Our trip to Denali began in Anchorage on June 4, 2007, when we boarded the
train to Denali. This train has the distinction of being the only state owned
train in the US.

Doris had arranged an all day (14 hour) bus ride with guide to McKinley
National Park. Along the way, we saw a fair amount of wildlife including the
ptarmigan, a raven nest, mountain sheep, and wolves, pika , grizzly and
caribou --all pictured below.
A guide and bus are essential for a short visit to
Denali as cars are only permitted to go a few miles
on the one 90 mile gravel road into Denali.

Our guide told us what we already knew. Our
chances of seeing Denali, the tallest mountain in
North America, were less than one in three. So, it
was with delight, that after the first hour, we got
our first glimpse of Denali (below). I asked our
guide if seeing just the base of Denali was part of
the one in three, and she responded, yes.
Fortunately, as we drove along, our views only
continued to improve. Whereas we had seen
nothing but gray sky since our arrival, this day we
saw lots of blue sky.
We had no reason to expect
such an outrageously terrific
day. AND THEN I heard the
bus driver mention we might
have the opportunity to opt to
fly back instead of returning
on the bus. If you know me,
you know where I headed.
Before long, Doris, Jackie and
I had arranged a "fly by" of
Denali. We boarded a six
passenger Cessna . Maybe
the pilot (right) was trying to
figure out if Doris and Jackie
had been honest about their
The pilot wanted the
most capable co-pilot, so
Elston volunteered
(requested) the position.
Some might suggest that
another criteria for
getting the coveted seat
is to one of the heavier
To view our flight to Denali's peak, click the next link.