Curry to Clear Creek, Third Time’s a Charm

4 06 2015

Denali train

Kasey and I changed our weekend plans, deciding Friday night to packraft Curry to Clear Creek. Saturday afternoon we were packed & on the Hurricane train out of Talkeetna. It was 80 degrees, blue skies, and our first packraft of the season.The train ended up being very, very late so we didn’t start our 15 mile hike until 3 pm.

denali

We couldn’t complain about the scenery 🙂 Pretty amazing views of Denali and the Alaska Range the whole way. At 80 degrees, it was sweltering outside (especially for early June!). There was still plenty of pockets of snow on the atv trail and I was able to make a little turban on top of my head with my bandana, with snow inside of it. I looked ridiculous, but felt great 🙂

kasey alaska range view

The powerline at the end of the atv trail. We realized/learned a few things on this trip. Doing this early season significantly reduces the schwack. There is a trail of sorts that is mostly under the powerline (it gets overgrown, and sometimes it’s easy to lose, but WORTH looking for). There are parts under the powerline that have been clear cut, with ankle size stumps and branches left. Again, early season makes this so much easier to see all the hazards.

powerline

Kasey at the ridge. We had very few mosquitos up until this point. The mosquitos had been mostly hanging out in the drainages. We were hoping for more of the same on the ridge or a slight breeze to keep them away. We didn’t get that lucky. They were pretty heinous on the ridge. Just hatching and blood thirsty 😦

on the ridge

Another stunning view of Denali and the Alaska Range.

sunset denali

I didn’t imagine it possible. Kasey and I found a way down from the ridge with no bushwhacking through alders. Just ferns & plants. Easiest hike I’ve ever done on this trip. I never thought I’d say that. The ferns, near the river, last time we did this trip were 6-7 feet tall. It was interesting going through them in bear country…..

kasey ferns

Getting boats packed up at the put in to Clear Creek! Water levels were slightly higher, making it super fun, sporty, & splashy! It’s always a fun float, but this time with the water level slightly high, it was even better……

Kasey @ put in

Take out on the Talkeetna River.

take out talkeetna river





Snowbird to Bomber

11 09 2014

I love Hatcher’s Pass-especially in the fall. The colors were perfect last weekend when Becca, Evan, and I set out to backpack Snowbird Glacier to Bomber Glacier and out Reed Lakes. Although I’ve been to both the Bomber and Snowbird a few times, I’ve never done the link between the two. I was excited that Becca & Evan were on the same page.

It was lightly raining when we left the truck, which eventually turned into a more steady rain with low clouds. We arrived at the Snowbird Hut to find some of my co-workers and their friends staying there as well. As night came, the clouds started to lift, and the tops of the surrounding mountains emerged.

The tarn below the Snowbird Hut with Alpenglow on the peaks in back.

view of lake

A few minutes later, 180 degrees from the last image, we were treated to an amazing (but quick) sunset over Snowbird Glacier.

sunset glacier

Evan & Becca at the start of our descent from the Snowbird Hut. We were all smiles until we realized it froze the night before & the talus field was a icy nightmare 🙂

Becca & Evan

Evan at the bottom of the talus field below the Snowbird Hut on the way to Bomber. Hatcher’s Pass has no shortage of talus fields and this trip was no exception. In fact, we took a detour and hiked up and down an extra one because we like them so much 🙂

boulder field

Evan taking a look at the valley we were descending into.

Evan

We enjoyed amazing amounts of fresh blueberries! While the low bush blueberries were past their prime, the high bush blueberries were perfect! Even Shiloh (their pup) thought so.

The fall colors were perfect.

becca evan shiloh

Although the sun was shining, it was definitely crisp outside. I was hoping to wear shorts one more time…..but happy it’s almost ski season!

fall c olors

river

Becca, walking up the glacier. It’s pretty wild to stumble across so many parts of the plane strewn across the much of the glacier. Some parts of the plane, dozens of feet apart, are still connected to each other by wires.Becca Glacier

wing mountain

bomber 2

bomber 3

bomber4

After we made the descent down the monster talus field  to Upper Reed Lake, Becca announced she was so glad to be done with boulder fields. I then realized she had never hiked to Reed Lakes…….I tried to, as delicately as possible, tell her we still had one more talus field.  There was a very sad look on her face. I think she found some solace in the fact that it is the easiest & smallest one of the trip. We had an amazing, beautiful weekend in the Talkeetnas!





