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I felt fortunate to have drawn a professional photographer's ("ProPho") permit for Denali National Park during the solstice week in June, and with this coveted permit I was able to drive my own vehicle park-wide. With scenic alerts around every bend, I found myself averaging 2-1/2 miles per hour. Slow down, this is Denali.
On the way in I photographed bears, Dall sheep, golden eagles, peregrine falcons and my first snowy owl. A midnight sunset on Stony Dome seamlessly turned into sunrise and at 3 am a calm visit from a lone wolf kept my senses inspired! It never got completely dark as the all-nighter morphed into a glorious morning so I kept on truckin'. I arrived at Wonder Lake 86 miles later at around 8 am.
Denali's North Peak (19,470 feet) was creating its own cloud system and reflecting off a surprisingly calm Wonder Lake so I planted myself on a hill and soaked in the scene. The refreshingly clear morning light was beaming in from the east and creating contrasting shadows and snowy highlights along the Mountain's many facets. Color was almost distracting as I became captivated by the shape and form–black & white–depicted in the taiga forest, wispy skies and sharp-edged peaks of "Denali North."