Alaska photos, 7/2003

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That white mountain in the middle is Denali. Weirdly enough, it's far more impressive from ourside the park than within. You can see it from 100 miles away on a clear day...

Within the park, though, Denali is overshadowed by some gorgeous, though smaller, peaks.

But yes, that really is us standing in front of Denali. Even if we're blurry and you can't really see Denali. We were there. Really.

To minimize traffic in Denali, you have to take a schoolbus, which means that your experience of a park as large as our home state is very much like that of taking a class field trip. We got off the bus about three hours in and found ourselves a nice riverbed to hike.

That big muddy stream is a glacial stream. The mud is rock "flour" produced when glaciers pound rocks into dust. The clear stream is snowmelt. So the next time someone tells you they're drinking fresh, pure glacial water, you can make fun of their ignorance.

It's hard to see wildlife from a schoolbus, but we did get a great view of Dall Sheep chilling out on one of the smaller rock outcroppings.

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