East Fork Susitna

8 07 2014

Our Fourth of July trip started out car camping the night before beginning our pack raft trip on the Denali Highway. From my tent, I hear Dan ask Dylan if he smelled anything. Dylan replied “No.” Next morning, I caught a whiff of a horrible smell & noticed flies outside my tent. Dan happened to be walking by and I asked him if anything was dead outside. He replied “No, why do you ask?” A few minutes later Dan discovered a very dead porcupine out in the open between our tents! I have no clue how we missed it…..I would love to say it’s because we set our tents up at midnight the night before, but everyone knows there’s still plenty of daylight at midnight on the Fourth of July.

I finally got to finish a trip I started a few Fourth of July’s ago-packrafting the East Fork Susitna. Last time, a wall of weather led us to shorten our trip and change it midway through the first pass to Clearwater Creek (the weather to the East was significantly better). This time, we had 75f+ weather and nothing but sunshine! Dan, Dylan, and I hiked 35 miles & pack rafted 32 miles over 3 days. Although this trip can be done with a ten mile shorter hike, we ended up only driving one car, making hiking up Valdez Creek Mine road necessary. We couldn’t justify driving 2 trucks (you need four wheel drive and clearance for creek crossings on Valdez Creek Mine road) 5 hours to the put-in for 3 people…..

 

Dylan relaxing at Grogg Lake.

dylan grogg lake

Dylan & Dan hike over the first pass. There was a ton more snow than we expected from our past trip through this area to Clearwater Creek. Loads of post holing….brought back not so fond recent memories of our Puddingstone/Chickaloon trip. Also, due to recent heavy rains all the creek crossings were pretty high, with a stronger current. We stopped not long after this a short dinner break and had a herd of caribou bulls approach us. Once they came around the corner & saw us (they were 50ish feet away) they fled-I only got one crappy picture but it was super cool to witness.

first pass

Dan crossing a snowfield in the first pass. It seemed like half the snow fields were just hard enough to support us, the other half we post holed through. It wasn’t consistent with aspect, as we expected it to be.

dan snow

The amazing Mid. Best pack rafting tent ever!

mid

Dan & Dylan checking out the route from the end of the first pass. There was no shortage of snow or boulders on this trip!

dan & dylan over the pass

View from the top. Crossing yet another snow field.

over the pass

Dylan & Dan taking a break with Mt. Deborah peaking over our next pass. Boulder creek is in between.

dan dylan deborah

Dan Dylan hike

Up the last pass. Very similar looking to Hatcher’s Pass, just with caribou 🙂 I dubbed this Caribou Pass, there were tons of them up here-all mamas & babies. We saw tons of caribou, marmot, ground squirrels, and ptarmigan. Some wolf scat & a bear print, but no actual sighting of the predators.

caribou pass

A few ‘Bou.

a few bou

The East Fork Susitna is all Class I, with a Class III section in the first half. We lucked out with high water and had very little butt dragging on gravel bars.

Beautiful views as far as the eye could see! We had hot, amazing weather until the last four hours…..the wind picked up significantly, pushing us around in our little pack rafts. Fighting the headwind slowed us down to a crawl. Also, it made it impossible to see the butt dragging gravel bars slightly under water, and the river looked much more like a choppy ocean than a smooth Class 1 river. The last 15 minutes we got absolutely poured on, but on the plus side, the wind subsided :).

dan paddle





Sable Pass-Calico Creek-Sanctuary River

3 07 2014

We got a very late start on the trip. I forgot what a hassle dealing with getting a backcountry permit in Denali & viewing videos. It took forever. We had to wait for everyone else (3 other groups) to figure out where they wanted to go first, before we could all watch the video together. Ahhh, love dealing with all the bureaucracy of the park service. We then raced to buy bus tickets and were able to jump on the 2 o’clock camper bus. A small victory. Until the bus broke down at Savage River. Delayed us for another 1 hour +. At Savage, I got attacked by sea gulls while waiting for the new bus. Of all the things that could go wrong on a packrafting trip in Denali,  I didn’t anticipate sea gulls as being a threat. I’m not a fan of birds to begin with (unless they are on my plate), and I was attacked twice! By four different birds! I think they knew I have a vendetta against birds……At Savage the two birds started dive bombing me (I was eating my sandwich), they stole it out of my hands while I was taking a bite! Even after they got my sandwich they kept coming back and trying to attack me. So far, the trip isn’t off to a good start…..

Kasey & Ryan at the beginning of the trip. Kasey is holding up five fingers, indicating we started the trip at 5 o’clock. Technically it was more like 4:45…..

