What a View

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December 1, 2010

Good Sam Club Member Ruth Stoll, Hudson, Florida

My husband and I had driven to Alaska to spend the 2010 summer in volunteer work and sightseeing. Our two adult sons had joined us for two weeks of vacation. We parked our HiLo Travel Trailer at Riley Campground, Denali National Park, Alaska, and on Monday, June 28, we took the shuttle out to Wonder Lake to spend the night in a tent at the campground. My husband Bill, and our two sons, Will & Steve, had talked me into this “great” experience as this was the premier location to behold Mt. McKinley. All day long and into the evening we had only glimpses of the top Mt. McKinley through the clouds, but we had seen swarms of mosquitoes. Survival was only possible with a head mosquito net! So off to our sleeping bag on the hard ground we went for the night.

I awoke around 2:30 a.m., very uncomfortable and cold. “Why had I been talked into this great adventure?” I asked myself. I wouldn’t even dare travel to the restroom since we were in bear country. After some time I noticed that the window flaps were open so I decided to close them. I looked out—I could hardly believe my eyes—there was Mt. McKinley—huge, phenomenal—unveiled with its snow-covered majesty. Immediately I woke up Bill and we exited our tent to behold not only Mt McKinley but the entire Alaskan range.

It was 3:00 a.m. and the sun was beginning to rise. We awoke Will and Steve.  Will, armed with his camera, took off on his bike for Reflection pond. Bill with his camera headed for higher elevation. Steve took a few shots and then said that he was going back to bed.

For two hours I sat on the picnic table, snuggled up in my sleeping bag, experiencing the fantastic display of the sun’s reflection on Mt. McKinley. From about 3:20-3:40 a.m. it looked like a cupcake covered with pink icing. It was as if God opened the curtain and said, “Look at My beautiful creation.”  What a special opportunity to just sit there in the silence of the morning, marveling at this magnificent display of our beautiful world. I also thought about the importance of “seizing each opportunity.” I had not really wanted to be there; I could have gladly been enjoying the comforts of “the Little House” in Riley Campground away from the mosquitoes and coldness of the morning. But what an experience — a life-long memory of beholding God’s creation.

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  1. Judy Shockley

    To Karen U and other 5th Wheelers interested in Alaska. Many nice RV parks but the spaces are tight for larger riggs. I have a 35ft and had to wiggle a lot. Ask specific questions when making reservations. Most of the campgrounds, state parks, US/govt parks, and public land areas are more friendly to the smaller drivable RV’s and I found many that would ‘no way’ accommodate a 35ft anything. DO NOT forgo a trip to Alaska…it will be the greatest even with the challanges. Well worth the effort.

  2. What a wonderful story about seeing Mt.McKinley. You do have to see it to believe it.tyv8

  3. Karen Usoff

    I would be interested in information regarding the ease of traveling through Alaska in a 5th wheel, 34 feet long. And what about the volunteering aspects. What are the volunteering opportunities in such a trip. We are considering a trip in 2012. I would be grateful for any information any other Good Sam members may have about this. Thank you.