Sunny days were in abundance this summer, and though we didn’t hear many complaints, some days were downright hot! The warm, dry weather had certain perks—lingering in Nugget Pond, for instance—and disadvantages. Smoke from nearby wildfires briefly blocked our mountain views in late July. Staff took advantage of the warm weather with ambitious hiking (more on those adventures here), as well as swimming, canoe water polo, and inner-tubing forays down Moose Creek.
Lest we remember summer 2009 for only its mild, cloudless days, a snow storm rolled through on September 21, wrapping up summer and reminding us that weather can change on a dime here in the Alaska Range. The closing crew will remember the storm particularly well, as they had to use chains to drive through the snow it dumped on the road in order to get out of the park!
5/13 Red Fox delivered a freshly caught Ptarmigan to two kits at Polychrome Pass.
5/24 White Wolf seen across the road from North Face Lodge.
6/17 Near East Fork Cabin, two Grizzly cubs climbed five feet up a small willow and then climbed down, dropping the last two feet to solid ground.
6/21 An American Dipper, “dipping” near the weeping wall on Moose Creek, disappeared into a nest cavity in the moss.
6/23 Hikers stumbled upon a dead Dall lamb in a steep and narrow pass between Polychrome and the West Fork of the Toklat River. The lamb, only 15” from nape to tail, was in otherwise unharmed condition and appeared to have died in a fall.
6/23 Sow Grizzly and three cubs attempted a minor river crossing of Big Stony. The cubs barked and whined as the sow persistently nudged them into crossing. Giving up, she grabbed each by the scruff of the neck and carried them individually.
6/25 Two Short Eared Owl hatchlings, quiet and fuzzy, seen in a tundra nest in Highway Pass.
7/8 Lynx slinked up the driveway to midcamp and then sprinted down the path to Nunatak cabin.
7/23 Four Surfbirds near Pika Hut on Camp Ridge.
8/28 Belted Kingfisher chased by a Merlin at Wonder Lake.
8/29 Noctilucent clouds in southern sky at 10:30 PM.
9/2 Wolves howling at moonrise from the Moose Creek terrace heard from the front steps of Potlatch.
9/7 Many V’s of Sandhill Cranes, totaling more than 500, flew over the lodges throughout the day.
9/7 Wolverine on Mt. Thorofare.
9/10 Bull Moose in Nugget Pond entertained onlookers for several minutes as he grunted and rocked his antlers. Steamy exhalations rose from his nostrils in the cool autumn air.
Illustrations by William D. Berry and Amanda P. Devine
P.O. Box 67
Denali National Park, AK 99755
The enthusiasm of our staff is often what makes the guest experience so memorable. If you know of someone who would be a good fit for our organization, encourage him or her to view the employment pages of our website, www.campdenali.com. General staff positions are available for the 2013 season, as well as the following professional seasonal positions:
**Registered Nurses are encouraged to apply for any of our positions.
Denali is what America was; it’s the old and new, the real and ideal, the wild earth working itself into us on days stormy and calm, brutal and beautiful, unforgiving and blessed. It’s where we came from, long before agriculture, television and designer coffee, before our goofball ideas of having dominion over all living things, before our modern, paradoxical definitions of progress and prosperity, and too much stuff; it’s the lean, mean, primal place buried in our bones no matter how much we might deny it, no matter how fancy our homes, how busy our routines, how cherished our myths. Denali resides in each of us as the deep quiet, the profound moment, the childhood lost and found again, the open space and rare chance to be observant, truly alive.