United States
Denali Borough

Here you’ll find travel reports about Denali Borough. Discover travel destinations in the United States of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

28 travelers at this place:

  • Day78

    Into the Wild

    July 29, 2015 in the United States

    Vielleicht kennt jemand das Buch oder den Film. Wir stehen am Stampede Trail, dort wo das Abenteuer des jungen US-Amerikaners im April 1992 seinen Anfang nahm und im August des selben Jahres sein tödliches Ende fand. Heute kann man Jeep-Touren entlang des Trails buchen ...

  • Day13

    TALKEENA TO DENALI (MCKINLEY EXPLORER)

    June 6 in the United States

    Our schedule has us leaving the Lodge at 11 am so we had time for a leisurely breakfast and another walk on the Lodge Trail to take some pictures and spot some more moose poo. It was a 45 minute journey to Talkeena railway station were we boarded the train for Denali. The first section of the trip is a flag down route because there is only trains that travel this route, no highway, so people have to flag down the train to travel around in this region. We saw more spectacular Alaskan scenery and wild life spotting of moose and bears - I even caught sight of the backside of a moose but all happened too fast for a picture. The domed carriages were perfect for viewing. We had lunch on the train with another couple from Florida and enjoyed some time on the outside platform. The second two thirds of the journey did follow the highway so we had plenty of train toots as we crossed over the highway. We had a very short journey to McKinley Chalet situated just outside the national park.

    We had a quick turnaround and were then in a bus to catch a covered wagon pulled by 2 horses to take us out to a remote cabin in the forest for supper. We had a pleasant ride through the countryside with one moose sighting and quite a few mosquitos! Our guides were a french lad, a Slovakian lad and a girl from Vermont - not exactly locals but very personable. The meal was delicious, corn, salads, ribs, chicken and chilli followed by dessert. We returned to our accommodation at 10.30 pm in broad daylight!
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  • Day14

    DENALI NATIONAL PARK

    June 7 in the United States

    Our Tundra Wilderness tour departed at 6 am this morning, no time for breakfast just time to grab our lunch boxes and one last visit to the restrooms as comfort breaks are limited. We boarded our school bus style vehicle and 'were on our way' (a phrase frequently used by tour guides!).

    Our very knowledgeable guide, Brian from Kentucky, has been in Alaska for 15 years and really loves the wilderness. Our journey would take us 62 miles into the park (and 62 miles back) and take approximately 7 hours. There is only general admission to the first 15 miles, then entry is strictly by tour bus or by foot. A maximum of 160 buses per day are allowed into the park. The park covers 6 million acres and has been a national park for 101 years. The park has remained relatively pristine, and has not been invaded by non native plants and animals, it is a haven, not only for individual species but for intact ecosystems.

    Charles Sheldon, a conservationist, fought to create Denali as a national park as he was greatly concerned about the hunting of the Dall sheep and was anxious to protect them and the imposing mountains and rugged landscape of Denali.

    Our journey took us through Igloo Forest, Sable Pass, Polychrome Pass and over several rivers to Stoney Croft Overlook at mile 62. The gravel road in its entirety is 90 miles to Kantishna.

    Our first spot of the day was a moose (at last a good view and picture of a moose). We then saw Caribou, a ptarmigan bird (Alaska's national bird), a beautiful red fox, then, sat on a hill next to the road were some female Dall sheep with babies. Then our prize spot, a mama grizzly bear with a last year's cub. The pair were golden brown and right alongside our bus, we could take pictures out of the open window and it was very exciting and maybe a little scary to be so close to a 300 - 400 pound grizzly!!!! We also saw some artic ground squirrels nicknamed cheese pizzas because that is what they look like if they don't cross the road carefully. Hopping around were many snowshoe rabbits which, at this time of year, have white lower half and grey top half bodies, I think we have been told they are all white in winter and grey in summer to blend in with their surroundings.

