Monday, June 25, 2007

Our friendly neighborhood moose on display!

Cow in the meadow
Twins on the road near my house

Bull in the meadow. My husband thinks this might be a legal moose by hunting season! Of course at that point he will be nowhere to be found.

Black bear alert!

While on the train ride home from Seward, Stacey was standing between train cars in the open air and spotted this young black bear cub sitting in the grass just next to the train. These are a little blurry because we tried to blow them up as big as possible and because we were moving down the train tracks while she took the pictures. BUT, they are wonderful none-the-less. Enjoy!

Humpback whale alert!

A highlight of our cruise! The pictures speak for themselves!

Kenai Fjords National Park cruise

Have you ever sat at the foot of a glacier and listened to it talk? How about watching it calve? Well we have and I can only tell you it is absolutely breathtaking!

My wonderful mom on the boat at the foot of the glacier.
Icebergs in the water near the glacier.
Sea kayakers. Maybe I will have to try this soon! Marsha or Kat...are you game??? LOL

Can eagles swim? You bet!

I had a feeling these would not post in the order I wanted them to. While we were on the riverboat we spotted this eagle. It has a large salmon in it's talons and was attempting to fly with it. Because the salmon was too big it was unable to go any distance at all and eventually got pulled almost under the water and started swimming with the fish. It made it to the sand bar and got smart and started tearing off pieces and flying those smaller pieces to the nest. I wish these were in the correct order, but hopefully you will be able to see the progression from the water, then swimming, then to the sand bar and then eating the salmon.

The fire near Talkeetna

This fire started the night before we went to Talkeetna. It was and I guess is still growing. The smoke covered any view of Mt. McKinley and eventually settled over the city of Talkeetna. We decided we better head home because there were rumors of some highway closings. None happened, but we didn't want to be stuck in the smoke. It actually formed a huge storm cloud over the fire. I wish the picture was better. Looking at it was incredible.

Mahay's Riverboat in Talkeetna, AK

We drove to Talkeetna to see if by chance Mt. McKinley was showing, but since it wasn't and was completely covered by a fire in the area (pictures will follow) we opted to take the Mahay's Highspeed Riverboat upriver out of Talkeetna. It was fun, but nothing I couldn't live without experiencing. My mom had a blast, even when the riverboat did 360s in the middle of the river. You should have seen her! Here are a few pictures. The first is the damage to the trees done by the huge Alaskan beavers in the area. Some are up to 100 pounds!
This is our guide. Along with the ride, we stopped to look at a replica of a trapper's cabin. In order to keep us safe from the things that are higher on the food chain than we are, she had her shotgun with her. She said she had never had to use it. I was certainly glad she didn't have to use it on our tour.
Furs that had been trapped by local trappers. The Otter pelt was just incredible.
Mom getting ready to ride the boat! Can you believe she will be 80 in November??
Stacey modeling a young black bear fur!!

Trip to Portage Glacier

This is Portage Glacier, one of the smaller glaciers in the area. The drive there is so wonderful. On our trip we saw the following, along with many other sites:
The World's Largest Dandelions!!
A beautiful waterfall just near the glacier in Portage Lake.
A young Dall Sheep ram and lots of other Dall Sheep.

More sights on the Knik glacier

These are two shots of the grizzly we saw. Again, VERY far away and the photo is blown up as big as I can get it.

Some of the icebergs that have calved off the glacier.
I will let you all guess what this is!

Knik Glacier airboat tour

One of the first things I did with my friend Stacey and her husband was to take the Knik Glacier airboat tour up to the glacier. You can see the airboat here in the picture. This glacier is very near our home and we have ridden four wheelers out to it, but never boated up the river. The river is sometimes as shallow as 4 inches so it requires and airboat to go all the way up to the glacier.
Knik Glacier with the ice field.
On the river going up, with the sweet peas in bloom.
While sitting at the camping area at the foot of the glacier, we scanner the hillside for bears. Along with these 3 black bear (a sow and 2 cubs) we saw 2 grizzly bear also. They were too far away to get a picture, as are these bear, but hopefully you can see them just a bit.

The kids going to and coming home from Tanalian Bible Camp at Lake Clark, Alaska

They were pooped, but really happy and had a great time serving the camp in many different ways.
And a week later here they are returning to Anchorage's Merrill Field.
This the plane they flew in. A 9 seater.
Here they are leaving for camp.