The Great One, Denali

It took three trips, but I was finally able to see the mountain.  I visited Denali twice in winter, and both times it was completely shrouded in clouds.  I learned that 70% of people who visit Denali never get to see it, the weather being so frequently unforgiving.  But on my third attempt the following autumn, I couldn’t have asked for better conditions.  I arrived, by luck, 3 days before the only road in is bared for the winter, and only 6 other people got on the bus for backcountry access, I’d never felt more remote and alone, but not in a lonely way.  It was nice naturey feeling, knowing there was barely a soul or trace of mankind within 100 miles of me.  I had the mountains and the rivers to myself, and it was lovely.  Well, not totally to myself, lots of animal sighting including my first pack of wolves!  Unfortunately they were on the ridge opposite a massive valley so no worthwhile photos, but to hear a howl when the auroras started blazing away was an exhilarating experience.

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Peaking through autumn alders at a big ol brown bear.
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A really strong aurora flared up, visible even in the glow just after sunset.
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Massive dry river in late autumn, really hope to get back during the summer snow melt and get this same shot except with a raging river.
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A big male who still eyes a mom and cubs after being run off.
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This mountain blows my mind.
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The road here is probably about 4K ft elevation. Crazy to think its another 16,000′ up to the top.

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Even the ‘foothills’ are impressive.  Wish I could share this full image with you, its 25k pixels wide, and you can see every detail of every amazing peak.  Maybe on a video soon…
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That would have been an impressive bull for sure.
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Mama comforting her cubs after chasing off a male.

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Derp!

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Mama running off a male while the cubs try to keep it. It was wonderful to see these massive creatures move like a freight train up the steep terrain.

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Denali foothills showing off some impressive autumn.

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A strange igloo along the Denali highway.
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These aren’t even the peak.

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Hatcher Pass, AK in Autumn

Amazing how much a few months can change a place.  This is the same mountain pass from the previous post.  Definitely a different feel from when its not encased in 10 feet of snow, and made for a much more enjoyable hiking.

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Not sure where the pooch came from, but it was nice to have some company for bit til she trotted off down the mountain.

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I found her people but she went off exploring the mountain on her own.  I need a mountain dog…

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This guy’s got alpine travel figured out.  I think when my knee finally goes I’m gonna go this route.

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Sketchy crossings,  no problem for the slow and steady…

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Autumn found in pockets amongst the pine.  There were also entire mountainsides which were a blanket of yellow birch and spruce.

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I’d been on the road for a week at this point, and hadn’t found a shower in awhile.  This is me, debating whether to brave the cold and take a bath in this lovely little alpine lake… Frigid but completely worth it.

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Nice little ptarmigan, funny little birds and not in the least bit shy.

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Down on the Bayou – Lake Caddo, Texas

Wow, can’t believe how far I’ve fallen behind.  Haven’t posted a thing in ages.  I have two cross-country trips and an Icelandic adventure to catch up on.  I’ll get busy and pump out the posts!  To start off, some images from a lazy afternoon canoeing around Lake Caddo on the Texas / Louisiana border.  

Rainforest Alliance – need your help!

I need your help!!  I’m in the running for a contest hosted by the Rainfort Alliance, the prizes being a trip to Costa Rico or an underwater camera, so would love your support!  Please visit http://my.rainforest-alliance.org/site/PageNavigator/photocontest2013_vote.html and vote on your favorites. If mine happen to be your favorite, even better!  Ps.  I’ve got 4 images in the fight….

Forest category: 
 Adventure Tourism category:
Water category:
Many thanks!!!!

Washington State (as of 12.06.11)

I’ve been wandering Washington State for the last two weeks, from the Olympic Pennisula to the Palouse on its eastern edge, this is a pretty fantastic place.  
 Kessner Homestead, Quinault Forest
 Ranch at the Palouse
 Hoh Rainforest
Have never seen nights this clear before. 
 Lake Quinault, Olympic Rainforest
 Northern Spotted Owl
 Great Blue Heron
 Second Beach, La Push
 Mt. Rainier
Palouse 
Palouse 
“” 
First Beach, La Push 
 Cape Kiwanda
 Palouse
 Hoh Rainforest
 Quinault Rainforest
 Rialto Beach
 Palouse Falls
 Kessner Homestead
 “”
Thou mayest. 
 First Beach
 Near Forks
 Near Cottonwood
 Lagoon at Hoh
Eastern State 
“” 
Second Beach 
Rialto Beach 
The plants are all underwater, lagoon at Quinault
Palouse 
 Hoh Trail towards Mt. Olympia
 Ranch at the Palouse
 First Beach
So the moon is fading, think I’ll spend some time in Seattle and get in a bit of civilization awhile, then start working my way back down south…

Deutschland (as.of.11.09.17)

 Love the Autobahn, I would have taken a pic when I hit 250, but that didn’t seem safe.
 Wait, I went to Oktoberfest?  I don’t remember that.
 My hotel on left, my office on the right.
 Wild mustard, unmistakable in the air.
Butterfly with peace signs on its back, battalus pacifist.  
 “The Wave”, river surfing in Munich.
 At the Mercedes secret test facility, shhh…
Yeah, they’re Carl Zeiss headlights…
Good Night.