Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Today has been something to say the least. It was suppose to start early and started a tad late. Had a good flight over to Brooks Camp. I filled up my water bottle and started towards the Falls. I only made it to the lower river platform. Ranger Dave was on watch and took the opportunity to get a picture of him and I together. There was someone there who volunteered to take the picture. Not hardly a few minutes later and I spotted 435 and her spring cubs. I stayed where I was and took video of her and her cubs. It was so awesome to be able to see get her and the cubs on video. I was there watching the events as they unfolded with 435 and cubs on the closed trail and a sow and her two cubs walking towards the bridge. 435 started towards the bridge and at first thought she was going to challenge the other sow. Instead, she dove for a fish and caught one. What a set of events that would follow. The sows cubs took off after 435 and the fish. That caused 435’s cubs to start running down the closed trail and across over the the grassy island. Then, the cubs became separated. 435 ran over to the grassy island and was able to get with one cub and they ran towards and past the lower river viewing platform and into the woods. All of us watched waiting for the second cub to appear and when it did, appeared on the grassy island, closest to the bridge. The sow that remained behind and was sitting by the closed trail. She immediately started to huff, the cub was huffing. The sows cubs chased after 435. The cub went into the water and was swimming towards the bridge. He came up just below where I was standing just a huffing away. This whole time I just couldn’t believe what was happening right before my eyes. The cub moved to the other side of the platform standing and sitting making noises. I saw 435 and her cub run towards the valley road. After a few minutes the cub ran down the road. A few minutes later, we could hear the cub crying out something awful, the sound made me thinking it ran into another bear. A few minutes would pass before we could hear from the radio, there is a lone cub near the bus parking area and where was 435 and cub, I told Ranger Dave that I saw them run, going through the woods towards the road. Nothing more was heard and I started out, wanting to walk towards the bus parking area when I saw a large group of people walking towards the lower river. A bear was coming this way. It took a few more minutes before the bears came into view. It looked like 435 and then saw one and a few moments later a second cub. Whew!!! They had found each other and were all back together. I wasn’t the only one that knows 435’s history and we were relived, still not believing what we had witnessed. I thought about those that might have been watching on the cams, and what the thoughts and comments would be. LOL All the action at the lower falls calmed down and a couple of workers were going up the road and trail to the Falls and I walked with them. The one had a fresh burn and wished would have remembered to bring more burn cream. I informed them I had a first aid kit in my pack and took some to use. We had a good talk as we walked up the road to the trail. I needed to use the outhouse and they went on. I then met a Ranger and walked the trail with her. We had a nice talk and continued as we put our names on the list and went down to the riffles. More bears were to be seen and photographed. It was then my turn for the falls viewing platform. Someone I had met and talked with during my days at Brooks was there and he let me squeeze in next to him. It was kewl because It wasn’t to much longer afterward, I believe 402 walked up the falls and positioned herself on the falls lip. What luck to be there and have video running when she caught one then two salmon. A sow with yearlings appeared above the falls and started to fish washboard. One cub climbed down and joined her. I started to think some more drama would be played out when male bear was seen walking up to the falls. The cub did make it over and back up above the falls and all was fine. I am thinking I was able to catch on video 402 catching a fish in the mouth with the family group in the background. Might be tomorrow before I know for sure. I then was able to get video of 128 and cubs nursing and then taking a nap behind what is called treehouse. I was feeling great and decided I had captured enough. I had been able to get all I had hoped for over the winter months. Ranger Dave was working the list and I asked for my name to be taken off, that I was done, We said our good byes and I proceeded down the trail and road to cross the bridge. I saw a bear in the river lake side of the bridge and walked up to the lower river platform as I knew the bridge would be closed. I am glad the bridge was closed because I was able to see 435 again and more drama play out. The bridge finally opened and I made my way to the lodge to get some food before it closed until dinner. I met my guides and friends from Bald Mountain Air Service. We talked for a bit and they informed me my video I donated, was on their Facebook page and being shown at the office on the spit. They wanted to try and get some fishing in before they needed to round up the people and head back. I hope to see them again in August. Oh! and I should mention last night I made reservations for next summer as I am going to return to Brooks for a third time. I am sitting here in the lodge typing this up waiting for my flight to King Salmon and connecting flight to Anchorage tonight. I am looking forward to getting back to my camper and moving down to Seward tomorrow. I have had a fabulous five days at Brooks Camp and River. The bears sightings has been incredible, I didn’t see Otis at all, but I hope he shows very soon. As I was capturing video of 128 and her yearlings. I felt a warm feeling having been able to see her and her cubs in person two years now. They look so good and 128 is being such a good mom and being sure to make sure they are okay. I hope they might be together next year.
