Trip Pictures

On our way

Paradise Valley

Lower Paradise Valley

Tracy with mosquito net

Paradise Mountain

Lower Paradise Valley

Lower Paradise Valley

Paradise Mountain

Paradise Mountain

Paradise Mountain

Paradise Mountain

Paradise Mountain

Me reading

View from cabin

Paradise Mountain

Bald eagle

Bear and moose tracks

Snow River

Snow River

Snow River

Glacial silt

Paradise Glacier

Glacial silt

Snow River

Paradise Mountain

Tracy with bear spray

Me at Snow River

Bear and moose tracks

Paradise Mountain

Paradise Mountain

Paradise Mountain

View from cabin

Paradise Mountain

Paradise reflection

Paradise reflection

Paradise reflection

Paradise reflection

Paradise reflection

Lower Paradise Valley

Porcupine at cabin

Porcupine at cabin

Cabin @ Lower

Paradise

Paradise reflection

Cabin @ Lower

Paradise

Plane landing

Our ride

Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier Valley

Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier Valley

Marmot

Harding Icefield

Harding Icefield

Tracy @ Harding

Icefield

Tracy @ Harding

Icefield

Harding Icefield

Me @ Harding Icefield

Exit Glacier

Tracy @ Harding

Icefield

View from camp @ sea

Camp

Camp

View from sea camp

Seal @ bay

Bay

Bay

Ocean reflection

Tracy @ camp

From plane

From plane

From plane

From plane

From plane

From plane

From plane

From plane

From plane

Tracy being weird

Smoke @ Denali

Smoke @ Denali

Denali sign

Clacier River

Caribou

Antlers

Caribou

Denali Overlook

Denali Overlook

Denali overlook

Denali Overlook

Denali in background

Kenai River

Kenai River

Tracy @ Canoe

Wilderness

Mountain reflection

Moose

Airport bear

Alaska

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In June 2005, Tracy and I went to Alaska. This was definitely one of those epic trips. We were

there for two and a half weeks from June 17th to July 4th. When we first arrived in Anchorage,

we took a bus down to Seward. From there we flew a floatplane to the Lower Paradise Lake

Forest Service Cabin. We stayed there for 4 days, and that was absolutely amazing. We just

paddled around on the boat at the lake, and hiked around some on each end of the mile long

lake. We also paddled down to the Snow River, which was our first exposure to a glacial melt

river. That was like a different world. We saw moose and bear tracks there (I think they were

black bear tracks), and we saw a very big moose on the opposite side of the river.

After leaving Paradise Valley, we went back to Seward for a couple of days, and hiked on the

Resurrection River and Harding Icefield Trails. We hiked all the way up to Harding Icefield,

which was a tough hike. It gained 3500 feet of elevation in 3.5 miles, and the last mile or so

was in snow. But it ran along Exit Glacier, and all of it was again like being in a different world.

The Icefield felt like being in a desert...only it was snow for as far as you could see. We also

took sea kayak lessons while there and saw some sea lions.

After that, we took another floatplane ride out to Whale Bay on the Gulf of Alaska. We had

some really interesting adventures there with learning to read tide tables and keeping our

camp from getting flooded. We also had a small raft that we rode around Whale Bay looking

for bears and whales. We didn't see either of those, but we did see a bunch of seals and sea

otters. We even had one seal that hung out in the cove we camped in...we named him

Sherlock. We stayed there for 3 days, and then flew the floatplane back to Seward.

Back in Seward, we checked out some of the touristy things, then took the bus back to

Anchorage and rented a car. From there we drove up to Denali. The weather was extremely

clear, but you couldn't see the mountain, because smoke from forest fires was too thick. The

rangers said that fires pretty much always burn all summer. But we took the bus through the

park and that was neat. We saw 4 brown bears, and one of them was close enough to watch.

We also saw several caribou. We then drove back down through Denali State Park and hiked a

little on the Ermine Trail looking for a very elusive geocache. At the lower Denali overlook, we

were finally able to see the outline of Denali...that is a VERY big mountain! I realize that should

seem obvious, but we were looking at other big mountains for about 30 minutes, thinking they

were Denali, until the smoke cleared a little, and we saw the outline of Denali. Then we were

really impressed.

But then we drove back towards Anchorage. We started towards Wrangell-St Elias National

Park, but the rental car people wouldn't let us take the car there, and we really liked the Kenai

Peninsula, so we headed back down there. We hiked a few miles in the Kenai River Canyon,

and that was really pretty. The Kenai River is very green and the trail had nice overlooks,

where we could watch the eagles fly up the river looking for fish. We then made our way all the

way to Homer, which was pretty cool. If we ever go back, we may go to Homer and use it as a

jumping off point into Katmai or the marine parks across the bay. Homer wasn't any prettier

than Seward, really, because they both had really pretty bays around them, with great

mountains, but Homer was bigger...of course, it was also further from anything.

After Homer, we rented a canoe and paddled around the Kenai Wilderness for a day. We had

to hike a couple of miles out to the lake, and expected lots of wildlife. Since we're the evil anti-

critters, we didn't see anything.

After that, we went to the Russian River and watched the fishermen at the start of the salmon

run season. That was interesting. I hoped to see bears, but, again, we're the evil anti-critters.

And that was pretty much it. We spent a day in Anchorage cleaning up and looking for a

geocache, and then we came back home. This was definitely an epic vacation. I hope you

enjoy the pictures.