5 o clock

The hassle of getting a backcountry permit was well worth it. I never get tired of the amazing views in Denali.

reflection

scenery

As we made our way up the Teklanika River, Ryan & I got attacked by sea gulls again! They dive bombed me with talons out! Ryan thought it was funny, I, not so much. The first sea gulls must have told these guys about my great sandwich……

Nice rack! Caribou skull & rack at Calico creek. The hiking was top notch. I love high tundra hiking! We saw 10-12 sheep lying down on the tundra at Calico creek. The hiking was fairly easy with breathtaking views!

Nice Rack

My tent. I love the Mid! And Alaska summers-this is at 11:30 pm!

tent

Another shot. Sun is nowhere close to being down.

tent sunset

Kasey studying the map at the pass, dropping into Sanctuary.

kasey map

We got to glissade/sled much of the way down the pass! Our butts got numb from sledding, so after awhile, Kasey & Ryan decided to use their packs as a sleds.kasey sledding

My Yak. Love, love the new big butt & whitewater spray skirt! This is the river that flows out of Refuge Valley & into the Sanctuary River. We lucked out with fantastic weather!

my yak

Kasey taking off into the Sanctuary. River levels were pretty high, but not flooding like the rivers farther east in the Park. It made for a fast float out-about 3 hours from put-in to take-out.

Kasey paddling

Kasey & Ryan. Gorgeous trip! Although, I think I only have patience to deal with the park service once a year.  🙂

kasey ryan paddle

 





Chickaloon River (the hard way) via Puddingstone Mountain

29 05 2014

 I’ll be the first to NOT recommend the hiking portion. At least the backside of Puddingstone Mtn. I’m not sure it even qualifies as Type 2 fun. On the other hand, the Chickaloon River is a super fun, splashy float! With below average water flow it was Class 2 most of the way, with Class 3 sections above & below Hotel Rocks and the one final drop before the highway.

Our original planned packrafting Memorial Day/Kasey’s 30th birthday trip got derailed by low water. So Friday night, the six of us were sitting around at Ryan’s family’s house in Chickaloon studying maps and looking for a new trip. Ryan’s dad suggested that if we were “badasses” we could start hiking up the atv trails at Purinton, then wrap around the backside of Puddingstone Mountain (the pass is approximately 4000 ft) and then drop down to the Chickaloon River to float out. Seemed easy enough. Admittedly, I didn’t study the map that well. In fact, since I have the WORST sense of direction, and easily get lost (even with a map, even in places I’ve been before-for some reason rocks, trees, and mountains all look the same to me 🙂 ), I usually rely upon friends to help me navigate the backcountry. That being said the map indicated a “historic trail” which we were hoping to use. Actually, we did use it and it was great. Until we couldn’t anymore……….

We even were thinking that although we had originally planned for a 3 day trip, this is easily a 2 day trip…….Glad I left most of the extra food in my pack 🙂

Dan found mud on the ATV trails at Purinton 🙂

Dan Mud

 It was super smoky from the Funny River fire burning on the Kenai. Dan’s hiking in front of Anthracite ridge, which is barely visible with all the smoke.

dan hike smoke

Dinner at Boulder Creek. We took a pretty relaxed approach on Saturday, late start, early camp. We camped near here since it looked like the best place before the pass. Little did we know what Sunday Funday had in store for us……

dinner at Boulder creek

Smoky sun.

smokey sun tents

Kasey & Dan on the approach to the pass behind Puddingstone Mtn. We found easy atv trails that turned into game trails on the other side of Boulder Creek, then high tundra made for a pretty nice hike on this side of the pass. I didn’t look closely at the map and figured the other side was the same…..not so much.

dan kasey hike

Kasey and Sarah with the creek valley down below.

kasey sara hike

Once we reached the pass, the other side was snowfields galore! And it was all rotten, deep snow. We tried to sled (worked for a few feet), postholed up to our hips, and tried to roll across the snow. We looked completely ridiculous. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a good picture of the backside of the pass. It ends up dropping off significantly, with two choices to head down. One, being a snow gulley (We were reluctant with freezing feet & given the snow conditions we had just been through. Plus there was a cornice to negotiate). The second was a steeper angle down the front with loose rock over hardpack rock & dirt-which meant one-at-a-time could head down safely. Kasey, Dan & I found a way onto the snow gulley and headed down that way, while Dylan, Sarah, & Jeff took the nose down. We beat them by a long shot-the snow in the gulley was just hard enough, and had enough debris, to support our weight. We enjoyed a pretty easy descent. So far trip = good. Still thinking we could float today. Or, at the very least make it to the river early, set up camp, & enjoy some whiskey to celebrate Kasey’s 30th birthday.