Safe and sound back in Anchorage. I had such a great time at Brooks Camp and river. I saw so much bear activity and was able to get some great video and pictures. I'll update from Seward if there is internet.LOL
Friday, June 30, 2017
Made it to the airport in Anchorage with only a minor set back. When I retracted my slide in while gone, I could hear the sounds of water. It was coming from the top of the slide out and down the side, It was puddling on the floor. I quickly soaked up all the water and wiped down the slide as best as I could. Not exactly the best thing, one wants to happen when leaving for a trip. I tired to put it out of my mind and deal with it when I retuned. I hoped I wouldn’t come back to everything being wet. At the airport, I checked in and proceeded out to the gate. I found a place to sit and relaxed. I thought about getting to Brooks and would there be bears. It was time to board the plane and we were off, Time was starting to dwindle down. And, I was happy I was finally getting excited again about being at Brooks River and having two nights right there at the lodge. I would have two nights of viewing from the falls platform like I had heard others describe. Landed in King Salmon and since I had both of my bags and didn’t have to wait for luggage I put my bags on the bus that would take us over to Katmai Air and went to the visitor center and had a look around. It was neat and happy I made it in and out without buying anything. It was time to be shuttled over to the plane dock. I couldn’t believe only a few more minutes and I would be at Brooks. I couldn’t wait to get there and get through bear school.I wondered what was going on as we were descending for a landing on Brooks Lake. I wondered if they moved the planes landing to the lakes to reduce noise at Camp and the lower river. When of the plane and had my day pack. I asked. We landed on Brooks because the winds were making for rough water on Naknek Lake, It was going to be a few minutes before another plane would be landing so they let us have bear school right there, Once completed, the people I flew over with, also from Denver, wanted to walk down to the lodge. I told them I knew the way and walked with them. We had a great talk. When we came to where the Brooks trail started I explained to them how to get to the lodge. They went there way I started for the falls viewing plate form, I walked with a purpose and laughed at myself.LOL I had done it, Finally I was back out at what the rangers call treehouse. It was so kewl to be back and I couldn’t be happier. Thoughts and feelings I had been having were gone. GOOD!!! I checked with eh ranger and asked if there was a waiting list. There wasn’t so I first went out to the riffles and what timing. Out of the woods and into the water was my first Brooks bear sighting. YES!!!! I am not sure which bear it was. I was just happy to see a bear with in moments of being on a platform. I watched and took video. The bear didn’t stay long and I was off to the falls platform. There were no bears. I waited for a while and since I wasn’t seeing any bears thought I would go to the lodge and check on my other bag and get checked in. I spotted my bag and checked in, It was sad to get to what would be my room for two nights. I was the only one there when there could have been 3 others. I couldn’t believe the view I had of the lower river. I recognized what I was looking at and was neat to see the lower river from a different vantage point. I settled and then went to the lodge to get some food, I ate and then I wanted to go back out to the falls. I am so glad I did because the next bears I would see would be a family group. I sow with 3 cubs that were now over a year old. It was 128 and her cubs. I recognized 128’s ears. 128’s cubs were up a tree and I watched it seemed like it was as easy for them to be up a tree a year older and bigger. I spotted a bald eagle and watched for awhile as other things. Inside I was hoping to see more bears. I spotted my third bear, down river, sitting and looking at everything. It walked up the river towards where 128 had here cubs spa tree. As the bear walked past where the eagle was perched it looked up and looked towards my way. It is such a neat video and I did make the frame into a picture. This would be my first of several more to come while at here. Boy was I happy to be here again. The bear walked close to where 128 had her trees and when she noticed quickly took control of things chasing the bear away. I was glad to see 128 still being cautious like last year and it shouldn’t be any surprise all cubs returned with her this year. I would see a couple of more bears. I watched one in the jacuzzi for awhile. A familiar bear was fishing the the washboard and I knew it by the way it would look towards the viewing platform. It was fun to watch. I was surprised not to see any big, dominate bears. I was getting tired and hungry so I made my way back towards the lodge. While crossing the bridge I saw a mother with lots of babies. Not sure what kind they were. I did know I had seen the type before. I try to remember post a picture. I had something to eat and being tired I called it a day. It had been such a better day than I had thought it would be. I hope all are well and life is good. I am well and feeling happy being back at Brooks. : )
