Independence Mine and Hatcher’s Pass, Alaska

I’ve been bad about posting awhile, as I’d basically been living on the road for the last year or two.  But I’m back at the computer and ready to share what’s been my most prolific period yet.  The road took me from Los Angeles to northern Alaska in the dead of winter, and then right back up the following autumn with plenty of adventures in between.  There’s so much to show I’m not sure where to begin, so I’ll just start with my favorites and see where we end up.

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I was wandering around SE Alaska, restocking on supplies in Anchorage, when the cashier told me about a Independence Mine, an hour north in the mountains above Hatcher’s Pass.  What a tip! I found one of the coolest and most well-preserved historic sites I’ve stumbled upon. Even with snow shoes, it was one of those miserable hikes where every few steps I’d posthole up to my waist, but after battling the snow drifts and spending 2 hours to hike only a mile, the town did not disappoint!  I ended up making three trips here over the next week, and each night the changing weather and auroras made for a wonderful array of lighting to play with.

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There’s a whole other set of images from this location, that I took when I went back to Alaska the following autumn, so stay tuned and I’ll get those up here soon.

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Glacial Trekking

A collection of images taken from glaciers all over Iceland.  The majority are from the Vatnajökull area (including Breidamerkur, Svinafell and Skaftafell), but I also explored around Myrdals, Snæfells and Eyjafjallajökull.  

 

Glacial Lagoons – Jokulsárlón and Fjallsárlón

A collection of images from the glacial outlet lagoons on Iceland’s southside, where calving faces of the Vatnajokull glaciers dump their ice into the ocean.  Although it looks like a frozen landscape, it is ever changing, with the light and land looking drastically every time I visited.  I love sitting around here at night, watching auroras dance over head and sounds loud as thundering from icebergs rolling and crashing into one another.  This place has been on my bucket list since childhood, but its still on there because I’m going to have to go back!

Winds so strong you could stand at a 45 degree angle to the ground!  
Ice arches under the green glow of an overcast aurora.
Ice swirling around as the tides come in.
Volcano’s glow high up on the ice shelf.  

Winter Is Coming

This post is all about putting the ice in Iceland.  Never have I seen such crazy snowstorms in all my life.  While in the north near Akureyri, I got caught in a blizzard and was stuck in whiteout conditions for days.  While most of the first day was spent digging my car out of a ditch i9 careened into, I braved the cold and managed to make the most of it.  After the storms had passed, it was a whole new world, where what had been verdant hills days ago was now white stretching to the horizon.  Glad I brought my snow shoes, because a few times when I went out without them I ended up buried chest deep after falling through snow banks.  Anyway, it was brutal out there, so I hope you enjoy!  

Dynjandi and Dettifoss

Two of the most epic falls in Iceland:  Dettifoss is Europe’s biggest waterfall, while Dynjandi has more tiers and trickles than any fall I’ve ever seen, covering nearly an entire mountainside.  It may look peaceful where I’m standing, I was drenched head to toe by the time I made it up there.  And even shooting on a 200mm more than 100 ft from the falls, I had to run back and dry off my lens after every take, but easily worth it in my opinion.  

Breiðamerkursandur (Iceland’s Iciest Beach)

Breiðamerkursandur is the sandy shores on which icebergs from Jökulsárlón wash up on, and it is frigid!  Got in a few times to get the right angle on some ice, and after 5 minutes in it took 5 hour just for my feet to feel right again!  Nevertheless, a magical place where the light and landscape changes all the time.