(Excerpt from my journal from my trip to Alaska)
We left for Denali National Park at 33:30 pm by motor coach. Everything is an amazing green, and flowers are blooming. It is hard to believe, as we are told, that snow covered the ground just two weeks ago. The twenty-one hours of daylight this time of year puts plants that don’t need a dark cycle into hyper-drive. The locals say you can hear the pumpkins growing. With the short growing season, the plants are in a race to grow, pollinate and reproduce before winter comes.
We went through all kinds of different forests on our drive to Denali—burned out forests with lush green growth as they started to come back, and thick dense forests that were so overgrown that nothing, plant or animal, does well on the forest floor. Some places looked so prehistoric that I would have sworn a human being had never set foot there, and then I’d see a satellite dish or piece of surveyor’s tape wagging in the breeze.
It rained hard and hailed for about five minutes on our way to Denali. I have seen downpours and hail many times back in Iowa. I was glad that this time it wasn’t doing it on my car. Halfway through our trip, we made a brief stop to stretch our legs. The bus filled up with mosquitoes while we were there. I’m proud to say that our Iowa mosquitoes are just as big and hungry as the ones in Alaska.
We reached Denali and unpacked in our room. They say Denali (Mt. McKinley) is only visible thirty percent of the time because the moisture off the ocean keeps it hidden in clouds most of the time. Today was one of the seventy per cent times. We ate a pizza and turned in for the night with full daylight outside.
Author, In The Sticks