Saturday, July 1, 2017
I started the day very slowly I knew there are bears to be seen but just had trouble wanting to get up. I finally did and cleaned up. I had some breakfast at the lodge and started out tot he falls. I didn’t get very far as I saw 3 bears coming down the road towards me. I let some ranger know that were getting into a truck. They informed the lower platform and we were all asked to come up. There were a lot of people waiting to be able to board the bus to the Valley of 10,000 Smokes. I ran into Ranger Dave and we talked a bit. I was talking to others when I noticed Ranger Dave walking down and I asked if I could join him. He said I could and so we started for the falls. We had a nice talk about last year, this year and what he hoped to accomplish as far as the cams go. We arrived at the treehouse and I let hime be to get things ready when a list would be needed. I walked out to the falls viewing platform and it wasn’t long before I saw a bear. I saw an eagle in flying and tried my best to capture on video. I spotted a bear with cubs walking up river some ways a way. I kept my eye on her and the cubs and they kept coming this way, on my side of the river. I was hoping for a repeat of last year and being able to get some good close ups. A appeared and was walking around the falls and then down river. It was so neat to be there and be able to watch. The bear walked out of sight. Another bear appeared down at the riffles and I watched as it splashed about trying to catch a fish. It came up to the falls and was diving here and there for fish. I looked down and there were two cubs. I watched them watching the bear that had walked up to the falls and then back down towards the riffles and eventually walked out of sight. It wasn’t long and another bear was seen walking up river from the riffles. It walked about the far side of the falls and settled on a rock. I watched it look up and when I looked I was surprised to see cubs. I didn’t recall seeing any but was neat to see. The falls platform reached the limit and my time was up. I moved out and down to the riffles platform. While there I saw 128 and her 3 cubs appear up at the falls. I watched as first 128 went out and then her cubs one at a time. I wondered if the cub I was watching ahead of the cubs was the same one that led the cubs out into the water and eventually over the falls one by one. I watched 128 and cubs for awhile from the riffles platform. I was also able to watch 151 and one other bears in the water at the riffles. I was glad more and more bears were becoming visible and thought maybe this will be good bear viewing after all. I continued to watch and photograph bears for the rest of the evening. I had a good time and I wanted to stay. But I was getting hungry and I didn’t have much time to eat. It was eat or go hungry all the way to morning. I didn’t think that would be a good thing so I left and went to eat. I enjoyed the food as Scout and Mocha sat with me, It was nice to have company, It was 8:30PM and I thought about walking the half hour to the falls for only 1 hour. I eventually decided I wanted to get some rest and sleep more. There would be more bear viewing tomorrow. I enjoyed my second day at Brooks River. I was happy with the bear activity and behavior I was able to to capture on video. I am tired and hoping to get some good sleep, but well and feeling content.
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Hello All, I wish I could say I have been having a great and wonderful time at Brooks Camp and River, but, I have been so so…..Just kidding. I hope all are well and life is good. I have been having such a great time here. And to think I wasn’t all that excited to go, because I had been taking peek of the web cams and seeing no bears. Well, June 30th was slow until the evening and I started to see more bears coming around the falls. I was very excited and enthusiastic for the day to come. I was not disappointed. And today, There are no words in the modern english language I can use to describe today. I have seen and talked to Micheal Saxton(YES!!), Leslie the bear observer, Ranger Dave and Rebecca as far as Rangers. I walked with Ranger Dave from the lower river platform to the Falls and we had a great talk. We talked on the way back as well. I have also seen and talked to Mocho and CamOp_Scout. Mocha took the picture of me at the falls with the bears in the back ground. BTW, they both send their hellos. I want to get this up. So this is all for now.
Monday, July 3, 2017
Hi all. I am well and feeling good. I should be back in Anchorage tomorrow night. I have had a great time at Brooks Camp and River. I don't want to leave. I hope you and yours are well and life is good. A picture of a bear that wanted to share the road with me. LOL I'll update soon. Probably from Seward Alaska on July 5th. Take care.