Then came the rest of the trip to the Chickaloon. We started down the valley in the creek, crossing every ten feet it seemed. Not difficult hiking, but we weren’t making tons of progress either. The “historic trail” on the map indicated we climb 2000 ft up to the mountain on the right (across from Dan, Kasey, and Dylan in the picture below.) We realized historically they were mining, but I still have no idea how they crossed some of the ravines. Also, we found many 90-99 ft “cliffs” not indicated on the map (the elevation lines being every 100 ft.) The creek started descending and getting larger from tributaries, so we made the choice to bushwhack/climb straight up through alders to a clearing and reassess the situation. We came to some realizations. We couldn’t continue down the creek bed. Over the next mile would lose 1600 ft in elevation (waterfall) and the sides of the creek were getting cliff like. We could either try and gain the ridge on Puddingstone (another 1600-1800 ft elevation gain) and hopefully get down it (the map indicated it was super steep and this seemed really questionable) or return the way we came back over the pass which seemed like a horrible idea. We could see the Chickaloon about 2 miles away ish and really wanted to float! Not to mention, going back through the pass seemed a daunting task. We kept hiking to the ridge and the only spot we could see to camp for several miles in either direction-a little saddle on the ridge. I didn’t like this idea since it was so exposed, but there weren’t any other choices at this point. Here we are stopped for a quick dinner to fuel up for the rest of the hike up to the ridge.

cooking dinner

Gorgeous views on top of the ridge. Dylan, Dan, and Kasey looking at our options. The nose of the ridge dropped off quickly into cliffs. We explored a lot of options for an hour and a half off the end of the ridge and couldn’t find a way down. The other side of the ridge made a more gentle drop to the next valley, except the last 80 ft or so dropped off sharply too. We went to bed that night not sure if we could pick our way down into the next valley or had to do a death march back the way we came. I was super exhausted that night and morale was a little low even toying with the idea of hiking back over the pass. Plus, we were wondering if we’d be able to do it in one day with our heavy packs. I had barely just enough food for a full third day, and I kept thinking of the “extra food” I left in the car since it was just supposed to be an overnight trip……

checking options

The next morning we woke early, and were able to descend down to the next valley. To do this we had to descend up into the valley (going the opposite direction from the river). We were sooo excited! We’d get to the Chickaloon after all! We picked our way down the creek slowly, again crossing every ten feet over slippery rock, until again we had to gain the next ridge because this creek too dropped significantly. Looking back on the ridge we camped, there were one or two ways down it, but it mostly cliffed out. So glad we lucked out and found an easier way down. We climbed a snow gulley and gained the next ridge. A little more vertical climbing than I thought we would be doing on this trip 🙂 We knew the next ridge had a plateau, then had a more gentle slope down. We then found a nice game trail and hiked easily on it until we ran into this little guy. No mama in sight and he was crying & barely walking. He appeared to be about the same size as a german shepherd, less than a week old and pretty frail. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything we could do for him and most likely his mama was dead. I’ve never seen a moose baby this young without mom being within 10 feet at most. Also, we were worried about bears in case she was dead in the area. It was sad.

baby moose 2

We left the game trail and started the easiest bushwhack I’ve ever done down to the river. Yay! The Chickaloon! We had a fun float out-such a great river!A few of us went for a refreshing swim in it:)  An adventure for sure, and a lesson or two learned 🙂

the Chickaloon!





Best Pizza Delivery EVER-The Tolovana Hot Springs trip!

10 03 2014

tolovana sign

The trail to Tolovana is part roller coaster, part luge. On xc skis it was interesting 🙂 Starting out at 2000 ft, dropping to 850 ft, then up to 2120 ft, back down to 1000 ft made the trail a little bit of a climb/steep descent over 10 miles. Skins on the uphills made it significantly easier, although the trail was packed enough to hike. We lucked out with daytime temps in the 20’s and around 0F at night. We enjoyed mostly sunny skies, brilliant stars, and the faint glow of the northern lights on the horizon. Pretty sweet weather & temps!

Map of the ten mile trail to Tolovona & elevation gain.

