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You don't go to Denali ~ Denali comes to you.
On a recent photo trip into Denali National Park & Preserve I was, once again, reminded of the above mantra. Just being there is not enough; it's a process of attitude adjustment. With open eyes, heart and soul sooner or later something special falls into your lap (hopefully!).
It was solstice week, the longest days of the year, and I was driving about 7 mph over Polychrome Pass just winding down the park road hoping something would come to me. I rounded a bend and loping straight up the middle of the road toward me was solo lobo, a lone wolf (spanglish translation). When he saw me he flushed into the heavy brush, disappearing from sight. I turned my rig around on the narrow road and drove a 1/2-mile while trying to predict where the wolf might re-emerge. At an inviting clearing I parked and waited with open windows. Here he comes again (I almost cried wolf!). This time he was more tolerant, making a small, cautious detour around me while passing through a colorful patch of bluebell wildflowers.
He paused for a second to check me out and my heart froze as his gaze from those golden orbs bore straight into me. I clicked the shutter and he ambled on leaving me with an exhilaratingly long lasting sensation that I had looked right into the "Soul o' Lobo." Thank you, solo lobo.
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Denali National Park, Alaska
Nikon D700 with Nikon 80-400mm
1/320 second, ƒ/7.1, ISO 500