Category: Alaska

Missing Alaska … Again

Saw this photo today … taken by a professional photographer at Lake Clark National Park. Our plan was to be there this month, but we cancelled due to uncertainties related to COVID. No regrets at all, as we believe it was the right thing to do. We still feel very fortunate to have visited the Silver Salmon Creek area and the Alaska Homestead Lodge twice – in 2015, and again in 2019.

We had planned the 2021 trip for July, earlier than our previous trips. We had hoped to see younger cubs, and more bears clamming. It was a sound planning decision, if this photo is representative of this summer at Lake Clark. And … we haven’t ruled out a return visit in the future.

Bears, Bears, Bears

Continuing housekeeping duties on our travel blogs. Had a lot of fun revisiting the bears of Silver Salmon Creek. Here is Crimp Ear, the most majestic sow and the very best fisher bear.

Be Safe!!!

Missing Alaska

Lou and I were scheduled to go back to Lake Clark National Park, and see the bears in Alaska. We decided we weren’t up to cross country flights yet, even though we are both vaccinated. I have been revisiting our previous Alaska adventures as I update the blog. Things seem to be working fine on the new blog hosting site. I have had to tweak a few things, but the look and functionality should be mostly like it was before I switched in early June. Let me know if you find any issues.

One thing that is noticeably different is how the blog reads on a mobile phone. It shouldn’t require magnifying glasses now. I write and design the blog for viewing on a tablet or laptop, but it is nice to have better functionality for phones.

Some of you may remember the rather detailed travelogue I did about our first UnCruise Adventure to Alaska in 2013, where we UnCruised for three weeks, then visited Denali and Redoubt Bay. I spent many hours writing up that trip, and preparing the photos to make them easy to share. It was even on its own separate blog, and not integrated into our family and friends blog. Over the years, the infrastructure for that blog kind of crumbled – through no fault of my own, some of the links and the photo galleries stopped working. I did learn a lesson – keep it simple and minimize the fancy stuff you add in.

UltraAlaska – Sawyer Glacier

I knew I would lose what was left of my UltraAlaska blog once I switched hosting companies. No worries – I was able to export all of the text and photos into the new site. (It is still a separate blog, but is closely related to this one – The bones of the UltraAlaska blog are the same, but I have had to go through each post and make sure the formatting is right. I have redone the photo galleries, using the built in functionality of wordpress, not requiring any fancy add ons. Here is a slideshow with a sampling of photos from the UltraAlaska trip:

Why would I go to all this trouble for a trip report that is now 8 years old? Because I have OCD, and can’t stand the thought of our photos floating in cyberspace, all jumbled up? Maybe, but mostly it is because I want to keep the UtraAlaska blog up to date and useful. We have shared with friends who are considering a trip to Alaska, and it has been helpful. Travel in Alaska has not changed much in the last 8 years, so the report is still relevant. The main reason, of course, is simply to preserve our memories. I am thoroughly enjoying the process of revisiting each day of that awesome trip.

You can click the link, UltraAlaska, to check out the latest version of that long ago trip. I still appreciate Lou researching and planning the trip as a celebration of my 60th birthday. It really did kickstart our love of Alaska, and now I have a few more travel stories to update! We haven’t given up hope of getting back to Alaska again.

Be Safe!

Remembering Alaska

We have had several great trips to Alaska, and are supposed to go again in 2021. But, who knows if that will happen? Spent some time going down memory lane today …

And no, we have never taken the dogs to Alaska. Although they would love to go, I’m sure!

Be Safe!

Just ONE More Denali Day – 2013

After enjoying Lou’s Fall photos, and comparing them to the ones we made in the snowy fall of 2015, I decided to check out the 2013 Denali pics from our early summer trip. We were there just after the Park Road opened. I’ve reprocessed these photos; the new versions aren’t much different than the ones in the original trip report, but Lightroom has made some enhancements in the last 6 years.

I’ve included some wildlife we saw on our bus ride to the Kantishna Roadhouse (the other lodge at the end of the 90 mile road). Our bus driver, Kirsty was phenomenal at spotting wildlife. We didn’t see any bears or moose, but had good views of caribou, dall sheep, and even saw a Cross Fox – red and black. And our favorite ptarmigan.

10 June 2013

The photo above is the Eielson Visitor Center. You can see the clouds in this and the other photos. We sure didn’t see Denali – the mountain, on this ride. Leaving Eielson, and continuing into Kantishna, you can really see the differences compared to the fall trips. There is a lot more green grass and shrubs.

Quite a difference, but then, the ride can be different from day to day in the same week. I fell in love with the immense landscapes of Denali National Park on this trip – which was my first. No matter which season, this is a amazing place.

Just my view, but I would say Lou’s 2008 trip was the prettiest with fall colors at their peak. Our snowy trip in 2015 had the most atmosphere, but the fall colors were not as prominent. The 2013 trip looks a little lackluster compared to the other two, but I still find it beautiful. I would go back in June, July, August, or September!

Does anyone else have an opinion?

Denali – Lou’s Last Day

4 September 20o8, Thursday

It is the last full day at Denali for Lou and his tour group. They will go out to shoot today, then catch the early bus tomorrow morning.

Lou obviously lives in an upside down world!

This is the Ranger Station by the path to Wonder Lake. Those are solar panels on the small outbuilding roofs.

The main thing I remember Lou talking about when he came home were the incredible blueberry plants. Not the moose, or the bears, or the ptarmigans … the blueberries. He remains obsessed with blueberries to this day.

I call the photo above “The Edge of Fall.” The berries won’t last much longer.

Rain approaches. It is late afternoon, and these are the last photos from Lou’s trip.

I thought there should be photos from at least one or two more days, but Lou checked his archives and this is it. He is pretty sure his 2008 trip was one day shorter than our 2015 trip. We will assume he and team got on the bus the next morning before 7am for the ride down to catch The Magic Bus to Anchorage. Lou says he believes the weather was bad and he didn’t take any photos from the bus. He is not quite as happy shooting out of moving vehicles as I am, so this makes sense.

Thanks Lou, for sharing these wonderful memories of Denali. I can’t believe how different it has looked on each of our three trips to the park – 2008, 2013, and 2015.

And thanks to friends and family who have been following as we post some of our older adventures. This “Memory Lane” project will continue throughout the winter, but I think we’ve caught up on Alaska. I may post a few Denali pics from our 2013 trip, just to compare early June with September.