THS11MileTrailMap

The trail looking back towards the Elliott Highway. We were thankful for the snow machine track, which kept the trail nice and groomed in many parts. Although, parts of the trail were super icy (mostly down low and up on top of the dome.) trail

The crew-Ben, Becca, Eva, & Dan.crew heading in

When we got to the cabin we had a curious fox show up a few times the first day. Becca named him Albert.foxy

Sunset from the Log cabin. This cabin was pretty sweet-equipped with solar panels, LED lights, and an oven!cabin sunset

The middle spring! The best soaker-love the temperature control with the hoses. We did manage to get 7 of us in here, although it was tight!hot spring

Saturday we went for a xc ski excursion down the trail towards the Livengood-Dunbar trail. There is tons of evidence everywhere of a recent forest fire. This is one of two windsocks on the icy runway.wind sock

 Ben made fresh bread!bread

Deke and Lorraine made it! They are rock stars for making it on the 10 mile trail with dog teams! Here Deke is riding on the back of Lorraine’s sled.
deke lorraine on dogsled

They brought with them frozen pizzas & beer-couldn’t ask for better friends 🙂

In land in front of the cabin had been cleared and was at a slight slope AND glare ice. When we saw them drive in, we all ran out to help in our down booties. To say the least we weren’t as much help as we could have been & I almost got clotheslined by the dog team line into a tree. Apparently, I did a great rendition of the running man in my down booties. Once I got enough traction, I went inside and put on my boots-more suitable footwear for helping 🙂 Lorraine & Deke on dogsled

dogs

It was super fun taking the dogs off the line an setting up a picket line. We helped Deke and Lorraine give the dogs fish head meatball snacks and put hay down for their beds. Later on while we ate our pizza, the dogs got their dinner.dogs on the line

Deke & Lorraine with Deke’s team leaders.D & L

Lorraine sharing a moment with one of her dogs.Lorraine & dog

Pizza! It was a fabulous feast. Love, love, love having access to an oven!pizza1

A few of us enjoying a beer and a soak. Absolutely amazing place-can’t wait to go back!

beer hot spring





Xc Skiing on Ice-the Crescent Saddle Cabin Trip

12 02 2014

We had originally reserved the Crescent Saddle cabin in November, when backcountry skiing in February seemed realistic. While Georgia seems to be getting snow, we don’t have much in Alaska……We’re having the strangest winter I’ve EVER seen. Temps in the 50’s and corn @ Alyeska in January, loads of rain, and lots of sun too. Temperatures have finally settled to normal and we decided to get out of town and head into the cabin as a xc ski trip instead of backcountry ski trip. The trail up to Carter Lake was glaciated, but not bad to walk on with ice grippers. When we got to Crescent lake this is what we encountered…..Image

The lake had frozen in many spots with these ice waves! It made skiing challenging 🙂 There were also a few spots with completely clear/flat ice-perfect for ice skating. But they were far and few between on the east side of the lake.

Image

There was wind drifted snow 1-2 inches deep too. That afternoon we skied to the west side of the lake-more snow (less ice) at first, then things drastically changed to glare ice and pretty much no snow….It was a cornucopia of conditions 🙂

Image

Dan skiing by with headlamps on his wrists.

Image

Ghost of Dan, aurora, and ski poles. Headlamps on his ankles.

Image

We didn’t get the aurora show everyone else got, due to steep mountains surrounding the lake, but we did get a little bit.

Image

Early the next morning the aurora came out again, dancing with faint pink & purples as the lake ice cracked and groaned with sounds of growing. Overnight temps were around 0 to -5f.

Image

Dan & Ben headed back towards Carter Lake. Another sunny, bluebird day. Can’t complain about the Vitamin D!Image

Another sea of wavy ice.

Image





Denali Road Lottery!

17 09 2013

I won the lottery! The Denali Road lottery that is.

Alpenglow.

alpenglow

Fall was in full swing!

fall colors thurs night

Denali decided to make an appearance.

bw denali clouds

Bull moose swimming in fall colors.

moose 2

Another bull moose with a view.

moose

Ptarmigan.

ptarmigan

The next day we stopped at Kesugi Ridge on the way home for a hike. A heck of a view from the trail!

kesugi denali pano small





East Fork Chulitna-The Hardage Creek Route

23 07 2013

This is the BEST SUMMER EVER in Alaska. Hot and sunny. Blue Skies. It’s the summer I’ve always dreamed of, but only got to experience in bits and pieces in the past.

