I set my alarm for 3:30 am so I'd be fully awake for the 4:30 am sunrise. Not much sleep since just a few short hours ago I experienced a beautiful land-of-the-midnight sunset. But the Mountain was out which was thoroughly invigorating. From a lofty knoll in Talkeetna the "First Light" of the day skipped across the clouds, bathing the snow-capped mountains and filling the air with a champagne glow (also known as "sky blue pink"). The vibrant green leaves of the birch and cottonwood trees smelled of a fresh, new summer.
Talkeetna, Alaska, with its northwesterly viewing angle, has arguably one of the best skyline panoramas of this fantastic trio of peaks (from left to right): Mt. Foraker (17,400'), Mt. Hunter (14,573'), and the tallest mountain in North America, Mt. McKinley (20,320'), more affectionately known as Denali.
These geologic marvels give credence to the power of plate tectonics and are the result of an ancient collision zone when "terrain," moving northward on the Pacific plate millions of years ago, was amalgamated to Alaska. The mountains are still shifting. Welcome to the Alaska Range.