Denali.

Today the weather was overcast, with moments of torrential rain. I take my time on the six hour journey, relishing in the lonely landscapes that are before me.

“It marked his adaptability, his capacity to adjust himself to changing conditions, the lack of which would have meant swift and terrible death. It marked, further, the decay or going to pieces of his moral nature, a vain thing and a handicap in the ruthless struggle for existence.”

Quiet and silence are my only companions out here. I do wish I had a canine friend with me though. Some say that religion is the smile on a dog. Nothing more, nothing less.

“Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and as often as he heard this call, mysteriously thrilling and luring, he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire and the beaten earth around it, and to plunge into the forest, and on and on, he knew not where or why; nor did he wonder where or why, the call sounding imperiously, deep in the forest.”

As all roads do, this one was coming to an end. My GPS signals to me that my accommodations for the night are only a few miles away. I also get a voicemail message. It’s broken and discombobulated, but I can faintly make out something about a cancellation….a break in the weather…if you are in the area….

Luck once again is on my side. I’ve arrived at the Denali cabins which is about eight miles from the park entrance and head on over to see if my next adventure will actually happen…..

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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