    The scenery is just magnificent, majestic mountains, glacial rivers, fresh green shoots on trees and shrubs, mountain flowers, water running out from underneath patches of snow, animal tracks in the snow and sightings of animals and birds in this vast wilderness, the air feels so fresh and clean. We reached an elevation of 4000 feet and were above the tree line for some of the journey. On the return journey we had a further sighting of our 2 grizzlies and an example of how quickly the weather changes, the blue skies disappeared, it started to rain, then hail, then sleet. The only thing we didn't see was a view of Mount Denali but, as we have been told before, only 30% of all visitors see any of the mountain and half of those get to see all the mountain, we were so lucky,as when we were in the lodge near Talkeenta, we saw the whole of Mount McKinley and the entire mountain range.
    This tour was another great highlight of the trip.

    We returned to the hotel for a snooze before the evenings activity which was a trip to the Golden Nugget Saloon to attend a dinner show. We walked down to the Denali Square were seated by Miss Molly and introduced to Miss Kitty our server. We had a good meal followed by an excellent show which told the story of the first climbers to reach the top of Mount McKinley. Walter Harper was the first, with Harry Karstens, Hudson Stuck and Ribera Tatum. It was appropriate that Harper was the first to stand on top of the mountain as he was half Athabaskan and the Athabaskan believe the mythical Raven created the mountain by throwing his spear so it is a spiritual place for them.
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  • Day13

    Canyons on the Wilderness Express

    August 25, 2017 in the United States

    The canyon rail track is perilously close to the edge and has recently been stabilised costing more than US$70 million. White water rafting is happening on the river. There is so much glacial silt coming down this river that it does not support fish life.

  • Day18

    Anchorage to Denali

    August 19, 2017 in the United States

    No witty title today, too tired! We luckily were able to get out of Gustavus by budgie jet ( thanks Chrissy C) and take a 14 minute flight to Juneau (yes, 14!). Most of the budgie unloaded, but we stayed aboard while they loaded up the remaining passengers due for Anchorage.

    We arrived at Anchorage early (amazingly, we were quite concerned as the flight had been cancelled the previous 2 days due to dense fog!), and were collected by our hotel.

    We had a wonderful, and entertaining dinner cooked by some Bulgarians, who thought us drunk as we laughed profusely at a visual joke (see previous note re budgie jet), and the bar an, Doug, an Alaskan with a great love for Aussies, a hatred for Germans, and an amusement for Kiwis ("sheepshaggers" - he obviously has been educated by Aussies in the past). Doug gave us some very useful tour info, and where to shop advice, which we will follow on our return to Anchorage in a few days time.

    Today we headed to Denali National Park, passing by Mount McKinley (or Denali in indigenous parlance), the tallest peak in North America. Unfortunately , we are unable to share pics, as the Mount was entirely fog/cloud bound all 238 miles...we did get some other nice pics though, of fast river rapids and lesser peaks. And, we finally sighted Mrs Bullwinkle and Junior. No pics though,but I did find a rather cute Jack Rabbit!

    Finally, we arrived at our lodgings in Denali. Our very helpful Albanian Hotel Receptionist told us if we were lucky, we would see the Northern Lights, which he photographed two days ago. At 3 am...

    As we have to be up at 5 am to get to our 12 hour tour to Kantishna with a NPS Ranger, I do not think we'll be up at 3 am...damn...however, with the dense cloud cover, I doubt the lights would be out for us anyway...
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  • Day18

    Kantishna - Back of beyond, Alaska style

    August 19, 2017 in the United States

    Today we had a very early start, as our tour bus left the Denali Wilderness Centre at 6:15 am. The day was again bleak, drizzly cold and foggy, but when we met with our tour guide, John, he was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and we knew we would have a good day.

    We had a small group of 15 for this tour - it is the longest tour in Denali National Park (you can only go in there with NPS tours), and we were set to see right to the end of the 92.5 miles of road. We piled into what looked like an old school bus (see pic!) and set off. John explained the history of the park, and many interesting facts. Unfortunately, Mount McKinley (20000 feet high) was nowhere to be seen, as it was totally cloud covered, but we learned that only 30% of visitors to the area ever get to see it, due to the cloud making that comes off it.

    However, there was still much to be seen, and with John's expert eyes along with the eager eyes of the passengers we saw all manner of wildlife: moose cow and calves, many bears, lots of caribou, ground squirrels, eagles, ravens, and all other sorts of bird life.

    The road was quite narrow over treacherous cliffs, and Cathy was quite nervous at times, but our driver John was very capable, and we felt very safe.

