Wow, it’s been way too long since my last post, many apologies. I have been extremely busy since July and have been slowly working my way out from under months of work. The following is not a complaint – I have been working six day weeks and 10-12 hours days since July . . . all I can say is . . . it’s good to be busy, I hope it keeps up.
Now that that’s out of the way – I was lucky enough to go to Alaska in August to photograph the lovely Alaska Garden Gate Bed & Breakfast in Palmer. I thought I would share some of the spectacular scenery I saw there. I have also included a video I took of one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had – a flight-seeing trip of Denali, the highest peak in North America. Seeing these peaks roll by made me feel like I was viewing a multi-layered diorama scroll past. You’ll see Denali, the rather large snow covered peak at the end of the movie.
The glaciers are everywhere and they are enormous.
Alaska has so much natural beauty but I have to say the human element, the civilization and buildings, are not so beautiful. It’s strange to be in a place with so much natural beauty and most of the buildings look rather dumpy. I think because it’s a “do it yourself” society and a “get away from it all” society, people build their own house and then never put siding on it or have four non-functioning cars in the front yard . . . or you’ll happen upon some strange, abandoned building or structure which makes you glad you got lost.
I was in awe of the immensity of Alaska. I have been to the Rocky Mountains and the Canadian Rockies – but Alaska blows these places away because you don’t just see one mountain range but you can see numerous mountain ranges stretching for hundred of miles into the distance. The wildlife is incredible too – I saw my first wolf in the wild, although it had a radio collar on, grizzlies, caribou, moose, eagles, humpback whales, orcas, otters . . . Most of these I saw while on a whale watching tour out of Seward and on a bus tour of Denali National Park.
Formerly and also know as Mt. McKinley, a name that was not popular locally from the time it was named this, the park became Denali National Park and Preserve in 1980. Denali being the native Athabaskan word for “the high one” or “the great one.” At six million acres, it’s the third largest park in the United States – the other two also being in Alaska – Wrangell St. Elias and Gates of the Arctic. Since it is a preserve – it has become a huge success story of allowing wildlife to flourish. There is only one road that traverses the park and just about everyone who enters the park must take a tour bus or a shuttle bus to get around. People who wish to camp or hike out on their own must have permits – issued no more than a day before they begin. This has actually allowed the animals there to NOT fear humans because they are not intimidated by them. This allows the visitor to see abundant wildlife.
The next two photos were taken on a whale watching tour out of Seward, Alaska in Kenai Fjords National Park in the Gulf of Alaska.
If you go to Alaska don’t miss Talkeetna, a small eccentric town, just south of the southern border of Denali National Park. Talkeetna is also the best location to take the flight-seeing tour of Denali, I took the Talkeetna Air Taxi. Talkeetna was the inspiration for the television show, Northern Exposure, a few years back. You’ll see lots of interesting people and buildings. This is where most of the mountain climbers who tackle Denali take their flights from. Stop in at the historic Fairview Inn, built in 1923, it was the half way point for the newly built Alaska railroad between Fairbanks and Seward. President Warren G. Harding stopped in for a meal after driving in the final Golden Spike on the railroad and soon took ill and died.
I’ll leave you now with more photos of Alaska.
This photo of Denali really shows it’s immensity.