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