    At 87 miles in, we hit Wonder Lake, and there at the Ranger Station, we picked up Ranger Doris, who regaled us with stories of early inhabitants of the area, and giving us insight into how difficult it must have been. Doris walked us through what berries and plants can be eaten, and medicinal plants as well... At the 92.5 mile point, we hit the end of the road. There is an airstrip here, as people in tiny single engine planes fly in to hike. It was a long trip, 12 hours all up, and we met some nice people. (The first Aussies we have met on the whole trip on this bus of 15 came from Baulkham Hills...haha)

    At the end of day, we had to drive 100 miles to Wasilla, about 40 miles from Anchorage for a good nights sleep.
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  • Day13

    Denali Nationalpark

    August 10 in the United States

    Um 6.30 Uhr klingelte unser Wecker. Wir hatten extrem schlecht geschlafen. Im Gegensatz zu den letzten Nächten, wo wir bei absoluter Stille im Wald oder an Seen standen, war auf diesem Campingplatz eine Geräuschkulisse wie auf der Autobahn. Wir waren froh, dass wir nur eine und nicht gleich zwei Übernachtungen gebucht hatten. Angesehen von der Lautstärke war der Platz zwar gepflegt aber sehr eng. Das beworbene "Free Wifi" war eine einmalige, halbstündige Internetnutzung - vorausgesetzt, man hat bei dem Telefonanbieter einen Account oder legt ihn dort an. Für 45 $ je Übernachtung kein wiederholungsbedürftiges Ereignis.

    Wir frühstückten, nutzen die Ver- und Entsorgung und machten uns auf den Weg zum Denali Bus Stop. Es war schönes Wetter, wenn auch etwas kühl mit nur 3 Grad Celsius. Unser Bus kam pünktlich und wir bekamen unsere Wunschplätze vorne direkt hinter dem Fahrer mit Fenster. Der Himmel war blau, die Wetterprognose gut und so starteten wir mit Wayne, unserem Busfahrer, in die Natur. Was ne war ein erfahrener Fahrer und er bot und an, ein wenig über den Park zu erzählen vorausgesetzt, alle wären still wenn er redete. Das war prima, da hinter und im Bus eine achtköpfige japanische Famile saß, deren Mutter so fürchterlich quiekend viel redete. Als Wayne also allgemeines über den Park berichtete war Stille im Bus, die auch anhielt, weil die gesamte Familie bei Waynes Erzählungen eingeschlafen war.

    Wir waren noch nicht weit im Park, da sichteten wir das erste Tier. Es war ein kleiner Fuchs und der Bus hielt, sodass wir ihm eine Weile zusehen konnten. Weiter ging es mit allgemeinen Verhaltenshinweisen bei Wildtierkontakt tiefer in den Nationalpark hinein. Die Busfahrt ist so geplant, dass der Bus ohne Erzählungen seine Stecke abfährt, an festgelegten Haltestellen 10 Minuten Pause macht, wo die Fahrgäste den Bus auch verlassen dürfen und bei Tiersichtungen auf freier Strecke darf der Bus zwar anhalten aber niemanden aussteigen lassen. Wayne gab uns Informationen zum Park, erzählte Wissenswertes zu den Tieren, die wir sahen, machte zahlreiche Fotostopps und erzählte Geschichten über verunglückte Personen, Tierbegegnungen, einem Flugzeugabsturz usw. Es war eine tolle Fahrt bei der wir außer den Fuchs noch Rentiere, Greifvögel, Bären und eine Ziege zu sehen bekamen. Mit dem jungen Ziegenbock fieberten wir gemeinsam mit Wayne mit. Er hatte sich von seinen Artgenossen getrennt und rannte quer über die freie Fläche über einige Hügel und war dabei gut sichtbar. Wayne berichtete, dass er sich geradewegs auf das Tal zubewegt, wo die Wölfe ihr Revier haben. Die Chance, dass die Ziege die Überquerung überleben würde, schätze er als sehr gering ein. Wir beobachteten den kleinen Kerl also weiter, hielten gemeinsam die Luft an, wenn er gerade einmal nicht sichtbar hinter Büschen verschwunden war und freuten uns, wenn er irgendwo unbeschadet wieder auftauchte. Zudem hielten wir Ausschau nach den Wölfen. Das waren einige Minuten absoluter Spannung und letztlich hatte der kleine Ziegenbock riesiges Glück und konnte nach der Durchquerung des Tals seinen Weg ohne Verfolger weiter fortsetzen. Derartige Wege sollte er sich allerdings nicht öfter aussuchen 😀

