Seward, Alaska: Looking for baby bears

We’re on the prowl for bears.

It’s an obsession, really.  I talk to coworkers and monitor Facebook pages, looking for the best places to see bears.  We drive unpaved roads and rural neighborhoods at a crawl, perhaps slower than we should, considering that Alaska is a place where people value their privacy.  We scrutinize creeks where the salmon are starting to run and peer into the forest that lines the roads, hoping to glimpse the round, dark shape of a bear.

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Kenai Fjords National Park Boat Tour, part two: The animals!!!

In our last post, I talked about a boat tour that we took across Resurrection Bay and into the Gulf of Alaska and Kenai Fjords National Park.

In today’s post, I want to share pictures of the animals that we saw from the deck of the boat.  The region is extremely rich in wildlife: ten marine mammals live in these pristine waters, and dozens of species of birds nest along the coast.  While we didn’t see all of the wildlife the area has to offer, it’s astounding how much we did spot in just an eight-hour boat trip:

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Happy Earth Day! A few photos from our beautiful home

Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska

To celebrate Earth Day, here are a few of our favorite pictures from our time in Alaska and from the road trip that brought us here.  These photos plainly illustrate just how quirky, fragile, and beautiful our planet is:

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An eventful first week in Seward, Alaska

A new job, a new home, a few bear attacks, and musings about the wonders of butter

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We’ve been in Seward for a little over a week, and it’s been an eventful few days.  Here are the highlights:

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Denali National Park: Hiking the colorful Alaskan tundra

Tips for hiking in Denali National Park

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The view at the end of the Alpine Trail

This is one in a series of articles about our trip to Denali National Park.


We expected Denali’s alpine landscape to be bleak and monochromatic.  After all, tundra is supposed to be a vast, perpetual wasteland, right?

Wrong.

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What animals can you see in Denali National Park?

Denali wildlife, small and large: From bear burritos to bull moose in Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve

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Denali shuttle bus, dust-covered from traveling the unpaved road all day

This is one in a series of articles about our trip to Denali National Park.


Riding on the Denali National Park shuttle in search of wildlife was usually an all-day affair.  We had plenty of time to meditate on the scenery and get to know our neighbors as the bus lurched along at 10 miles an hour.

Our contemplations, however, were often interrupted by urgent, single-syllable cries of “Moose!” or “Stop!” that brought the bus to a jolting halt.

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Exploring Alaska: Quirky Whittier, a hike to Portage Glacier, and our first whale sighting

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An older couple stood at the guardrail, their car parked on a shoulder not wide enough to accommodate it.  It was an act so reckless that a semi blared the horn at them as it passed.

I could see what they were risking their lives for–beluga whales, two of them, swimming in a protected cove near the road.

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Will you see wildlife on the Alaska Highway?

Traveling the Alaska Highway (Alcan), part two

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This is one of three posts about our drive on the Alaska Highway.


The weather forecast for our time on the Alcan showed nothing but rain.  For days, it was supposed to rain.  We were going to miss some of the stunning scenic views that make the Alcan legendary, all because of rain.

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Banff National Park, Canada: There are (almost) no words

Fourth stop on the Alaska road trip

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This is one of three posts about some of Canada’s spectacular national parks.


There are no words to adequately describe Banff National Park, and as a writer, it’s really, really frustrating when my vocabulary comes up so short.

I guess if I had to choose an appropriate adjective, it would be ridiculous; what with its UNESCO World Heritage Designation and pristine ecosystem and dense evergreen forests and towering mountains, and oh yeah, its immense glaciers, Banff is just plain ridiculous.

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Waterton Lake National Park and our first bear encounter!

Alaska road trip, stop three

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The International Boundary line–Canada, here we come!

This is one of three posts about some of Canada’s spectacular national parks.


After leaving Glacier, we crossed the border into Canada and headed for Waterton Lakes National Park, in Alberta.  The two parks are actually a single entity, called Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, established in 1932 by members of the Rotary International organizations in Alberta and Montana.  Both parks have been designated as Biosphere Reserves, and the Peace Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  (Note: each park has its own administration and entrance fees and you have to go through customs when crossing the border).

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