lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

No Selfie Sticks Allowed September 5, 2015

This summer, I’ve been privileged enough to live and work right outside of Denali National Park. It’s beautiful and amazing, and because of the company I work for, I get six free bus rides into the park.  So at least every other week, I ride the bus into the park with the tourists to see the animals and hopefully catch a glimpse of the mountain. I usually jump off and backcountry hike with my husband, but we’re always on the bus for the rules section.

A lot of the rules make sense, such as be quiet at wildlife sightings. And don’t eat at the rest stops. I mean, people still don’t follow the rules, but it’s easy to see where they come from. But this year there’s been a new rule. Don’t shove your selfie stick out the window at wildlife sightings.

What?

I mean, I get the rule. But did someone really shove a selfie stick out the window at a wild animal? Did the animal bite the selfie stick? I need to know what happened! And I can’t find a damn person who knows the origin of the rule!

And it’s not just Denali that’s killing the selfie stick. Disney has recently banned selfie sticks due to safety concerns in the park. Did someone try to selfie on Splash Mountain? Did some idiot almost become the thousandth ghost at the Haunted Mansion?

I need to know the reason for the rule! It’s driving me crazy!

 

The End of Denali as We Know It August 8, 2015

It’s the Denali apocalypse! No, really, I think it truly might be!

I went hiking in Denali National Park on Wednesday, and we summited Mount Margaret. It was glorious! Most hikes around here you spend hours busting your butt to climb to the top of something, which really turns out to be a sketchy ridge that’s overrun with bugs. You stay long enough to take a triumphant picture and get a cliff bar out of your pack, then skirt your butt back down the mountain before you’re eaten alive or fall to your death.

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But on top of Margaret was a beautiful field! There were neat rock formations, Dall sheep, ptarmigan, and ice that never thaws.

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We walked through flowers, found a cave. It was fantastic. Then we crossed the ridge line, frolicking through the field to hike down the other side of the mountain. I looked back and saw something funny off in the distance. At first, I thought it was a part of the outline of Mount McKinley (Denali), which is often covered in clouds. But then I looked back a minute later, and it had moved.

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Funnel Cloud on Top of Mountain (Look really closely)

“Hey, that cloud looks like a tornado!” I said, pointing at the pretty thing. Luckily, I was with two people from Tennessee, who both immediately recognized it as a funnel cloud! A funnel cloud in the middle of Denali, touching a mountain ridge in the distance. And it was like a really, really far way away, so naturally, I sat down and had a snack while watching the cloud until it disappeared.

Then I stood up, saying what a neat hike it was. Then thunder shook everything. So the nice walk on the mountain became a game of get off the mountain as quickly as possible pretty darn quick. It involved bushwhacking and a lot of rain. My face bled a little, but we made it to the bus out of the park. We got on the bus, and an emergency radio call came in.

There had been a landslide on park road. Now, for those of you who don’t know, there is only one ninety-two-mile-long road that goes into Denali park. It that road is blocked, it’s either a helicopter or walking to get out of the park.

Luckily, we were far away from the landslide and really close to the park entrance, so our bus was unaffected. But still, I’ll give it a modest estimate that hundreds of park visitors were stuck on the far side of the landslide. I would have hated to be one of their bus drivers, trying to entertain bored tourists, but I’m sure everyone was fine.

I thought the strangeness in Denali was over until I woke up Thursday morning to smoke everywhere. There was a fire on the other side of the park entrance from us. You couldn’t see anything outside. At this point, we are just some raining frogs away from the end of Denali as we know it, people.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

 

Solstice Hike June 23, 2014

Filed under: Myths and Legends — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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This fine Monday, I want to share with you my gorgeous solstice hike in the land of the midnight sun!

This picture was taken just before midnight. (more…)