I don’t even know where to begin to describe another fabulous day on the Brooks River. It was spectacular once again. The bear viewing was happening at the Riffles viewing platform. I was able to spend a lot of time watching, taking pictures and video. It was awesome. This afternoon walking back to the falls, I bump into on the road none other than the famous bear 503. He saw me at the same time I saw him. He stood up and looked right at me. He then ran off, up the road. It was so kewl. A few minutes later I met Calliope Jane. We talked a bit while walking to the falls. She is so cool and a very nice lady and it was a pleasure to meet her. The bear viewing was non-stop all day long. Even after having left Brooks and arriving back in King Salmon a bear was seen on the beach as we landed. And! I was able to have a heart stopping moment walking back on the trail. I was all alone as it was after 5:00pm. I ran into a sow with two yearlings. I backed off and found a place to walk off the trail. I was able record as she and her cubs walked by. I cannot even begin to guess on who it was. Okay, I am going to end this now. I am adding pictures that I feel highlight the day.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Hello I hope all are well and life is great. I also hope all had a happy forth of July. I have made it safely to Seward and I have setup Camp at stony creek rv park and I will be here for a week or so. I have booked a boat trip for tomorrow. I hope to see a lot of marine wildlife. I am well and feeling great.
Thursday, July 6, 2017
I was on the water today. I took a Kenia Fjords tour to Northwestern Glacier. I had a good time and enjoyed my day on the water. I was able to meet some people in line and we sat together. It was a great way to store my pack while I was outside on the deck watching for birds and other life. A highlight of the day had to be seeing a black bear in the water swimming and then climbing nearly straight up a cliff. Very kewl to be able to see.
Friday, July 7, 2017
Hi. I hope all are well and life is good. I have spent most of today working on updating my travel journal and taking a very long nap this afternoon. Tonight, I cooked a nice dinner of halibut, rice and mixed vegetables.
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Hi. I hope all are well and life is good. Spent the day on the water with Major Marine Tours. It was a good day on the water and was a more intimate group of people. There were only 35 of us plus two crew members. There was plenty of room to maneuver on the deck. A new place to sit when needing a rest. It was different to go to Northwestern glacier with another company. It was another day of seeing hump back whales. As many as 5 maybe 6 whales were in view for a few minutes. I tried to get some good video but trying on rolling water proved to be difficult. I was able to get some video of a harbor seal as it came close to the boat. It was very neat to see. There were several harbor seals this day. More than there was two days before. The highlight had to be having orcas come very close and crossing in front of the vessel. I was able to get a shot of a female orca. As we continued back to Seward. When I got back to the camper I discovered there was water on the floor. Took me sometime to figure out where it was coming from. I tried to look at the most obvious things. Even trying to tape and silicone suspected spots. It did no good and seemed to get worse. As a last resort, I raised the front of the camper and lowered the back. Not very much really. It seemed to make a difference and the drip under the lower left of the slide out, stopped. I'm baffled as to how one degree can make that much of a difference. I kept a towel there just incase. I checked it before going to bed and it was surprisingly dry. It will take some more investigating as to where if the angle is right, water can leak in. Whew! What a way to come home and have to take time fix it. I spent time moving the video and pictures to from the camera to the computer and want to review it but I was tired and called it a day.
Sunday, July 9, 2017
Spent a lazy day in the trailer. I did manage to get a shower, a nap and not long ago went grocery shopping. I had to replenish my beer supply and thought what the heck, lets get some food too. LOL I am working on a video highlight of my 1st day at Brooks River. I going to admit it. I wish I was still there, I was on the water again yesterday and started to entertain thoughts of making some calls and seeing if I could go back. But, the cost of doing it again has me thinking twice. I cooked some halibut last night and it was good. I turned my attention on getting the video done when things started to go wrong. It was taking an unusually long time for the processing of the video. I spent the reminder of the evening getting everything backed up twice. I wanted to swap the disk but didn't have a screw driver small enough. I would have to wait until the morning to be able to do any more. I tried to deal with not being able to add a video to my web site.
