Walt's Look Around: Alaska and Mt. McKinley - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Alaska and Mt. McKinley

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Maybe the most unusual thing we got to see was the sunshine. It followed us almost everywhere we went. Fairbanks to Anchorage had just had six straight weeks of clouds and rain until we got there. Then the sun broke through.

And we hit the state right in the middle of the short blooming season for their fire weed. It's as common as Johnson grass is here, only a lot prettier.

But what we had all come to see, the biggie, is what MOST people want to see when they go to Alaska and most are denied by persistent clouds; Mt. McKinley, or as it is becoming better known as, Denali.

As we were taking the bus through the park the 60 miles out to the Stony Overlook still 30 miles from the base of the mountain, our driver was breaking it to us gently that 70 percent of the people who come to Denali Park never get to see the mountain. At better than 20,000 feet, it usually stays draped in clouds of its own making. And then we topped the first rise where Denali would be visible.

 Bus driver: Look! The mountain! It's been a long time since I've seen it this clear!

Walt: That's the advantage of taking a Mississippi drought along with us on vacation. Cloudless Denali, the highest peak on the North American continent. And clear as a bell.

We were all very thankful for being here right then and there at that time.

We got more souvenir shots on the way out of the park. Held our breath as we went BACK over polychrome pass, added some footage of a bear and a cub to our collection.

And then continued on to our next destination the next day. And for hours, we could look back and still see Denali cloudlessly towering over the rest of the mountain range.

Here's one of the last shots I got. We're, I guess, about 70 miles away from the base of Denali when we stopped for a mid-morning snack, at a spot where the mountain was framed by a patch of fire weed. Illustrating that sometimes you CAN be in the right place at the right time.

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