Sunday, October 6, 2013

September in Denali

Fall colors viewed from Eielson Visitor Center

Looking outside the window from inside Eielson Visitor Center

Hiking in Denali in the fall is quite a treat!

Jeanette standing on top of an outcrop with the Toklat River in background

Alaska's state bird, the willow ptarmigan

One morning in September I came out of my cabin to this scene on the Toklat River.  Those are the Wyoming Hills behind the clouds.

Pretty fall colors!

The bearberry is one beautiful plant that makes the tundra so red in the fall.

More beautiful colors - hiking near the Teklanika River

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Late Summer in Denali and Kenai Fjords!

Hi friends!  Here are some pictures of Denali in August and some of the things I've been up to lately.  Enjoy!

Mt. McKinley

Caribou on the Plains of Murie

A nice-looking male caribou (sorry for the rear-end shot!)

A young bear running across the tundra

A rainbow veiwed from the front porch of my cabin.  Can you see the little white dots on the hill?  Those are Dall Sheep.

One of my favorite late-summer flowers - the whitish gentian

the view from atop Geode Mountain

While hiking all day high on a ridge in dense fog, the fog finally drifted away to reveal the Toklat River!  I don't recommend hiking around in dense fog high on a mountain.

The beautiful Alaska Range with Wonder Lake in foreground

The Alaska Range with Mt. McKinley on the right (Wonder Lake in foreground).  This is McKinley viewed from the north.

I had a four-day weekend to go down to Kenai Fjords National Park.  Here I am at the Harding Ice Field.

One day I got to go on a boat cruise around the fjords.  (Thanks to my friend Ryan!)  Here are some Harbor Seals I saw on the trip.

And here are some Stellar Sea Lions - they looked like they were lovin' life!

And of course, the sea otter was curious about us!

Some beautiful rock formations in Resurrection Bay

We approached this glacier and got to see and hear it calving!

Another view of the glacier


Ice from the glacier zoomed in

These good old friends were very hospitable to me - Peter, me, Ryan, Max.  Thanks for letting me stay, guys!

McKinley viewed from the Reflection Pond

Just another beautiful day at work!

Our caribou antlers at Eielson Visitor Center

Here I am hiking through the Toklat River valley as the fall colors are starting to show.  Stay tuned for fall color pictures later!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer in Denali

Hello friends!  Below are some pictures I took this month of Denali.  July in Denali is probably the peak for seeing green vegetation and beautiful flowers.  The fireweed was especially beautiful this month, so you'll see many pictures of it.  Some of my fun July adventures included going to Fairbanks with my friend, Georgette, riding my bike on the park road, camping and picking blueberries at Wonder Lake, hiking, and that's all I can think of.  Enjoy the pictures. 

Two bull moose in Wonder Lake with Mt. McKinley in background

Fireweed and Mt. McKinley

A group of visitors that I took on one of my discovery hikes (ranger-led trailess hikes through Denali's wilderness)

More firweed!

A bull moose in a kettle pond near Wonder Lake

A porcupine crossing the road

Wonder Lake ranger station, built in 1939

Billie's Backpacker's Hostel in Fairbanks - I recommend this place if you need a place to stay in Fairbanks

My tent at Wonder Lake campground with Mt. McKinley showing its summit in background

Wonder Lake at sunset - one thing I love about late summer in Alaska is seeing sunrises and sunsets

Another thing to love about late summer in Alaska - picking blueberries!  

One thing I love about riding my bike in Denali is the way the caribou stop and stare at you - sort of like how the cows of southeastern Montana used to stare at me on my bike

Even more fireweed - this is near Highway Pass, the highest part of Denali's park road (~3,900 feet)


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wildflowers, Glaciers, and Dinosaurs!

Hello everyone, and happy belated 4th of July.   Things here in Alaska are moving right along, and the summer's going by quickly as usual.  Denali is beautiful in July with lots of green and wildflowers.  Here are a few pictures of the park recently.  I apologize for not posting many wildlife pictures, but I just don't see a lot of wildlife.  I do see tons of arctic ground squirrels and ptarmigan, but they move so fast!  As far as the large mammals, they're usually so far away that I can't get a good picture.  Lots of flower pictures are in this posting.

Wildlfowers along the Toklat River, just a couple of miles from where I live

The Toklat River viewed from a nice tundra bench

Can you see the dinosaur cast in this picture?  It is supposedly of a therizinosaur, a 4-toed dinosaur that lived in central Alaska a long, long time ago.

Moss campion, a beautiful flower that grows high on the tundra of Denali 

Many rangers who live at Toklat grow veggies in our community greenhouse.  Here is my small plot of kale, chard, and lettuce.  The lettuce is real tasty!

Mt. McKinley on a nice, clear day viewed from Stony Hill Lookout

Another nice view of McKinley from near Wonder Lake.  Lots of mosquitos live in this area because of all the little ponds like this one.  That's the McKinley River in the middle of the picture. 

Would you believe it if I told you that this is a glacier?  This hilly, tundra-covered lumpy ground is the old terminus of the Muldrow Glacier, which drains about 1/3 of the ice on Mt. McKinley and is 40 miles long!

More pretty flowers along the Toklat River - mountain avens, wooly lousewort, and a few others