More Setting the Scene: A Different Experience

In the Field 2014

Beautiful weather – Mt. McKinley in clear sight!

Beautiful weather – Mt. McKinley in clear sight!

The In the Field project this year has been very different from the experience I had last year. What do I mean by that? I will try to explain.

Very naively a few days ago on this very blog, I noted that several people had mentioned to us before we came, that this summer has so far been rainier and cooler than last summer. And to that, I noted, ‘wow, I would not have believed that, since the day we arrived it was bright and sunny and about 70 degrees

Fahrenheit…very much like (although maybe a few degrees cooler) almost the ENTIRE visit last year. I admit that while we were here last year several people told us the 2013 summer was unusually “hot” and “dry”.

I confess that I did break a sweat while we were hiking last year, but didn’t think anything of it because when you are from Texas, sweating is not unusual and 75 degrees is not hot. It is perfection, right? (I have a feeling you know what I mean.) 75 degrees was a cakewalk. For most of the trip last year we had blue skies and fluffy clouds. We wore short-sleeved shirts and light jackets…donned a rain jacket maybe once. I never even used my rain pants. I was also able to put my computer in my backpack and during the hikes, could set up on a flat rock while overlooking the beautiful scenery and write and create posts while out in the field. AND use both my tablet and phone as cameras and recording devices without a care in the world. It worked great!

But, I should know better than that!! After all, 1) Denali National Park is in the mountains (Mt. McKinley, the highest peak on the North American continent, is a few miles from here – as the crow flies – and the park is named Denali, after the native name of that mountain), 2) I lived in the mountains in Colorado (for several years) and know the weather changes easily and quickly and is generally cool (AKA: cold) and wet in the summer 3) this is Alaska, it is supposed to be cold and wet, right? That is part of the reason it is so green and

lush, right? I also admit that I brought rain gear, waterproof hiking boots, leg gators, two pairs of waterproof gloves, wool shirts and wool hats and various other items to help me (and my stuff) fend off the general cold and wet.

So what was I thinking?

Posted from Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, United States.