The long days of summer — Alaska style

Is the weather crazy this summer or what? We just returned from another great trip to Denali National Park in Alaska where temps are normally around 65F, max. But after a very late snowfall near the end of May, they’ve been enduring a record breaking heat wave.


More than 20 hours of sunlight!


Our first day at Camp Denali saw 82F with clear skies, the next day we had a torrential downpour with lots of lightning, and then cloudy, smoky skies from all the fires burning in and around the park. The Mt. Booker fire started a few miles from us but was quickly doused by water dropping planes.



These heroic pilots fly into the park, scoop up water from local lakes, and attack the fires before they can grow.  They generally only worry about fires near human habitats and let wilderness fires burn naturally.


The combo of lots of melt water and warm temps created a perfect storm for mosquitos too. But our group of fun travelers put up with the heat and bugs with barely a complaint. After all, Camp Denali was amazing. The staff and food were great, we had views of the mountain and fields of wildflowers, and saw bear, moose, caribou, sheep, eagles, swans, porcupines, and muskrats.


Only the female mosquito bites. This one is weaving its proboscis between the threads of my jeans to reach my skin. She made it.

Ralph Clevenger

Ralph Cle­venger grew up on the coast of North Africa and began div­ing in the waters of the Mediter­ranean Sea at the age of 7 with his father. He even­tu­ally went on to study zool­ogy at San Diego State Uni­ver­sity and worked as a diver/biologist for the Scripps Insti­tu­tion of Oceanog­ra­phy in La Jolla, Cal­i­for­nia before attend­ing Brooks Insti­tute of Pho­tog­ra­phy. He holds a BS degree in zool­ogy and a BA degree in pho­tog­ra­phy. Ralph is the author of Pho­tograph­ing Nature, pub­lished by New Riders.
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