Day 84.
Denali AK.

The sun no longer had it’s effect on me as I slept behind curtained windows. The morning then became noon as I made my way downstairs to meet Chris and Dirk, watching my head for the low ceiling. They probably sat there for a good hour or two before I even had the thought of waking up. Stumbling down, Chris laughed and asked what we wanted to eat for breakfast. Standing in the kitchen, I instantly woke up to the smell of  home made pancakes. Pulling out the cast-iron skillet, Chris poured batter onto the hot surface, fluffy and golden.

We all sat around the small wooden table sipping coffee, full of cake. The sun peaked through the window behind me, over looking the front yard and the mass of fire wood in the corner. Not having any planned agenda for the day, Dirk and I jumped in and helped Chris chop some wood. A task that seemed to be “Alaskan” enough for us to have fun, we all joked how Chris put us to work. With chips and dust from the chainsaw flying about, placing the camera became a tricky game. Getting a close up shot, I took a heavy swing, aiming for the center grain of the log. The axe blade digging, splitting, separating what once grew. As the blade passed through with the end of my stroke, half of the log was seeking revenge. Inches, the movement in slow motion caught my eye. Without a reaction I just watched what might have been, the log and my lens. Coming to a stop, rolling, rocking. A grin on my face, I retrieved my camera and let the log sit there. Pleased, I got the shot.

The stacks high, we all made trips back and fourth from the pile to the house. In no time Chris, Dirk and I were again sitting around sipping coffee. Admiring our work, we began to plan something else. Being that we finished a lot earlier than expected, into town is were we set our eyes on.

We would go pay a visit to the sled dogs, a pack of wolf looking beasts that loved to run. As we made it out of the driveway, I just returned to the window, scanning the land. The mountains caught the stray rays of sunshine as the clouds moved in, making the forest more inviting.

The car doors slammed behind us as we made our way down the path. The barks and howls of the pack echoed from a distance,  hearing us approach. It seemed almost too surreal as we entered the yard, ears full of sound. Turning the corner, the source of all the commotion erupted. The dogs were all perched on the roofs of their houses, at attention, trying to recognize us. As we approached the immense size of the dogs took me for a surprise, my brain trying to remember any crazy dog stories. At about waist high, these dogs looked as if they could tear someone up. Aside from stereotypes, these dogs were awesome. Approaching them, their tails would be wagging as they yipped in excitement, prancing about. We each greeted every dog, leaving them all with the same attention. It was amazing seeing these guys, a sight not many people get to experience.

Later we found our selves visiting the local pubs and Denali employs bars, a tour not available on the pamphlet.

A night with Denali locals.


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