June Allen Column: Alaska's
Magnificent Mt. McKinley and the president it's named for -
Alaskans know their state is the most spectacular of all the
fifty political entities we call the United States of America.
Alaska is the largest state, twice as large as Texas and then
some. On the mainland mass of Alaska is the highest mountain
in North America; on Prince of Wales Island in the archipelago
of Southeastern Alaska are the deepest caves in the nation. Alaska
has the largest national forest, the most miles of coastline,
the most glaciers, and the most active volcanoes of any state.
The development of the state's vast reservoir of natural resources
is the most hotly debated in the nation. Everything in Alaska
is big and it's dramatic.
And most dramatic of all is
Alaska's magnificent Mt. McKinley - a mountain that in good weather
can be seen from Anchorage, from Fairbanks, from the Bering Sea
shores and locations far to the north. The Russians saw it. Capt.
George Vancouver saw it. This mountain is not a picturesque and
graceful volcanic cone but a giant heap of great ice-covered
rock rising 20,320 feet into the atmosphere. It is the coldest
mountain in the world and there are mountaineers who also call
it the single most impressive mountain the world, because: unlike
the world record Himalayan and Andes peaks that rise from already
enormously high mountain ranges, McKinley rises to all its impressive
height almost alone, with only nearby Mt. Foraker and Mt. Hunter
even close to its height. - Read
the rest of this story...
Sunday - September 14, 2003 - 1:00 am
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