It’s been another long day out on the trail. I’m sitting here in the McKinley Chalets in Denali National Park. It’s about 8:30 p.m. and of course the sun is still high in the sky.

We set out early this morning on the Alaska Railway from Fairbanks. The train features glass-domed cars, so the views can be quite spectacular. Unfortunately, shortly after we set out, I noticed that my mom was having difficulty breathing. The train stopped and paramedics were called. Although it didn’t appear too serious, we decided that it would be best to get her care in Fairbanks rather than head out into the wilderness where there isn’t much chance of treatment. Dahlia got off the train with my mom, and Mitch, Nikki, and I continued on.

I spoke to Dahlia a few hours later. My mom is 77 years old. In addition to being diabetic and having heart problems, she’s also been suffering with some respiratory problems this week, and she’s anemic. She was taken to a local hospital and felt better after treatment. It doesn’t appear to be anything critical, but with a person that age you have to be careful. They’re going to keep her in the hospital tonight. Hopefully she and Dahlia will be able to meet up with us in Anchorage on Tuesday.

So, our traveling party is down to three for now. The trip to Denali was quite beautiful, especially toward the end when we entered the Nanena River valley, and began to see the tall peaks of the Alaska Range. Unfortunately Denali itself was shrouded in clouds today, but we hope he’ll make an appearance eventually.

I was exhausted, but Nikki’s always ready for some fun. So off she went on a helicopter tour of the area. I used the time for a much needed nap. Nikki came back exhilarated from her trip, but also feeling some effects from motion sickness, and overall exhaustion. So she stayed in bed while Mitch and I had a nice dinner here in the hotel.

That brings us up to the minute. We have to be up early tomorrow morning…again. Our wilderness tour of the park begins at 5 a.m. Don’t ask. So, it’s going to be an early night. If only that sun would go down.


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