    Neben den Tieren war natürlich die Landschaft im Nationalpark der absolute Wahnsinn. Aufgrund des guten Wetters hatten wir - was wohl sehr selten der Fall ist - das Glück, den Mount McKinley, der seit wenigen Jahren Denali heißt, komplett wolkenfrei sehen zu können. Ein wirklich beeindruckender Anblick. Zum Glück waren wir auch mit der richtigen Ausrüstung unterwegs. Ich hatte beide Spiegelreflexkameras dabei, auf einer das 24-105 mm Objektiv, auf der anderen das 70-200 mm mit 1,4x Konverter. Da ich damit aber ziemlich beladen war, habe ich wenige Fotos mit dem Handy machen können. Ich reiche nach meiner Rückkehr dazu noch Bilder aus der Kamera nach 😀

    Nach 8 Stunden, die sehr schnell vergingen, kamen wir wieder am Busdepot an. Wir waren ziemlich platt, wollten aber die freie Strecke der Denali Parc Road noch einmal fahren. Auf unserem Weg standen plötzlich jede Menge Autos und aufgeregte Menschen auf der Straße. Der Grund war ein riesiger Elch, der direkt am Wegesrand stand und fraß. Ein irres Gefühl, wenn man dem in recht geringer Entfernung gegenüber steht und einem klar wird, dass kein Zaun ihn aufhalten würde, würde er sich auf einen zu bewegen. Dieser Elch aber nahm wie Fotografen lediglich kurz zur Kenntnis und fraß ungestört weiter.

    Wir hatten inzwischen auch Hunger, fuhren zum Ende der öffentlich befahrbaren Straße und machten uns auf dem dort gelegenen Parkplatz schnell Kartoffelpüree und Spiegelei. Nach dem Essen stellten wir fest, dass es bereits spät war und in unmittelbarer Nähe kein öffentlicher Campingplatz war. Hier waren am Vorabend bereits am frühen Abend alle Plätze ausgebucht und zudem schließen die Plätze hier relativ früh. Wir überlegten, wo wir nun übernachten sollten. Wir erinnerten uns, dass auf dem Parkplatz der Busstation "overnight parking and Camping" verboten war, als wir an einem weiteren Parkplatz vorbei kamen, wo Schilder standen "only overnight parking" und "overnight camping forbitten" stand. Nachdem wir alle Interpretationsmöglichkeiten durchgespielt hatten, beschlossen wir uns dort zwischen die anderen parkenden Fahrzeuge zu stellen und direkt ins Bett zu gehen. Der Parkplatz ist wohl für Wanderer und Radfahrer gedacht, die im Park übernachten. Außer uns standen noch weitere drei Wohnmobile dort, die ebenfalls bemüht waren, einem unvewohnten Eindruck zu machen. Wir gingen ins Bett und schliefen direkt tief und fest. Was für ein toller und aufregender Tag! 😊

    Ich kann den Park nur jedem empfehlen, der hier zufällig einmal in der Nähe ist. Die Bustour war auch gut, unbedingt Plätze hinter dem Fahrer für die Hinfahrt und auf der anderen Seite für die Rückfahrt wählen. Zudem gibt's in der Busstation freies WLAN.
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  • Day25

    Denali dreaming

    September 16 in the United States

    This place is all about pristine wilderness. Today we all set our alarms so we would be ready for a six am bus trip. Some people are not aware of the existence of a six o'clock ante meridien, but were brought to a rude awakening today. It was brisk, about six degrees Celsius, but we have those temperatures at home without much fuss. Here the locals were walking around in shirt sleeves commenting on the lovely weather and wondering if and when they would see the first snowfalls. Normally, by this date the trees would have lost their leaves and snow would be settling and staying on the ground and dog sled would have replaced wheeled transport. They are not unhappy about the extra summer but concerned that no snow has come. Today, as has been the case with us for so many days, the weather was clear and sunny. The clouds that had provided a light cover last night were still present but not as dense.

