Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Denali (Mt. McKinley) from Cook Inlet, Anchorage

It was in early October, the weather was perfect for the weekend in Anchorage.  The sky was clear and the air was crispy clean.  I was waiting for a perfect sunset to dip behind the mountains across the Cook Inlet.  The rugged snow capped mountains: Mt. Susitna, Mt. Spurr, Mt. Redoubt, and Mt. Hayes were in outstanding backdrop!
Located 350 miles south of Fairbanks, Anchorage was 2-3 weeks behind, still in Autumn.  Fall leaves were still hanging on the birch trees, and the temperature was 10 degrees warmer than the interior of Alaska near Fairbanks, where I currently live.
The orange sun was slowly moving to the tips of the volcanic mountains.  Bright orange glare reflected on the calm water.  I was focusing on the dynamic landscape spread in front of me.  It took me a while to notice the high distinctively shaped snow covered mountain standing out in the northwestern horizon.  To my surprise, I realized it was the highest peak in North America, Mount McKinley (Denali)!  When it's clear enough, Mt. McKinley can be seen from 300 miles south in Anchorage!
The warm light from the setting sun glowed on the south side of Denali for a long while.  The colors were slowly changing to soft pink, and then fading out.  The western sky and the inlet were bright orange for awhile afterward.  Viewing Denali from the city was a surprising bonus for the day!