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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Train to Denali

From Anchorage we took a sight seeing train to Denali National Park.

We took the photos through the train glass, and so occasionally there was a little glare from the glass. The train took about four and a half hours to get there. We were treated to beautiful weather, something they told us was quite rare. The park headquarters are at the northeast end of the park. The scenery all the way was nothing short of spectacular. There were just a few small towns that we passed.

That’s Denali about a third of the way in from the left. We were about thirty miles away. Here’s a close up, taken from the train.

Bob pointed out in Comments, I posted the same strip twice. He says I must be getting old. Correct. So just to be sure, here is the whole darn week:

That waterfall was awful. Once you got in there was no turning back. People were breaking their legs. Medivac helicopters were thick as flies on cow poop.

Oops. That one didn’t make the cut.

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There’s not much to see in Anchorage. The main industry seems to be tourism. I took a few pictures, but I can’t seem to find them. Here’s the inside of a restaurant:

Here’s a building:

I liked the bear. This is a store that sells musk ox stuff:

It gets better tomorrow.

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OK, I’m Tired.

I’ve been working like a zombie slave repairing my floor. Tomorrow I’ll stain the floorboards and install them. You will all be surprised to find that I’m not just a pretty face.

Here’s the next strip in the story, although I don’t remember what it is. God help me. It’s hell getting old. Right Lars?

More about Alaska tomorrow. I think.




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Mighty Fine Eatin’!

More about Alaska tomorrow. Assuming I wake up alive.

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I’m Fixing My Floor

Whaddya think? My house on the Chesapeake Bay was built in 1896. Occasionally I have to fix things.

Oh my God! I’ll keep you posted.

More on Alaska tomorrow.

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At Dr. Fang’s House

My friend, Dr. Fang lives just south of Seattle on the Puget Sound. It’s beautiful there. I took these shots from his deck.

The wooded area is Seahurst Park. We went walking there on two occasions.

You can see the Olympic Mountains to the west across the Sound. Here’s a close-up:

Here’s that scene at sunset:

Dr. Fanf took us to Blake Island Park, only accessible by boat.

It’s covered with old growth forest.

In his neighborhood the spring flowers were in full bloom:

A couple days ago I posted a video of a fight between a golden eagle and a bald eagle. Here’s the Golden eagle. He was perched on a big rock on the beach.

And finally, the indomitable Dr. Fang and his squeeze, the lovely Marlene and herlovely dog, Blondie.

Thanks, Fang. Time to sober up.

Since I just got back from a cruise, I thought I’d post that story I posted a while back  about the cruise I took 18 years ago.

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Not Just a Pretty Face

(By the way, her feet aren’t really that big. It’s called perspective)

Our second and last night Lynn and Paul had us to dinner. Not only does she have big feet, she’s also a terrific cook.  I knew she was musical. Sometime around 1991 she and I put on a show for a bunch of other cartoonists. She sang Makin’ Whoopie, and I did funny stuff while she sang. Somewhere I have a picture of us, but I can’t find it. Needless to say, we were a big hit. After dinner she went upstairs and pulled out her squeeze box. I had no idea she played, and I think that Paul had never heard her either. She said that she hadn’t played for many years. It didn’t show:

Lynn and Paul, thank you so much!


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Lynn Johnston

As I said yesterday, Lynn Johnston is among the very best newspaper cartoonists in the history of newspaper cartoons, and I’m pleased to count her among my friends. Not only is she a great cartoonist, more importantly she’s a terrific human being. If you read For Better or for Worse, she’s exactly as she portrays herself therein.

A few years ago she moved from Northern Ontario back to her hometown, Vancouver. In fact she bought a house in the same neighborhood where she grew up. She met again her old high school classmate, Paul, and now they’re an item. And having met him, I think she made a good choice.

The day we arrived in Vancouver, she and Paul took us to Grouse Mountain, up the ski lift for a delightful dinner. On the way is Capilano Lake:

Here are the gondola and the mountain:

Here we are at dinner in the lodge restaurant on top of the mountain:

There is a beautiful view of the city from the lodge:

More tomorrow…

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More About Vancouver

We leave today for Northern Virginia. Taking the auto train from Stanford, Florida to Lorton, Virginia. As I said, over the next three weeks or so my posts may be spotty.

Here are some more shots of arty stuff in the city:

This is a statue of an angel carrying a fallen soldier to heaven. I believe it’s from WWI.

This guy is Gassy Jack:

A Dali statue:

By the way, if you ever get to St. Petersburg Florida, there is the Dali Museum.

Check out this 3d painting. It’s in the lobby of the Georgian Hotel. It’s amazing:

It is also 3D vertically, but I failed to record it.

And here is the world’s only steam driven clock:

Lynn Johnston and her squeeze, Paul, hosted us in Vancouver. If you’re in Europe, you may not be familiar with her comic strip For Better or for Worse. It’s among the most widely circulated comic strips here in the States in the history of our business. Even though she’s retired, well over a thousand newspapers are reprinting her comics from the strip’s conception. Tomorrow more about Lynn and Paul.

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