    Denali National Park is a wilderness conservation area. There is only one road in and out, and after a short while within the park, the made roads disappear and exist only as gravel roads. They do not have walking trails beyond the first few kilometres because they want to leave the place for the animals and plants. Rangers and environmentalists can go in to monitor but this is limited too. Within that first circle where cars can still travel, they have regular stopping places that are kept meticulously clean and monitored by custodial and Parks staff. They have some of the fanciest longdrops here. Both Canada and Alaska have these dual roomed public toilets in remote places. Each door in the pair is a very solid floor-to-roof door with big sliding locks. This is to discourage bears from moving in or offering to evict you from it. I suspect they are also refuges from cranky bears too, if a wanderer got surprised by a bear.

    So much is their concern about keeping the park for the animals, that they have a lottery for visiting the park. If you wish to visit the park at all, you apply and wait to see if you win the lottery. This permits only a few cars at a time to come in and disturb the environment. Bodies are counted in and out of the park by their own Parks Ranger Smith (Yogi Bear reference for young people) to make sure things are kept right and tight. We were on a bus that was part of the tour and managed by special arrangement to have us come in. Groups in buses are preferred because they are scheduled, supervised and can do more with less. We also have a knowledgeable driver.

    Our bus driver loved his work. He just loves Alaska. He is very rough and ready, happy and comfortable, laconic and inarticulate all in one. His passion carried him through where his patter faltered frequently. One of the reasons he does this job is that he is an amateur photographer. Stopping the bus to take pictures was not just for us. He would stop, open his window or door, get his fancy camera out and take photos. We could too if we wished. Sometimes he would forget to tell us what we were looking at and people were scouring the countryside to spot whatever it was that had caused the bus to stop. He had seen a good shot of Mt Denali, 80 kms away, pulled up and taken it. We didn't mind at all. He was generous and excited to look for animals and was not stinting when we wanted time to get a better shot. He was snapping too.

    At the first stop, a history session on the establishment of the park allowed me to get a fuzzy picture of the biggest rabbit you ever saw. Our rabbits look like babies by comparison. This one was probably the Snowshoe Hare in his summer coat. Nearby, a couple of Americans announced loudly, that they had seen a stupid fat pigeon. They made jokes. What they had seen was the Alaskan State bird, the Ptarmigan, also in its winter coat.

    A little further on, our friendly bus driver, rounded a corner and said "MOOSE. 9 O'CLOCK" and we all peered down into a gully. We could just make out the massive antlers. We couldn't get any closer and he wasn't going to move, so on we went. Our next instructional stop and restroom break was a cultural stop. We were met by a young man called Sean who has Athabascan and two other clan identities. He was there to tell us the story of First Nations and Denali. Unfortunately, he had to wait to speak to us because a massive great bull moose was right where he was to give his talk. His talk normally included the uttering of the cries of the moose. One of these was the challenging call of one adult male to another. He felt that doing the call today might cause a disaster! We got our pictures of the big moose, who got annoyed by all the fuss and left. Then we listened to the story. It was mostly on how to kill moose the traditional way. I think that this was perhaps not well timed.

    A few minutes later and while we were congratulating ourselves on our pictures of bullwinkle, the bus shot off at great speed and a few short hair-raising seconds later came to a screeching halt with the words "CARIBOU 2 O'CLOCK". This one was being a bit shy so we waited. This is where having a driver interested in getting the picture was of such benefit for us. A disinterested one would have told us that we had a schedule to keep and drive on. Not ours. We hovered around for quite some time, begging the large male caribou to show us more than his bottom. At one stage it seemed clear that the animal wanted to cross the road. Our driver and the second driver in the second bus (they travel in pairs) blocked the road completely and no other cars could come through. The caribou then wandered across the road, paused, had a look at us, then went down the embankment to the clump of trees on the other side. We let the traffic through but continued to watch him for some time. I don't know if they are instructed to do this, but both the drivers commented on the overexcited Lottery Winner drivers and their often very selfish eagerness to get photos. They commented that these new-comers often took risks with themselves and the wildlife and our drivers would always try to protect the animal from too much stress. I am not sure if this is entirely legit or just an inflated sense of self-righteousness, but I did see signs of unwise behaviour from some private drivers, so I guess our drivers might be right.

