“Does it get better than this?” U.S. flag and Denali

Instagram from the Department of Interior, yesterday:

U.S. flag and Denali on an almost-clear day; Department of Interior photo, August 2012 - public domain

U.S. flag and Denali on an almost-clear day; Department of Interior photo, August 2012 – public domain

usinterior Tweeted, “Does it get any better than this?”

Denali, also known as Mt. McKinley, is the highest point in North America, 20,320 feet (6,194 m) above sea level.  Measured base to peak, it’s the tallest mountain on land on Earth — Everest and other Himilayan peaks rise from a very high plateau.  Denali is high enough that it makes its own weather.  Finding a day when the mountain is not almost completely obscured by clouds is rare, locals say.  Finding an almost-clear view, with blue sky in the background, is a cause for photographer excitement.

You’ll notice straight-line clouds in the sky — condensation trails from passenger jets.  I wonder how many flights bend a little to get a better view of the mountain for passengers?  Do big airlines even do that anymore?

Nice shot.  I could learn to like Instagram with more photos of this quality.

Better, it would be nice to be there, taking these shots.

More, including the controversy over the mountain’s name:

3 Responses to “Does it get better than this?” U.S. flag and Denali

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    One of the great issues of our time, sadly, is whether we can learn from history.

    Nazi Germany made a serious study of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. Then, in a fit of supreme hubris, thinking they had figured out exactly why Napoleon failed, they invaded Russia on the anniversary of Napoleon’s invasion. They assumed fast, big tanks would turn the tide for them, and of course, Napoleon didn’t have big, fast tanks, nor tanks at all. Russians made faster, small tanks. And Russians fought harder than anyone had sense to expect, as they had when Napoleon invaded.

    The invasion of Russia turned the war against Germany, as Napoleon’s invasion of Russia had been his undoing (this is a highly simplified account).

    Years ago West Point battle tactics courses included detailed studies of Chief Joseph’s retreat. He, too, was defeated as much or more by the cold, than superior forces.

    I wonder if they still learn Nez Perce tactics at West Point.


  2. cheekos says:

    What’s this: they hadn’t already named Denali after St. Ronnie yet!

    It truly is a great picture to see. When you mention “Crap” (well, it’s the American way!); surely, that whole myth about “Manifest Destiny” must lead the league. Would the so-called “Loving God” screw the Native Peoples like that. No way! She has too much empathy for that.

    I am somewhat of a history buff and Military History is so very inter-twined with Human History–=Napoleon’s defeat, in 1812, for following the Russian Army deep into Russia, during Winter, no less: our Civil War, etc. One of the truly unsung heroes is Chief Joseph, of the Nez Perce Indians.

    Read “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”. He led his entire tribe–woman, children, included, some 1,000 miles into Canada to evade the U.S. Cavalry. Can you imagine that?

    In later years, when Colonial Powers and, of course, United Fruit raped poor countries of their precious resources, they must have taken a page from what the U.S. had done to Native American’s, back in the 18th Century.

    McKinley is Dead: Love live Denali!


  3. James Hanley says:

    I wonder how many flights bend a little to get a better view of the mountain for passengers? Do big airlines even do that anymore?

    Maybe on clear days the pilots do…for their own enjoyment. The passengers’ enjoyment is perhaps just the bonus.


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