Mount Denali, Alaska

The Sacred Ceiling of North America

North America's heyday
Aerial view from the highest summit of Mount McKinley or Denali, the supreme mountain in North America at an altitude of 6194 meters.
ephemeral green
Green Taiga of PN Denali during the short summer of Alaska's northern interior.
a glacial valley
Ice flow from one of the many glaciers that flow into the canyons of the Alaska Range of which Mount Denali is a part.
white water
Two rafting boats face rapids of the Nenana River, in the vicinity of Denali Park.
granite in fog
Fog envelops steep cliffs at the icy foothills of Mount Denali.
Moose Crossing
Traffic sign warns of moose crossing throughout Denali National Park.
ice in the depths
Another glacier, this one well hidden in a gorge between steep mountains.
Berm Pasture
Moose graze on the roadside of Denali Park, hardly bothered by the traffic.
train ride
Marco C. Pereira hanging from an inactive Alaska Railroad carriage.
ice road
Long glacier with strange parallel and continuous lines.
Destination: Savage River
Denali National Park service bus, painted green to break the natural homogeneity of the place as little as possible.
privileged perspective
Passengers on a scenic flight photograph Mount Denali on a day of great visibility.
The heyday of North America II
Distinct perspective of Mount Denali, well detached from the rest of the Alaska Range.
End of day without end
Slow sunset over the Alaskan tundra, during the short summer of the northern latitudes.
The Athabascan Indians called him Denali, or the Great, and they revered his haughtiness. This stunning mountain has aroused the greed of climbers and a long succession of record-breaking climbs.

After several days of exploring the majestic domains of Prince William Sound, we left Valdez.

We begin a long, pseudo-night drive north along the Richardson Highway, the first of Alaska's great highways.

Successive freezes and thaws and the discontinuity of the permafrost underneath made it more wavy than would be desirable. Accordingly, we proceeded at moderate speed, at a pace also suitable for enjoying the towering forms of the Chugach Mountains and the northern tundra.

But not only. The wandering allows us to avoid foxes, weasels, squirrels, porcupines, moose and even a glutton that, along the XNUMX kilometers crossing – or in the case of the fussy moose, occupy – the asphalt.

We arrived in Fairbanks in the middle of the night, but we never noticed a dawn worthy of the name. The sun simply recovered from its short whisper over the horizon and returned to those boreal parts the intense and full luminosity it owed them until the end of the short summer.

Mount Denali, McKinley, Sacred Ceiling Alaska, North America, sunset

Slow sunset over the Alaskan tundra, during the short summer of the northern latitudes.

We confirm the fame of Alaska's second city. Secluded in the confines of almost nothing arctic, Fairbanks has developed her own life on the fringes and never bothered to attract visitors.

As you'd expect, most don't fall in love with her at first sight. Not even the next one. We understand them. The city seemed to us as improvised and busy as it was worn out by the austere climate.

In any case, these are the great scenarios that stand out the most in the 49th US state and, a few additional hours to the south, the high point of the itinerary awaited us, the one that had justified the long journey from Valdez.

High point, we might as well say.

Detached from the sub-Arctic wilderness, Denali Park was established around the highest elevation in North America, a prehistoric mountain measuring 6.196 meters, surrounded by other, less imposing peaks.

Mount Denali, McKinley, Sacred Ceiling Alaska, North America, National Park

Green Taiga of PN Denali during the short summer of Alaska's northern interior.

The Discovery of American Settlers and McKinley's Political Baptism

In the late XNUMXth century, a gold prospector named him McKinley, in political support of an Ohio-born US presidential candidate of the same name, and was later assassinated during his second term by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist of Polish descent.

We reach the park via the George Parks Highway that connects the far-flung and iconic cities of Anchorage and Fairbanks, making it one of Alaska's most important thoroughfares.

Mount Denali, McKinley, Sacred Ceiling Alaska, North America, Moose Crossing

Traffic sign warns of moose crossing throughout Denali National Park.

As soon as we veer off onto Park Road, we begin to see why professional photographers refer to Denali's animals as approximate animal life.

Hunting has been banned for a long time, so fauna runs less from people and vehicles.

In a few kilometers, we pass a family of moose and foxes that wander right along the side of the road.

Mount Denali, McKinley, Sacred Ceiling Alaska, North America, Moose

Moose graze on the roadside of Denali Park, hardly bothered by the traffic.

