• Sherri Cassel

Just Over 100 Days


 

Dall Sheep - By: Sherri Cassel, Denali National Park and Preserve

Just like that, the touring season in Denali is almost over. When I first arrived the park was blanketed in snow. There is an old saying here, that indeed there are four seasons - Winter, June, July and August. It holds very true. As June evolved the ground exposed in a not to fancy shade of brown. Plants not yet recognizing the sun had arrived. Babies of all species walked about waiting for the green shoots. Tiny long legged moose, little Ptarmigan chicks, fuzzy "springer” grizzly cubs and many more. Then the awakening happened. By July the wildflowers sprung up were as if someone had thrown a box of brightly colored paints. Summer.


As August came, the bears started scouring for something other than the grasses they’d eaten all of July. Berries. They were rewarded near the mid days. And now as I type nearing the end of August our first snow has covered the berries. BUT, quickly melted and the bears still scour.


All of this grandeur evolved right before my eyes. Every single day I “worked” I’d drive into it. Now it’s coming to an end. I’ve prepared for these days many times over my 10 years as a National Parks guide. End of the season. Yet, it never gets any easier to say goodbye to this unique experience. Never gets easier to say goodbye to new and old seasonal friends. Never gets easier to ease back into the chaos of the lower 48. It’s nice to be up here minding my own business and playing in the wild.


It’s really amazing how just over 100 days of this can change you.




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