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Our flight and visit to this glacier was like being on a different planet! We were lucky to get a glimpse of Mount Mckinley as well. The beauty, peace and tranquility of the mountains just about took our breath away...Bernadette
(Jim took this photo in 2007)

The Don Sheldon Amphitheater is located on the Ruth Glacier. It is southeast of Denali, sandwiched between Mount Dan Beard, Explorer's Peak, Moose's Tooth, and Mount Barrille

In 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey recognized "Don Sheldon Amphitheater" as the official name of the visually stunning geographic feature located high on the Ruth Glacier in the Alaska Range. The amphitheater, previously known as the "Ruth Amphitheater," sits just southeast of Denali. Don Sheldon is one of the most celebrated pilots in Alaska and Denali history, but who exactly was Ruth?

The story of Ruth predates the park’s founding and is connected to the early 20th century frenzy to ascend North America’s highest peak. The notorious Frederick Cook was a physician and explorer who circumnavigated Denali in 1903 but failed to reach the summit. In 1906, Cook made a second attempt to conquer the mountain, and boldly claimed success—a claim that has been widely discredited.

During his exploration of the Denali region in 1903, Cook named the largest glacier for his stepdaughter Ruth Hunt. Ruth would have been about four years old at the time, but little is known about the rest of her life. She was born around 1899 and legally adopted by Cook after he married her mother Marie Fidele Hunt in 1902. Ruth eventually married and became Ruth Hamilton. She had a son, and a daughter named Bette who allegedly visited Denali in 2006 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of her grandfather's ascent. Ruth died in 1970 and was buried at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York—the same final resting place as her father. Wikipedia
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I will see if I can find it on my Kindle...


Bill Jordan wrote a book titled No Second Place Winner. You will give yourself a big treat if you read it. It's about much, much more than guns. The stories he tells and the anecdotes are priceless.


When I was at the height of my career legendary lawman and gunfighting guru Bill Jordan was well into his 70s. Nevertheless we became good friends mostly because we were introduced by a mutual friend we both trusted and admired. Bill was an enormous man with enormous features to match. His hand completely engulfed mine almost to the point of disappearance whenever we shook. He was 6' 6" tall and, even with his lean, mean appearance, weight over 275 very solid pounds.

I mention Bill's size because of this photo. Late in life he went big game hunting in Alaska, deep in the mountainous wilderness where only a bush plane like this could go. As his guides unloaded their gear the bush pilot said to him, "Bill, you're no spring chicken any more. And I want you to know that if you have any medical problems we'll get you out. Even if it takes two trips."


Thank you, Jean. It was an awesome experience!


Glad you could take this tour. This whole area is awesome. The best way to experience it is flying in a small plane.


It was unforgettable!


Sounds like a fantastic tour.

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