Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

15 miles north of Denali National Park, Alaska

Posted at 9:45 pm, August 22nd, 2002

An unexpectedly great day. Woke up to drizzle and headed off to Savage River with low expectations. While trying to find a better angle to photograph a waterfall I started making my way up a mountain slope, and as the weather was mostly dry I decided what the hell and kept going. After a bit of free-climbing and much bushwhacking through thickets I was near the top and spotted three Dall sheep rams — two of them with horns that made a complete loop plus some. After sitting and watching them for about an hour the oldest one got up and moved on, so I followed, only to discover that he had just gone about ten feet down a ledge — I nearly walked right on top of him. He ambled off, but when I again found him he gave me the once over, then came within fifty feet of me and laid down! We ended up sticking together for most of the afternoon, with two golden eagles flying by occasionally to check on things. Aside from a few planes passing overhead it was a completely magical time.

At the end of the day the sheep and I finally parted ways, and the hike down the mountain again involved much bushwhacking through thickets. After driving back to my “camping” spot near the highway I sat down to warm food — it was tremendous to once again eat food that wasn’t cold, and it could have even been hot food had I not been too hungry to cook it longer. Life is most definitely good.

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