Sunday, November 7, 2010

Alaska Day Five Mt McKinley

         Don left early in the morning for a fishing trip.  I bought  some breakfast snacks and ate on the observation deck.  It was overcast and so there was no sign of Mt McKinley.  Then I walked around the grounds taking photos of flowers (there were big Alaska lupines, huge white daisies and beautiful pansies) until the bus came at 9:00 to pick me up for the nature walk at Byers Lake.
         The nature walk was fun.  Byers Lake is beautiful with a narrow path along the edge.  Our guide was kept busy pointing out the wildflowers.  There were blue geraniums, blue bells, purple wild iris, ground cover dogwood, twin flower, devils club(nasty thorns on the leaves and stems) and ground creeping raspberry.  There were interesting tree roots and mosses and lots of ferns.
         As we reached the farthest end of our trail we spotted a loon.  He/she,  followed us back toward the bus as we walked we watched the bird swimming and surfacing keeping up with us as if posing for photos.
         Back on the bus to return to the lodge, we stopped at a high lookout point to see if Mt McKinley was out of the clouds yet. It wasn’t, but we had a great view of a big river bed and a melting glacier at the base of the mountains. 
         We arrived back at the lodge a bit late but in time for me to catch the horse wagon ride where I did some more panning for gold and saw some reindeer.  There was a beautiful mountain lookout with one lone cabin.  What a place to live that would be.  The wagon ride lasted most of the afternoon.
         In the evening Don and I went to Talkeetna on a bus to catch a jet boat ride on a big wide and shallow river.  Many of the trees along the river bank were broken stubs.  They had been mowed down in the spring by the ice jams.  We took lots of pictures including a distant storm,  and an eagles nest. 
         Along the way we stopped to see a replica of a native village.  The cabin had grass growing on the roof,  there was a hole in the ground lined with twigs we were told was a native refrigeration device.  They would put the food inside and cover with more sticks and the cold of the ground would keep the food.  Also there was a little cabin on very tall stilts in which they kept  more food out of reach of bears.  There were furs on display as in all these little villages.  One was a big bearskin with the paws still on.  I took a photo of my hand holding the paw and the claws were as big as my fingers!  The wide flat river gave spectacular views of the sky and we took so many pictures.  I could only select a few of them for my flickr photostream. 
         On the way back to the lodge on the bus the clouds parted and Mt McKinley appeared.  We tried to get a photo from the window of the bus as it turned to face the mountain.  By the time we arrived at the observation deck at the lodge the clouds were closing in again but the top of the peak was still visible above a layer of clouds.
         We ate some pizza and walked around the grounds a bit taking photos.  It was still a light twilight when we went to our room at 11:30 pm.

To see all the photos for this day:    Look up alicehuntstudio   on Flickr or try the link below.

No comments:

Post a Comment