Denali Park

This is the lodge where we stayed in Denali Park. The lodge is still called McKinley Park. Mount Denali, which is in the native tongue, was named Mt. McKinley when William McKinley was running for president in 1896. By the way, he was assassinated in 1901. One of the last official acts by President Obama was to return the name of the mountain to it’s native name. “Denali” means “The Big Mountain”, or something similar.

I don’t know if that was a real gold mine shaft. That’s the lodge behind. It’s situated on one of those beautiful Alaskan rivers. There’s a real nice museum there:

The next day we took a bus tour into the park. Although the one and only road into the park is over 50 miles long and goes to the base of the mountain, cars are only allowed to go in 12 miles. Only buses are allowed to go farther in. If you’ve ever been to Yellowstone, the roads and camps are crowded with thousands of people. Not so here. You feel as if you are really in the wilderness.

This is one of the original ranger huts from the conception of the park:

The nails on the shutters are to keep the bears out. Like this one:


We saw quite a few moose. This little guy was with his mommy.

And snowshoe hare.

Along the tour, people presented narratives. I especially liked the one about the original Athabaskan culture. Here is the woman who presented it:

And here is Mount Denali. It was 56 miles away.

Mt. Denali is 20,310 feet high, the highest in North America. From the base of the mountain to it’s summit, it is the tallest mountain in the world. It stands 18,000 feet above it’s base. It’s utterly spectacular. Put it on your bucket list.

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6 Responses to Denali Park

  1. T Westerlund says:

    In this context it seems fitting to mention that the Americans have the Swedes to thank for the traditional log cabin. The Swedes built log cabins in their colony New Sweden (on the Delaware river) in the 1600s, and from there they (the log cabins, and who knows, possibly the Swedes too) would eventually spread across the continent.

    • budgra5_wp says:

      Are you the Westerlund I know? The Swedes settled on the Delaware River. They named their colony Cristiana after a Swedish princess. My family was from the area. As you might know, I’m 1/4 Swedish.

      • T Westerlund says:

        Hi Bud! We have been in touch before, but I’m not sure if that qualifies as knowing you. I’m the linguist in Sweden. Yes, I did know you’re a quarter Swedish. This Denali park seems like a place to visit. Perhaps I should put it on the bucket list for when I bring the family over to visit relatives in northwestern US. (But who knows, there may be national parks that are just as much worth visiting even closer by, if you find yourself in the lower 48, close to the Canadian border.) And by the way, we Swedes can claim the Rambo apple too, which is thought to have been brought across from Sweden by Peter Gunnarsson Rambo, an early immigrant to New Sweden.

  2. Bob says:

    Speaking of Swedish Cabins, my grandfather was born and raised in what is known as the “Lower Swedish Cabin” in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
    He ended up living just upstream from the cabin his entire life.
    Growing up, I visited the cabin many times. It is still standing and is now registered in the National Register of Historic Places.
    Some links, with pictures are given below.

    Thanks TWesterlund for bringing this up and reminding me about my grandfather.

    • budgra5_wp says:

      I was born in Delaware County. That cabin reminds me of old Gary Cooper movie. I saw it many years ago. The article that you referenced has a picture of that cabin, and it brings back memories of that movie. The article said that appeared in movies. I wonder if it was that one. In the movie I remember that Gary Cooper made a rifle by bending steel around a rod.The movie had to do with the French and Indian War. Your family was part of a great piece of history.

      • Bob says:

        My grandfather was born in 1903. He told me that when he was a kid, Lubin filmed several motion pictures in and around Darby Creek.
        May not be the same movie, Lubin was a local (Philadelphia) film maker. I would assume that Gary Cooper made movies out west in Hollywood. I could be wrong.
        The wikipedia article also shows a picture of a big house behind the cabin. That’s were my grandfather was raised. He called it the “yellow” house. He had about 6 or 7 siblings, so the cabin would be too small. When I was a kid, 60’s and 70’s, we could play in the yellow house. However, time took its toll on it and is no longer standing.

        All of this talk about the cabin makes me want to go see it again. I live in Claymont Delaware now and I might take a ride, 45 – 60 minutes, to see it this weekend.

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