Saturday, November 24, 2012

1939/dates/Ash Meadows

Bighorn Sheep at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada

China Ranch Date Farm in Tecopa, CA - yummy dates!

Ash Meadows NWR

Jeanette in her 1939 costume at Scotty's Castle

Reservoir at Ash Meadows NWR, Nevada

Water in the Desert!  This spring puts out 2400 gallons of water a minute!  Nice home for desert pupfish

Sunset at Ash Meadows

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My new home - Death Valley

Jeanette and her new ranger friends 282 feet below sea level

Salt flats on the bottom of Death Valley

Sea level marker about 300 feet above Badwater Basin

Keane Wonder gold mine (abandoned and dangerous!)

My new office - Death Valley Scotty's Castle

Charcoal kilns

One of my new favorite types of pine tree, Bristlecone Pine

Bristlecone pine on top of Telescope Peak (highest peak in park)

Jeanette with her new friend, a Bristlecone pine tree
For my daddy - 20 mule team borax wagon

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dumpling Mountain on a clear day

 I got really lucky yesterday and had a day off on a beautiful, clear day!  That does not happen often.  So I took advantage of it and climbed up Dumpling Mountain which is the small (2400ft) mountain just behind Brooks Camp.  From the top, you can see all (or most of) Naknek Lake, the fourth largest lake in Alaska!  One of our radio repeaters is at the summit, so you can tell you're at the top by hiking to the repeater.  My co-worker, Anna, and I did run into one bear up there.  It was a cute, sub-adult bear that was limping.  It was not putting any weight on its right, front paw.  We wondered how it got injured, but we did not get close enough for a good look.  He/she was just munching away on the crowberries that are so prevalent this time of year.  The bears eat so many of them that their scat turns a purplish-black color.  I myself am holing out for the blueberries that should be ready for picking later this month. 
fireweed in bloom with Mt. Mageik volcano in the distance
Jeanette atop Mt. Dumpling with Naknek Lake in the background

our radio repeater

Naknek Lake - notice the glacial terminal moraine and the beautiful turquoise color of the water

The Savonoski Loop

a very calm Lake Grovesnor
 The Savonoski Loop is an 80-mile canoe/kayak trip that takes you through Naknek Lake to the Bay of Islands.  Once there you have a 1.5 mile portage to Lake Grovesnor.  You then paddle across Lake Grovesnor to the Grovesnor River which dumps you out on the Savonoski River, a braided, glacial river with lots of bears!  The Savonoski then dumps you back out into the Iliuk Arm of Naknek Lake where you can paddle back to Brooks Camp.  My three co-workers and I did about half the trip on our three-day weekend.  We had beautiful, calm weather - great for paddling.  We saw about 10 bears the whole trip including one that was sniffing Kara and Jenny's tent one night.  On the Savonoski River, we came upon a gravel bar that had 5 bears on it!  Exciting?  Yes, but also a bit scary.  It's very challenging having to paddle around growling bears.  The Savonoski Loop is I think my favorite thing to do at Katmai National Park.  It takes you to a beautiful part of our park that not many people get to see.  I love it!
our campsite on Spruce Island

our campsite on an island on Lake Grovesnor

serene Lake Grovesnor

lunchtime on the Grovesnor River

view from Spruce Island looking towards the Savonoski River

The Savonoski River

Sean kayaking

Sean watching sunset on Lake Grovesnor


Thursday, July 19, 2012

What a lucky girl I am to spend a third summer in such an amazing place!

Bicycling through a river

hungry bears at brooks falls

colorful ash deposits in the valley of ten thousand smokes

Mt. Griggs and the Baked Mountain huts


Magestic Mt. Mageik

Mt. Griggs at sunrise

Mt. Griggs from afar

Mt. Katolinat and Research Bay

steaming Mt. Martin

valley road overlook

sunshine on valley floor

The Lethe Canyon

Trident Volcano with Baked Mountain outhouse

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Back in Alaska

Mount McKinley

The Talkeetna Roadhouse

inside the Roadhouse

a brown bear in the NPS Roadhouse
The Roses and their dogs
Hello!  I am back in Alaska for a third summer at Katmai National Park.  I will be working once again as a Park Ranger here on the Alaska Peninsula, and this summer, my brother Sean will be working with me!  My summer began last week when I arrived in Anchorage and visited my good friends, the Roses.  They took me to Talkeetna, Alaska.  The weather was beautiful that day so we had a beautiful view of Mt. McKinley.  We ate lunch at the Roadhouse.  I have never tasted any food that I did not love at the Talkeetna Roadhouse.  What a great place!  If you ever go to Talkeetna, go to the Roadhouse.