Seward, Alaska: My near-miss bear encounter

Brown bear, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska (Source: National Park Service)
“Cheri!  Get inside!”

I was at work, walking from one building to the next, when I heard Dave, Facilities Manager, clapping his hands and yelling at me from across the parking lot.  How weird, I thought.

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Tonsina Point, Seward, Alaska: A short hike to a beautiful beach

Pausing to meditate on Tonsina Creek

This past weekend we shook off the inertia of winter, pulled out the backpacks, and went on a couple of hikes.

Sunday’s trek, to Tonsina Point on Resurrection Bay, was short, not particularly strenuous, and exceptionally beautiful.

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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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Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona: Visions of heat and sun

Last year Dale bought a coffee table book called Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America’s National Parks, by photographer QT Luong.  It basically chronicles the photographer’s long love affair with our national parks.   It took Luong over 20 years and dozens of trips, all of them self-financed, but he visited and photographed all 59 parks, and the book’s 500+ photos showcase just how extraordinary the United States is, both in the diversity of ecosystems and landscapes as well as the vast national parks system that makes the U.S. unique. Continue reading “Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona: Visions of heat and sun”

Central Texas: Goliad State Park and its Spanish mission

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Before moving to Alaska, we spent two weeks bouncing around Texas, visiting family.  That meant going from central to south Texas and then back again.  We may be relocating to the biggest state in the Union, but Texas is no slouch, so this meant a lot of time on the road.

It was on one of those drives, on a rural stretch of U.S. Highway 183 from Refugio to Gonzales, that we had a very pleasant discovery—Goliad State Park and the Mission Espíritu Santo.

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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

Denali National Park shuttle bus
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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How wild is the Alcan?

Traveling the Alaska Highway, part three

 

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Float plane on Pickhandle Lake, Yukon Territory

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


It used to be that the Alcan took some serious mettle to traverse.  You had to carry spare tires and car parts and know how to use them, and you might spend your nights camped in the middle of nowhere due to lack of services.

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From Alaska, random thoughts about the road trip (It’s over!)

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This is our baby (1997-2008). Dale has wanted to go to Denali National Park for as long as I can remember, and  he even suggested that we name our puppy after the mountain.  We thought about our Denali lots and lots during this trip!

I’m posting this a few days after leaving Denali National Park, where we tent-camped for ten days.  I have so much to share about Denali.  It’s one of the most special places on the planet.  People from all over the world visit and then keep coming back, again and again.

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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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