Monday, July 10, 2017
Hi, I hope all are well and life is good. I started my day getting ready to go out. I needed to find a small enough screw driver to fit the screws to the laptop cover. I found what I thought/hoped would be small enough. I came back to the camper and went to work. Barely, just barely, it was small enough to get the screws out. I had the cover off and was able to change out the disks. I put the cover back on and tightened the screws. The next thing was to get the computer to start needing an internet connection. I first tried through my phone using cellular but would have taken nearly ten hours. I then moved everything to the truck and drove up close to where I thought the wireless router was. I set everything up and re started. I was able to get a connection and it was only going to take twenty minutes if the connection didn't drop. Thankfully the connection didn't drop and I was able leave everything as is and came back to the camper to do the rest of restoring the disk from a backup. It took over 2 hours for the disk restore to complete with no errors. I let the video I was working on last night render. And as it rendered, I was eager to find out how long it would take, to know if changing the disk made a difference. I had a good internet connection and took advantage of doing some bill business.I was able to confirm my may hold and verify bill balances. It was getting close to dinner and started to think about what to have. I was happy when it came to me what to have. I would have grilled chicken breast, mashed potatoes and brockley. It was good. The video completed in a lot less time than last night. I was happy for that and moved up close to the RV office to get a good internet connection. I wanted to upload to video to my web site. Boy the events and final disgust was overwhelming. I drove into Seward to find free WiFi. I found a couple but the speeds were slower than back at the RV park. I was feeling so discouraged. I have been feeling better by sitting here and updating the journal anyway.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Today, wow. It was a day fo traveling to Anchorage for two reasons. One to get computer parts. The other was to seek out the best internet connection to upload a file for the trave journal. I finally found a spot and was able to get the file uploaded and also get my wen sote in sync. I was very happy about finally after a few days of gettting the file uploaded. Conenctions always have a better download then upload. I enjoyed driving the truck a distance again withoiut having the trailer connected. The truck purred and ran great. I made it back to the camper and wasn't feeling very good. It took walking up to and and taking a hot shower to feel better. The evening was warm and I walked about enjoying the RV park.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Best part of today was being able to move from an over flow RV spot to a spot with full hook ups. Problem was, I was going to have to back into to the spot. From times before and having such a difficult time backing up, I was not looking forward to having to back up into the spot. I was anxious to get it done. I took my time hooking the camper to the truck. Almost, doing it as if I was going to drive a distance, rather than a the lenght of the RV park. I figure it is a good habit to do it the same every time no mater the distance. I couldn't believe how easier it was to back up this time. As I watched a cousin do it recently, I saw it does take a lot of turning the wheels to turn the trailer the direction. I had always been over stiring. All in all I was happy I was starting to get it. I took time setting up camp and leveling the trailer. I think it is level but feels funny. I finshed getting the camper setup, it is nice having full hook up. I tried to work on this and video, but I was sleepy. I laid down and had a nap. I slept good. I decided to run a couple of errans. One was to wash the truck. I didn't do a very good job. I went over the Kenai Fjords Tours and bought a ticket for tomorrows Northwestern glacier tour. I came back to the camper feeling great. I took some time doing a better job washing/wiping the truck down and cleaned the inside too. I took time cook some halbut and enjoyed outside at he picnic table. I cleaned up from dinner and took the trash to the dumpster. Afterwards, I walked the RV park. It was neat to see how campers are set up and what different people were doing/enjoying their evening. I tried to sit down outside and relax. Instead I started cleaning/wiping down the camper. It has been such a execellent day. The highlight being how easy of a time I had backing the camper into the spot I wanted.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Hello, Today I was on the water for what was essentially a very long boat ride of sight seeing. It was a beautiful day with calm seas. There was not much in the way of seeing marine life. Humpback whales were seen and Resident Orcas. Harbor seals could be seen as well but nothing was done to get us close enough for a good view. Other life was seen as well but excuses of trying to make up time were given when we went right by Sea Otters, Sea Loins, and different birds. When asked when the vessel went right by the only Sea loins seen during the course of the day, I was told trying to make up time. I guess time needed to be made up when we went down so far into Aialik Bay the upper reaches of Aialik Glacier could be seen, to see resident Orcas. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see orcas and see how they were spread out feeding. I was able to get a few moments of a female orca just resting on the surface. And yet we arrived back at dock 20 minutes early. To me the tour isn’t complete not seeing the advertised seabird rookeries. The water was very calm. Almost the calmest I have seen. I wonder if the crew checked out and lost interest do to the vessel being half full. This was my 14th tour with them and today was the most spent inside sitting, of all of em. I was also left with the feeling it was more about the crew and their likes more than showing the paying passengers all that can be seen. Will I do this tour in the future? Yes, I will. Will I be as excited to recommend this tour? I am not so sure. Major Marine Tours does a good tour as well that is less crowded. Of course it is on a smaller boat and more ceptable to the motion of the water. I was glad to get back to my camper. I was tired. I off loaded video and pictures and fixed a small bite to eat. I listened as I heard thunder off in the distance come closer and closer and I can now say, I have experienced a good thunderstorm in Seward, Alaska. It rained so hard for a long period of time I spent the remainder of my evening wiping up a leak around the slide out, into the trailer. I am so wanting to find and buy/install a slide out cover. Eventually, the rain slowed down enough where I was able to put down a towel and get some sleep. I am well and feeling great. My time in Seward is dwindling down with only 3 days left. I still want to get to the Sea Life exhibit and I also want to walk the Exit Glacier Trail like I did in 2009 with a cousin. I also want to do one more boat trip with Major Marine Tours. I hope all are well and life is good.
