A dozen years after I left my home state and landed in Baghdad to begin life as a journalist and nine years after definitively abandoning Alaska, I find myself back. This time, unfortunately, it's because I seem increasingly incapable of escaping the long and destructive reach of the U.S. military.
U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) rose to the defense of the late William McKinley Wednesday with the latest in a long series of Buckeye State bills aimed at ending the Denali discussion and preventing a name change for the highest mountain in North America.
Minnesota mountaineer Lonnie Dupre has apparently completed a solo summit of the 20,237-foot Mount McKinley in January, the first time anyone has accomplished such a feat, according to Stevie Plummer, Dupre's expedition manager.
Alaskans of any political persuasion can agree that we should get to name our own state's highest mountain, currently misnamed Mount McKinley. And Sullivan is uniquely positioned to do something about it.
The holiday season may still be ramping up and Alaska may just be settling into winter but officials at Denali National Park and Preserve are urging people to start planning their summer adventures by booking campsites and seats on the park's shuttle buses early.
Two years of planning. One year of training. In June, a group of African-Americans set out to climb the highest peak in North America. Less than a thousand feet from the top of 20,320 summit of Mt. McKinley (also known as Denali), the expedition had to turn around.
Two long days, over three thousand miles traveled in three flights followed by five hours on a train followed by seven hours on a bus to what is literally the end of the road (there's a rather official looking sign saying as much).
I encourage everyone, no matter what part of these United States you live in (or even if you live elsewhere), to take a "trip out West" at some point in your life. Get in a car, and go explore everything west of Denver.