There are those who are lucky or unlucky - depending on the perspective and the occasion - to come across bears grizzlies, with caribou and wolves on the park's many walking and mountain bike trails.

We advance to Wonder Lake. The day turns out to be anything but favorable for contemplating Mount Denali.

On clear days, the mountain tends to captivate visitors with fabulous symmetrical images: the real one and the one of its reflection in the still waters of the lake.

However, to compensate, we confirm the possibility of participating in a scenic flight above the summit and around it. Aware that at more than 6000 meters of altitude the weather should be different, we got excited. We hope for the best.

We slept in a camp named Greezly near the Nenana River. Despite the name, none of the great Alaskan bears torment our sleep.

The Glorious Panoramic Flight around Mount Denali

We woke to a glorious morning. At eight, we were already parked at the local aerodrome, looking forward to the departure.

“It's quite windy. The plane is going to rattle a bit.

Mount Denali, McKinley, Sacred Roof Alaska, North America, scenic flight

Passengers on a scenic flight photograph Mount Denali on a day of great visibility.

In addition, we are going to fly at an altitude that requires oxygen” the pilot warns us with the ease of those who have been conducting those aerial excursions for centuries. “But these are details. What matters is that they will have the privilege of admiring the best views in the Americas, without any dispute!” adds.

We took off to the blue sky. In a flash, we flew over the great green taiga of Denali. We see rivers and lakes that the reflection of the sun turns silver.

Onwards, the green vegetation becomes dry due to the higher altitude and the cold.

Enter the first arms of ice, and then the overpowering frigid whites of the great ice fields of the Alaska Range.

Mount Denali, McKinley, Alaskan Sacred Ceiling, North America, glacier listed

Long glacier with strange parallel and continuous lines.

We continue to gain altitude over deep gorges through which long glaciers slide, some with whimsical meanders or graceful bifurcations. We see huge granite pillars carved by erosion and subsumed in mist.

At a certain height, between bumps and small jumps, we came across a mountain.

In fact, we have the feeling that we are going to collide with it. "Why, here he is!" communicates the American pilot bragging to passengers with undisguised enthusiasm: “Mount McKinley or Denali, whichever you prefer.

Mount Denali, McKinley, Sacred Ceiling Alaska, North America, summit

Aerial view from the highest summit of Mount McKinley or Denali, the supreme mountain in North America at an altitude of 6194 meters.

A lot of people have already died for this bastard. If it's up to me, we won't be part of the statistics, don't worry! Let's take it three little walks and then come back the opposite way from where we came, OK?"

The mountain looms prominently above low clouds, crowned by a white top of permanent ice, or gold of the most polished granite to which the ice has not yet managed to attach itself.

granite in fog

Fog envelops steep cliffs at the icy foothills of Mount Denali.

Denali or Mount McKinley: The Conquest of the Great Mountain of North America

Its seat, dark, is as wide as that of few other mountains.

At 5.500 m, the ascent from base to peak is considered the highest of any mountain situated entirely above sea level.

From the turn of the 1910th century onwards, the pioneering nature of its conquest aroused the greed of countless climbers. The first confirmed ascent took place in XNUMX, by a group of four residents of the region who became known by the Sourdough Expedition (yeast).

Despite the absolute lack of mountaineering experience, they spent about three months on the mountain. Your summit day will have lasted eighteen hours and been impressive.

Armed with a bag of donuts each, a thermos of hot chocolate, and a four-metre spruce stick, two of them reached the northern peak, the lower of the two summits.

Mount Denali, McKinley, Sacred Ceiling Alaska, North America

Distinct perspective of Mount Denali, well detached from the rest of the Alaska Range.

They raised the stick near the top.

Most Successive Record Ascensions

The first ascent to the highest peak – the official conquest of the mountain – was given three years later by Walter Harper, an Alaskan native. Robert Tatum, his partner, also reached the main summit.

This group confirmed the fir testimony left by the Sourdough expedition in 1910.

Since then, numerous records have been broken, several of the expeditions starting in the picturesque village of Talkeetna: the first woman, the first climber to climb it twice, the first conquests by new routes, the first conquest in winter (1967), the first solo climb (1970)

Mount Denali, McKinley, Sacred Ceiling Alaska, North America Whitewater

Two rafting boats face rapids of the Nenana River, in the vicinity of Denali Park.

the first climb by an all-female team (1970), the first descent of the Cassin slope by Sylvain Saudan “Eskiador do Impossível” (1972),

the first ascent by a pack of Eskimo dogs (1979), a new attempt at solo ascent by the Japanese Naomi Uemura, now in winter (1984), failed, a feat that would be achieved four years later.