Friday, July 14, 2017
Hi all, I hope you and yours are well and life is good. Today was a relaxing day spent at the camper. It took till late afternoon to start getting things done in preparation to move to Denali. I did some laundry doing all of my clothes. I wore rain gear so I could. I took a beer to enjoy while I sat around waiting. Something to make it easier.LOL A large RV caravan pulled into the park and was able to talk to several as they came up to do some washing as well. I was surprised to hear they had been on the road traveling together for 38 days. Almost as many as the 51 days I have been on my trip. I also called Major Marine Tours to book a ticket for tomorrow. The rest of the days was spent working on the video highlights of July 6. I know there would be tomorrow out on the water but, July 6 thus far, far and away had been the best day. It was a fairly nice evening and decided to walk the RV park. I enjoy walking around and looking at the different RV setups. It is a good way to find out what is available and get ideas on how to setup my own camper better. I settled in for the night and thus ended my day 51.LOL
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Today would be another day on the water of Kenai Fjords National Park. It would be my final day as well. On Monday I would break camp and move back to Denali National Park. I would be going out with Major Marine Tours. It was going to be good because there wouldn’t be very many people which would allow better movement about the vessel. It was a overcast and drizzly. I thought it might be and I backed my day pack with rain gear. I made it to the small boat harbor and checked in. I was told I could help myself to the hotels complementary breakfast and I did. I had a cheese omelet and sausage as well as orange juice and a banana. It was good and waited till it was time to board. I boarded and the vessel was off. As with previous days, there was a bald eagle sitting on top of a boat sign. I was surprised at how warm it was when the boat came up to speed, I actually sat on the bow for a time. It wasn’t long before the first of many humpback whales were spotted. We watched from a fair distance as it would surface. The day would be like the previous two days on the water and would be a day primarily of viewing whales more than anything else. At Northwestern Glacier, we were able to see two good cavings, Ice breaking off and falling down. It was impressive to watch. I also tried to get video of harbor seals but were some distance away. Today was colder than the previous three days. It was time to leave the glacier and starting heading back to Seward. More whales were seen as some birds were seen. I was surprised seeing more birds one the water feeding than were on the high cliffs where nests were. I was surprise at how tired had become during the course of the day. I spent more time sitting inside then out on deck. Not much more was seen on the return trip. The vessel returned to the dock and I was able to make my way to my truck and back to camp. I was starting to feel more awake. It is fun how the last two days on the water was having a tranquilizing effect on me.LOL I put stuff away and drained my camper tanks I had been treating the last couple of days. I took advantage of having full hook ups. I won’t have that when I return back to Denali. I spent the rest of the day and evening having dinner, chicken and rice(dried), off loaded the days video and pictures. And did more finishing of the video I hopes to be able to add to the July 6, 2017, entry. This concluded my day. I wanted to get to bed early so I would be more likely to get up and make my way to the Sea Life Center. It was important I went. All the times I have been in Seward. I just didn’t allow enough time to go previous years. I hope you and yours are well and life os good. I am well and feeling great. Peace.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Hello, a happy and peaceful Sunday to all. I hope you and yours all are well and life is good.I am sitting at the Sea Life Center. I made it. I am really happy I have. It has been worth it if for no other reason, the close up video of birds I have been able to get. I was also able to get some video of fish, salons and harbor seals. I am taking a time out to use the Center’s free public WiFi access to upload the video I have been working on. I am not done with the video. But, I am anxious to upload the video to my travel journal. As soon as the video uploads or fails, I will spend some more time looking around the Sea Life center. This far I have only seen upstairs. I still have all of the main level to look at.