Denali: First snow and flight

On August 27th, on one of our final days in Denali we decided to hike to the Mount Healy Overlook. We were told that it was a relatively easy hike that got you a good view of the surrounding area. We started out in some aspen groves and then moved to switchbacks that would take us up Mount Healy.

We got to the top and it was sunny on one side of the mountain and a bit foggy on the other side. In a matter of minutes as we ascended about 200 feet higher the fog enveloped us and turned into sleet like snow. It was August and we were getting snowed on! My intention was to go a little bit higher, but we just didn’t have the gear to go much higher. It was super windy and the sleet/snow kept coming down.

We turned to head back down. For much of the descent I was running. Running downhill, for me, is akin to flying. My feet seem to move independent from my body and my body is able to coast. When the moment really strikes me I spread my wings…I mean arms and run down the trail at full speed. It is glorious. It’s as close to flying as ever come.

On this particular hike, I was flying down the mountain. I would stop; take several photos and then continuing flying down the mountain. At one point I reached back to my rain jacket to grab my phone to take a photo and realized that the pocket was open. Not good. This is the pocket where I was also keeping my keys, and as expected, they were gone.

The previous fifteen minutes included me sprinting down the mountain and stopping every several hundred yards to take a picture. I would put my phone back in that pocket every time, so the chances were that  I had just dropped my keys at the last stop. I crossed my fingers and headed back up the mountain to look for my keys. I climbed higher and scanned the ground. I got to the last place I had taken pictures and they were there!

I suppose flying isn’t always the best thing to do in every scenario, but man it sure is exhilarating.