During this time, and as the pilot on board had told us, more than a hundred people sacrificed their lives in honor of the great Denali.

The Treacherous Mount Meteorology the Natives Restricted to Denali

The mountain is so vast that it creates its own completely unpredictable weather. Suddenly, the stable atmosphere can degenerate into raging storms.

In December 2003, -59.7ºC were recorded. On a day of similar temperature and with a wind of almost 30 km/h, Mount Denali produced a North American absolute cold record of – 83.4°C.

Mount Denali, McKinley, Sacred Roof Alaska, North America, Glacial Valley

Ice flow from one of the many glaciers that flow into the canyons of the Alaska Range of which Mount Denali is a part.

Given these and other meteorological, topographical and geographic figures, we understand why the Athabascan natives and others struggled for so long for the roof of North America to come to be called just Denali.

Why they demanded the removal of the name of the president who never visited him and had little or nothing to do with those Alaskan parts.

This whim was satisfied by the President Baraka Obaka, despite opposition from the state of Ohio and annoyance from the Republican Party the day before his Aug. 30, 2015 visit, and sought to sensitize Americans to the drama of climate change.

We also understand why the natives have so much respect for the majestic mountain at the heart of their vast territory.

By the way, whatWhen we land safe and sound at the aerodrome of Denali, that same respect still grips our hearts.

Key West, USA

The Tropical Wild West of the USA

We've come to the end of the Overseas Highway and the ultimate stronghold of propagandism Florida Keys. The continental United States here they surrender to a dazzling turquoise emerald marine vastness. And to a southern reverie fueled by a kind of Caribbean spell.
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Ketchikan, Alaska

Here begins Alaska

The reality goes unnoticed in most of the world, but there are two Alaskas. In urban terms, the state is inaugurated in the south of its hidden frying pan handle, a strip of land separated from the contiguous USA along the west coast of Canada. Ketchikan, is the southernmost of Alaskan cities, its Rain Capital and the Salmon Capital of the World.
Anchorage to Homer, USA

Journey to the End of the Alaskan Road

If Anchorage became the great city of the 49th US state, Homer, 350km away, is its most famous dead end. Veterans of these parts consider this strange tongue of land sacred ground. They also venerate the fact that, from there, they cannot continue anywhere.

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
sitka, Alaska

Sitka: Journey through a once Russian Alaska

In 1867, Tsar Alexander II had to sell Russian Alaska to the United States. In the small town of Sitka, we find the Russian legacy but also the Tlingit natives who fought them.
Juneau, Alaska

The Little Capital of Greater Alaska

From June to August, Juneau disappears behind cruise ships that dock at its dockside. Even so, it is in this small capital that the fate of the 49th American state is decided.
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Prince William Sound, Alaska

Journey through a Glacial Alaska

Nestled against the Chugach Mountains, Prince William Sound is home to some of Alaska's stunning scenery. Neither powerful earthquakes nor a devastating oil spill affected its natural splendor.
El Chalten, Argentina

The Granite Appeal of Patagonia

Two stone mountains have created a border dispute between Argentina and Chile. But these countries are not the only suitors. The Fitz Roy and Torre hills have long attracted die-hard climbers
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
Florida Keys, USA

The Caribbean Stepping Stone of the USA

Os United States continental islands seem to close to the south in its capricious peninsula of Florida. Don't stop there. More than a hundred islands of coral, sand and mangroves form an eccentric tropical expanse that has long seduced American vacationers.
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coasts concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the extreme southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessible via six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is meager for the number of souls who desire it.
Little Havana, USA

Little Havana of the Nonconformists

Over the decades and until today, thousands of Cubans have crossed the Florida Straits in search of the land of freedom and opportunity. With the US a mere 145 km away, many have gone no further. His Little Havana in Miami is today the most emblematic neighborhood of the Cuban diaspora.
Grand Canyon, USA

Journey through the Abysmal North America

The Colorado River and tributaries began flowing into the plateau of the same name 17 million years ago and exposed half of Earth's geological past. They also carved one of its most stunning entrails.
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Las Vegas, USA

Where sin is always forgiven

Projected from the Mojave Desert like a neon mirage, the North American capital of gaming and entertainment is experienced as a gamble in the dark. Lush and addictive, Vegas neither learns nor regrets.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Yaks
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
Itamaraty Palace Staircase, Brasilia, Utopia, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