    The moose and the caribou were all wild animals and we had got up close and personal. Very nice indeed. We were told we were phenomenally lucky to have had such close encounters with these big animals. No bears though. Our driver was beginning to believe in our luck but he drew the line at a grizzly strolling by.

    It turns out that this was also our driver's last tour for the season. Like many of the shops, restaurants and tour operators, they are packing up. It is the end of the season. We were the last group to come through in numbers and they will be moving on to their winter jobs in the next few days.

    After a short morning tea/breakfast, we were on our own. We took the opportunity to catch up on washing and preparing for the last few days. Many of us just took our ease, checked out the end of season bargains in souvenir shops, took photos, or in some cases took spouses to doctors. Not us, but several people on the bus have developed bad colds with nasty coughs and a few have resorted to bed rest. Ross continues to cough but it is a different cough and is not associated with a cold at all. It has been of growing concern that so many are ill. I think perhaps the time for holiday is over and people need to stop breathing each other's germs. It seems that a trip to the doctor here is $400 a visit. Gasp! Hopefully, these sickies will recover soon.

    One other thing happened today that cheered Ross up. I had refused to let him wear his grey jumper one more day. I told him he could wear his nice new lime green fleecy jacket that he bought in Canada and give the jumper a wash. Grumble, grumble. Attempts at negotiating failed, so on with the green jacket and his Banff beanie. If he was going out into the wilderness he was going out in a beanie. At one stop he climbed back on the bus. The beanie had worked its way up his head and was now perched on top. I suggested he pull it down to keep his ears warm and to make him look a little less like an elf. It was one of those moments when a comment uttered in normal tones, gets heard by everyone. From the back of the bus came, "Not an elf. He's a smurf!" I must admit the fit was apt except he was green and the smurfs were blue. There was general ribbing and laughter after that. Ross enjoyed his temporary notoriety.

    Late in the afternoon, after the washing, drying and repacking had occurred, we went in search of a simple dinner. We saw a pizza joint nearby and ordered two small pizzas. Well, this began a trauma we had not anticipated. Their small pizza is our family-sized pizza. I tried to suggest there had been an error when mine arrived. I had ordered a small. I was reassured that this monster was all mine and Ross' was on its way. Gasp. We did our best, but I could only eat half. Ross got one slice more than me and we were exhausted. I was feeling awful at the waste and kept wondering if I could find a homeless person to give this food too. We looked up to see another couple from our group face exactly the same dilemma. They got a pizza box and left. We were about to do the same when in walked another fellow traveller. I tried to warn her about the size differential so she would not be caught like we had. She had just got back from taking her husband to the doctor and was trying to get something quick for them to eat in their room. She kindly agreed to take our leftovers. We felt better because the food was not wasted and she saved a few dollars after that massive doctor's bill. It all worked out in the end.

    Now, while Ross naps, I will finish off today's entry with some of the photos of our day in the wilderness.
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  • Day17

    The sled dogs of Denali

    May 23 in the United States

    A couple of videos of sled dogs used in park, average dog runs 1700 miles per year , the kennel takes on average 120 trips per year supporting winter operations in the park, being designated a wilderness area no motorized equipment is used off of the main road in summer and none in the winter, I used to run sled dogs with Arnold Woodard when me and mb lived in anchorage.Read more

  • Day10

    Denali...

    June 16, 2017 in the United States

    Long drive but we made it. The most spectacular scenery you can imagine. We saw Moose drinking on the side of the road on the way too!

    Staying at a very special campground, 20 miles into the park ... Tough spot to reserve and completely off the grid. Should be awesome!

You might also know this place by the following names:

Denali Borough, ডেনালি ব্যুরো, Borough de Denali, Arrondissement de Denali, Denali, Denali megye, Դենալի շրջան, Borough di Denali, デナリ郡, Denali Kūn, Okręg Denali, Distrito de Denali, Денали, Деналі, دینالی برو، الاسکا, Boro han Denali, 迪納利自治市鎮

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