The East Fork Chulitna should be on every packrafter’s list of to do’s. Heading up the (southern) Hardage Creek route, you definitely work for every ounce of it, but the beautiful scenery and float out is worth it! That being said, I think I’ll check out the northern route to the river next time…..

sign

Easy hiking on the muskeg up the power line. At some points the muskeg was so bouncy it felt like a trampoline. Initially, we were skeptical to abandon the easiness of the power line to penetrate the thick spruce and find the atv trail to the east. Surprisingly, this bushwhack was super easy and actually not much of a bushwhack…..

powerline

Wildflowers were abundant! Lupine and wild irises were still in bloom. Fireweed, monks hood, bluebells, and loads other flowers (as well as cow parsnip) blanketed the hillsides.

dylan fireweed

Looking down on the Hardage Creek valley. To the left of the image (headed up valley) the valley is completely choked with alders and no real open spots. After much debate, we opted to climb above the crazy bushwhack below, hoping our elevation would save us the frustration of the bushwhack and be easier. It was NOT a good idea. I’m not sure what would be a good route through this area, but going high was brutal. We were side-hilling 45-50 degree slopes (my ankle was not so happy), with some bushwhacking,  it ended up taking us approximately 4 hours to go 2 miles. We ended up having to drop down and do some more bushwhacking to the creek anyway, then hike up the other side once we neared the moraine, so going high, unfortunately, had no advantage. 😦

the bushwhack maze

Dylan taking a break on our hike up the Hardage Creek valley.

taking a break

Dylan checking the map, while I cooked dinner. Each doing what we do best 🙂 Without friends with good map skills I’d probably still be out there 🙂

checking map

A curious caribou kept approaching us, then prancing off. He was super fun to watch.

caribou

Headed up into the rocky moraine. In the middle of the photo, right where the closer hill meets the mountains in the back is the pass. It was a pretty awful, sketchy climb. One step forward, two back. Kicking down loose rocks (we had to each climb up separately as to not kick rocks on each other), and the even walls were not stable with deep cracks. We managed to pull a large suitcase size part of the wall down.

shadows looking up to pass

The descent to the other side of the pass was super easy. Long chutes of shale made for an easy and fun descent. We ran into a herd of 25 caribou in the valley. Super fun to see. Once they caught wind of us, they hightailed it over a pass.

valley

Plentiful camping opportunities every mile or two from here to the river. For the most part, this part of the hike was easy tundra hiking, following game trails through the brush. Although, there was some bushwhacking (especially the last mile to the river) and we did have a few creek and drainage crossings that were interesting 🙂

The Chulitna!!!! We put in about a mile or so above the Crooked Creek drainage. We were happy to (finally) be in our boats!

put in

The whole length of the river the scenery was stunning. When we started paddling the Chulitna is a flat, windy river with spawning salmon racing up river, and a curious caribou with a gorgeous rack, that followed us down river. When Crooked Creek dumps in the Chulitna picks up the pace and gets fun & splashy, but an easy Class 1 & 2. The first canyon is by far the hardest (Class 3), with some big drops! I wound up with an amazing amount of water in my boat, making it super unstable. I was able to eddy out in the canyon (luckily) and dump my super heavy-with-water boat out. We were able to scout the big rapid (Class 3+) at the start of the second canyon and ran it without any problems. It was super fun! The rest of the canyon is much easier than the first. From there on out it’s a fun, 1 hour 20 minute, bouncy Class 2, float out to the highway. Definitely my favorite float to date!

early river





Denali National Park

27 06 2013

The first time I went to Denali I was 4 years old in 1979. I had watched Sesame Street a day or two prior, on the show there was a skit where the bus driver lets a rhino and a bear on the bus. Being 4 yrs old and not really understanding the difference between reality and tv, I was very concerned when the bus we were riding in Denali National Park stopped to see a bear. I was convinced the bus driver was going to let the bear on. My mom tried to relieve my fears, but I wasn’t truly convinced until the bus was back in motion.

Julie and I were lucky enough to get invited along on Cathy & Alissa’s pro pass to photograph in the park. The weather was awesome-we are having the BEST summer ever! And surprisingly, the animals were out and about, despite the warm temps.

Sleepy bear.

sleepy bear

Dall Sheep rams near Polychrome.

Rams

Alaska Cotton at Wonder Lake.

alaska cotton wonder lake

Grizzly.

bear

Ewes near Toklat.

sheep polychrome

Cross Fox with Denali. She was a pretty driven hunter trying to bring home a squirrel for her kits. She relentlessly dug and dug for the squirrel (which had escaped her).

fox

Luckily, she found another. Dinner!

fox squirrel

Curious caribou.

curious caribou

This bear kept posing for us.

cute bear

Wildflowers & Denali.

wildflowers denali

I’m so fortunate to have great friends that invite me on amazing adventures!!!








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