Since the days of the Marquis of Pombal, there has been talk of transferring the capital to the interior. Today, the chimera city continues to look surreal but dictates the rules of Brazilian development.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Ceremonies and Festivities
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
City of Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde
Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde

The Miracle of São Vicente

São Vicente has always been arid and inhospitable to match. The challenging colonization of the island subjected the settlers to successive hardships. Until, finally, its providential deep-water bay enabled Mindelo, the most cosmopolitan city and the cultural capital of Cape Verde.
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
Gothic couple

Matarraña to Alcanar, Spain (España)

A Medieval Spain

Traveling through the lands of Aragon and Valencia, we come across towers and detached battlements of houses that fill the slopes. Mile after kilometer, these visions prove to be as anachronistic as they are fascinating.

Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Navimag Cruise, Puerto Montt to Puerto-natales, Chile
Puerto Natales-Puerto Montt, Chile

Cruise on board a Freighter

After a long begging of backpackers, the Chilean company NAVIMAG decided to admit them on board. Since then, many travelers have explored the Patagonian canals, side by side with containers and livestock.
Tulum, Mayan Ruins of the Riviera Maya, Mexico
Overall, Mexico

The Most Caribbean of the Mayan Ruins

Built by the sea as an exceptional outpost decisive for the prosperity of the Mayan nation, Tulum was one of its last cities to succumb to Hispanic occupation. At the end of the XNUMXth century, its inhabitants abandoned it to time and to an impeccable coastline of the Yucatan peninsula.
sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

Most travel photos are taken in sunlight. Sunlight and weather form a capricious interaction. Learn how to predict, detect and use at its best.
Missions, San Ignacio Mini, Argentina
San Ignacio Mini, Argentina

The Impossible Jesuit Missions of San Ignacio Mini

In the century. In the XNUMXth century, the Jesuits expanded a religious domain in the heart of South America by converting the Guarani Indians into Jesuit missions. But the Iberian Crowns ruined the tropical utopia of the Society of Jesus.
Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Batu Bolong temple, Agung volcano in background
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

The foundation of Indonesia was based on the belief in one God. This ambiguous principle has always generated controversy between nationalists and Islamists, but in Lombok, the Balinese take freedom of worship to heart
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
On the Crime and Punishment trail, St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimirskaya
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the Trail of "Crime and Punishment"

In St. Petersburg, we cannot resist investigating the inspiration for the base characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous novel: his own pities and the miseries of certain fellow citizens.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Van at Jossingfjord, Magma Geopark, Norway
Natural Parks
Magma Geopark, Norway

A Somehow Lunar Norway

If we went back to the geological ends of time, we would find southwestern Norway filled with huge mountains and a burning magma that successive glaciers would shape. Scientists have found that the mineral that predominates there is more common on the Moon than on Earth. Several of the scenarios we explore in the region's vast Magma Geopark seem to be taken from our great natural satellite.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Zapatismo, Mexico, San Nicolau Cathedral
UNESCO World Heritage
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

The Home Sweet Home of Mexican Social Conscience

Mayan, mestizo and Hispanic, Zapatista and tourist, country and cosmopolitan, San Cristobal has no hands to measure. In it, Mexican and expatriate backpacker visitors and political activists share a common ideological demand.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
The Dominican Republic Balnear de Barahona, Balneario Los Patos
Barahona, Dominican Republic

The Bathing Dominican Republic of Barahona

Saturday after Saturday, the southwest corner of the Dominican Republic goes into decompression mode. Little by little, its seductive beaches and lagoons welcome a tide of euphoric people who indulge in a peculiar rumbear amphibian.
Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, Chamarel waterfall

A Mini India in the Southwest of the Indian Ocean

In the XNUMXth century, the French and the British disputed an archipelago east of Madagascar previously discovered by the Portuguese. The British triumphed, re-colonized the islands with sugar cane cutters from the subcontinent, and both conceded previous Francophone language, law and ways. From this mix came the exotic Mauritius.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica, public boat
Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

The Flooded Costa Rica of Tortuguero

The Caribbean Sea and the basins of several rivers bathe the northeast of the Tica nation, one of the wettest and richest areas in flora and fauna in Central America. Named after the green turtles nest in its black sands, Tortuguero stretches inland for 312 km.2 of stunning aquatic jungle.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.