Shimmering Denali


Jerry and Heidie Godfrey were Mary’s pastors at Eagle River Church of the Nazarene. We met up with them in Anchorage for lunch. They were on their way to Costco; we convinced them that they really wanted to go up Mt. Baldy instead, to enjoy the perfect autumn weather. They hiked; I painted Denali.

Denali is 250 miles north of Anchorage as the crow flies. The mountain is less a presence than a shimmering mirage floating above the horizon. How does one paint what doesn’t even seem possible?

On Sunday I finally admitted I was tired. After church, we had a midday dinner of Alaskan salmon and halibut, caught and cooked by the Godfreys themselves. The wind blew and rain spattered. Mary did laundry and prepped road food. I did absolutely nothing.

As much as I was enjoying loafing around, I was keenly aware that we were imposing on others. Ominously, each day was a day closer to winter. On Saturday, we scraped frost off our windshield and Eagle River saw termination dust. Summer this far north is fleeting, and I didn’t want to cross the prairie provinces in blowing blizzards. The open road was demanding my attention.

In 2016, my daughter Mary and I set off across Alaska and Canada on a Great White North Adventure, which you can read about starting here. We arrived in Anchorage at the beginning of September and got home in mid-October. In between, we visited every province but PEI (been there, done that), and Yukon Territory. In retrospect, it might have made more sense to do this during the summer, since Alaska and Canada threw a mess of strange weather at us.

1 in stock


Shimmering Denali is 9X12, oil on archival canvasboard.

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