A friend and I hit the road at 5 am one Saturday and started the trek north to Denali National Park, where we planned on kayaking an 11 mile stretch of the Nenana River as it threads through a beautiful canyon. The Nenana is unique, because unlike most rivers which flow down gradient, it cuts directly across the massive Alaska Range due to ancient glacial flows which dredged across the mountains.
As we approached the river, the morning light hit Denali and illuminated it in brilliant golds, soft pinks, and deep purple-blues within its couloirs and crevasses. The moon was still hanging in the sky, and the birch along the highway were draped in full autumn yellows. I kept catching myself gasping and quietly swearing (sailor habits) over how stunning the whole scene was.
The river itself was incredible - big, reeling wave trains cutting through deep canyons with stunning striations in the rock walls. We saw dozens of mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) perched impossibly on sheer cliffs, and although it was cold, quite windy, and we accidentally put in higher on the river than initially planned (we paddled 27 miles instead of 11, oops), not a moment passed in which I wasn’t overwhelmed with the magic that has shaped my life lately.
Giclee Print Description: These 8” by 11” fine art prints are hand-printed by the artist on gloss paper, attached to a sturdy backing, and sealed in a crystal sleeve prior to shipping.