Alaska, 2005

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I took another trip to see Tom & Corinna Wiliams in Anchorage, Alaska at the end of August. The Weather was great and we had a chock full schedule for the two weeks I was there. We went to Denali National Park and hiked, Tom & I did an overnight backpack trip and we went halibut and salmon fishing. In amongst all of that Corinna and Hollis and I did a little nature trail hike at Eagle River. I took lots of pictures and have only put the better ones on this site, so you won't have to dig to find some neat ones. The overnight backpack trip up crow pass was incredible! We camped just off of a ridge in a really cool little windbreak. Looking out from the tent was a huge glacier which we heard cracking a bit through the night. The sunset was incredible, a mountain down the valley lit up bright red like it was on fire. The sunrise the next morning was just as cool with the sun gliding over the mountain and out of the clouds. No pictures from the camping trip... you should go see it yourself.

Tom & Corinna's House: Here are some pictures from around their house.

Anchorage: Here are some pictures of the open air market and some of the flowers around town. There are also some pictures from Earquake Park. Here are some pictures of a Russian Orthodox church that was just outside of the base.

Halibut Fishing: We went fishing for halibut and salmon. I cought 2 halibut and 2 salmon and I was the only one on the boat to catch a lingcod which weighed about 50 pounds. Our boat captain'n name was Wayne.

Eagle River: Eagle River is a town about 30 miles northeast of Anchorage. There is a neat set of trails that go past a beaver dam where you can see the salmon jumping over to go upstream. There was a gravel path that the stroller did just fine on so Corinna and Hollis and I took a little hike down the river (Eagle River, imagine that!) and back.

Denali, Thursday, Aug 25,
We drove from Anchorage and saw some awesome rainbows on the way up. I also got some pictures of the mountains.
Here are a couple of pictures from the cabin we stayed in.

Denali, Friday, Aug 26,
We hiked to the Mt. Healy overlook, which is a 2.2 mile round-trip trail (if you're counting straight-line start to destination), but it was really more like 4 miles round trip. It gains about 1700 feet of elevation, so it's a really steep climb. I carried Hollis in the backpack carrier all the way up and part way down. On the way down she fell asleep. There was a really cool view from the top including a good rainbow. I saw a golden eagle and there were some marmots running around where we ate lunch on top. Here are some pics.

Denali, Saturday, Aug 27,
Today we took a bus trip into Denali National Park. It left from the wilderness center at the start of the park and went to Tolkat. It was about a 6.5 hour trip. On the way in we saw a caribou, and a golden eagle. The caribou was eating and all you could see was its body and a huge set of antlers sticking up. The eagle was on a hill not far from the road eating something. It was really cool and we stopped and watched it for a few minutes. After that we saw lots of dall sheep on the mountain sides far away. They looked like white specks against the tundra. When we got to tolkat campground we stopped for about half an hour and there was a momma grizzly bear with two cubs playing on the hill about a quarter mile away. We watched them (and watched for them, they hide well) for almost the entire half hour we were there. On the way back out we saw two more huge grizzly bears in a river bottom at one of the rest stops. We also stopped twice to look at moose. Both times there were two moose lounging around in the forest. The guide said moose are the hardest animals to spot on the tour. Here are a lot of PICTURES from the tour.

Denali, Sunday, Aug 28,
Today we watched the dog sled demonstration at the park. The excitment the dogs show when they start to pick them to run is incredible! The workers start rattling the harnesses straightening them out to get them ready and every dog in the place starts going nuts, howling, barking and running in circles, then when they get hooked up, they won't stop pulling until they've gone somewhere. When the girl let the anchor loose that was holding the sled in place, it rocketed off down the gravel path. Very cool. After that we drove to the Savage River parking area and hiked upstream about a mile and a half then up on a ridge and ate lunch and enjoyed the view. That hike was with no trail, we just started off into the tundra and followed game trails and crashed through chest high willows, hoping not to come face to face with a bear or a moose. Here are some PICTURES from the hike. Yes I fell asleep after eating lunch, and the picture of the bus is with about 14x zoom, in the picture right before it it looks like a speck, if you can find it!