Inspiration's Journey Home Page
Flightseeing Denali!
August 4, 2003


On the Way (Canada)

Alaska at Last!

Tok to Valdez

  Mineral Creek
  Lu-Lu Belle Cruise

Russian River

  Misc. Pics

Whittier Road

Portage Glacier

Backyard Bear!

  Kenai Cruise

  Flightsee Denali

Denali Nat'l Park

Kluane Lake

Cassiar Hwy. Bear
  Highway Scenes

  Waterfall Road

Jasper Nat'l Park
  Maligne Lake

Icefields Parkway
  Athabasca Falls
  Athabasca Glacier
  Overnight at Glacier
  Lake Louis Road
  Lake Louise

Banff, Alberta

Johnston Canyon

Misc. Pics

Fireweed Pics

Skagway (side trip)
  White Pass RR
  Return Trip

Alaska Journaling

My Article About
This Alaska Trip

As soon as we realized how lucky we were to have such clear skies, we decided to check into one of the local small plane flightseeing tours for a closer look at the "high one." That's what the name Denali means in the native Athabascan language. One of the controversies that still rage over the Americanization of Alaska is the re-naming of the ancient people's monument after one of our more obscure presidents. Although most of the "lower 48" is more familiar with the name "Mt. McKinley" for North America's tallest mountain (20,320 feet), he is more often simply called "Denali" here. The meaning and the sound of the name itself seems more fitting for such a king, so that's how I greet him, also.

We weren't sure we could afford such a tour, but stopped into a local booking agent whose sign advertised flightseeing. The owner was on the phone bitching at the propane company over charging her a $7.00 late fee. She explained that this was her business and $7.00 was "a lot of money" to her. We waited for 10 minutes while we looked at brochures, but finally picked up some and left. As we pulled out of the driveway, she was on the porch waving us back, but it was too late as far as we were concerned. We thought it ironic that her lack of customer service cost her many times over the $7.00 she was so intent on recouping instead of booking our tour for the commission she could have earned.

We went down the street to another agent and she told us the least expensive flight was with Talkeetna Aero. We had gotten one of their brochures from the first stop that listed the price of touring the southern side only at $115.00. It was apparently an older brochure, because the new ones had the price listed as $145.00 for the same tour. However, when the agent called the company, they agreed to honor the reduced cost of the brochure we had picked up from the lady who lost our business over $7.00. We found that additional irony even more amusing.

Our luck got even better when our flight time arrived and because of road construction and delays, some flights were delayed and combined in different ways. We wound up in a twin engine plane with 4 other people who had paid for the much more expensive and longer summit trip and we got to go along for the ride. We got the back seats, which afforded the better view since the wings did not obstruct anything as you looked down and out.

Approaching "The High One" - Denali!

I might as well just stop writing here because there just are no words to describe what that 1-1/2 hour flight was like. Even though I took 69 pictures of the unbelievable beauty of Denali and the surrounding Alaska Range, none could come close to capturing the majesty and vastness of the view afforded by that altitude and range of vision. It truly was the most amazing thing I've ever seen with my two earthly eyes, and that's a fact.

His Majesty: The craters, the crevices, the valleys, the spilling glaciers, the colors of frozen lakes so high up and how the peaks simply slice into a sky so blue it's hard ever to want to land again.

The moraines - where glaciers meet and push up the earth - look like highways here.
Copyright by Malia Lane - all rights reserved