Posted By: Jan
January 02, 2012
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex, but it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” –Albert Einstein
This year Camp Denali celebrates our 60th anniversary. For over half a century we’ve embraced a sense of place on our wide spot on the tundra. A travel writer recently commented on how the fact that we are “unplugged” is a great hook. It’s more than that, it’s a entire way of being. No cell phone service and no internet often make people pause before booking here, but after only a day away from the madness, most have settled, calmed, and more than just relaxing into the new rhythm, they embrace it. We’ve updated our cabins over the years to make them more comfortable (gone are the days of our guests sleeping in wall tents!), but each still sports hand sewn quilts on the beds and a water spigot outside. Einstein was ahead of his time when he spoke the words above …today’s’ world of constant, unrelenting media and fast paced gadgets are enough to make anyone’s head spin. Not only should we put them down occasionally, we need to.
We’ve always worked toward giving our guests a chance to experience Denali on more than a superficial level, to foster an understanding of the history, both natural and cultural, of this incredible region. Reading back through a Tundra Telegram (Camp Denali newsletter) from 1960, I came across this:
“When we decided to cut our station wagon trips from three a week to only two, thus lengthening the stay at Camp to a minimum of three nights, we were warned by travel agents that this would cut down our “potential” as most tourists didn’t have time for that long a visit at any one spot in Alaska. But we took the gamble. We weren’t seeking “tourists” anyway. We wanted vacationists looking for an experience in depth. And that, in the main, are the kind who found their way to Camp.”
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It is our pleasure to present Dispatches, a journal of the goings on at Camp Denali & North Face Lodge. Written by members of our staff, Dispatches is an opportunity to peek into the special sightings notebook, brush up on Denali National Park issues, read about our ongoing projects in sustainability, and maybe get a whiff of what’s cooking in the kitchens. Dispatches will carry on through the winter, when we hope to share stories of snowy ski adventures, deep cold, and the events of a small Alaskan community.