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Left Seward to drive to Denali National Park. Broke camp and made my way to Anchorage. I wanted to drive right through but the cost of buying food, made me stop and Wal-mart Anchorage. I bought food and the makings for pasta. I am happy to be resuplied with fresh fruit. I made my way out of Anchorage and made a stop for fuel in Houston, Alaska.LOL I guy came up to me with a gas can and asked for a couple of bucks for gas. I chose to half fill his 5 gallon can.lol As I was leaving the same guy asked others for cash.lol I finished driving to Denali. I set up the camper not being happy with the way it is sitting. I may still change it. I cooked the pasta I was excite I had thought about it. It was so good. I cleaned up and thought about driving into Denali and the park road the 14 miles to hopefully see some animals. It took driving all the 14 miles and driving back half way. But a moose bull, a moose cow and snow shoe hares were to be seen and made me feel good about being here.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Hi all, I hope you and yours are well and life is good. Thought I would update since it has been a few days. I concluded my trip to Seward, Alaska, by spending one day on the water. In all I was on the water 4 different days and with two tour companies. The First day by far was the best day, being able to see so much. They say to be able witness wildlife, one has to be at the right spot and the right time. Well July 6th was that kind of day. So many different humpback whales were seen, lost count. Seeing a black bear swimming in the water and climbing the nearly straight up cliff. It was so awesome to watch. Then when birds that until this summer, I was never excited about, excited me. It was so awesome to be able to video so many birds in flight but to see and start to follow a bald eagle that was causing the disturbance. I have a video highlight on my web page at http://mtnhighco.com/alaska/alaska-trips-2017.html and scrolling to July 6 to view the video. I enjoyed my time in Seward. Yesterday I made my way to Denali National Park. It is great to be back at my Favorite NP of them all. :) I cooked pasta for dinner last night. It was Awesome! LOL I went for a ride on the Denali park road to Savage River. I am so glad I did, too. I was able to see a moose bull, a moose cow and 4 snow shoe hares. Not bad and set the tone for being here. I started to watch the movie 2012 but became to sleepy to watch all if it. Today I got to a late start. But when it did get going, the results of the day has me feeling great. I have been thinking of ways to make a home made portable slide out cover for my slide out. I am experiencing leaks around the slide out when it rains. Today it all came together. Using tarp, duct tape and velcro, I was able to make a cover. It has been really windy since I arrived. So far it is holding up to the wind. Now I need rain to find out if it will hold up in the wet. I am well! I am feeling great and accomplished. 👨🔧😉
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Hi all, I hope you and yours are well and life is good. Today was another great day. I went over to the Wilderness Access Center to buy shuttle bus tickets. One ticket to ride the bus the entire length of the road on Friday. While I was buying the bus tickets, I saw a bus driver I knew and said hi. He told me of a kill sight and were to look for it. Kewl, my chances of seeing grizzlies increased. I just hoped there would still be enough left for the bears to be around. After I bought my tickets I just couldn't resist driving the 14 miles to Savage River. I enjoyed the drive and was able to see two Willow Ptarmigans. I made my way back to my camper and started to get everything out to make pancakes. They were good. I fixed my food for the bus ride, I would be taking later. I prepared sliced apples, a banana, a sandwich and chips. I finished with snicker minis. I was all set for my bus ride. I relaxed for a few minutes and then made my way to the Wilderness Access Center. I was happy when I made my way out to the loading deck and there were very few people. I knew from the back packs some were waiting for the camper bus. The remaining dozen or so were waiting for the Eielson bus. We left the WAC with ten of us. There was going to be plenty of room to move about, to get pictures no matter what side of the bus the animals were on. I was surprised we hadn't seen any wildlife and we were almost to the Toklat rest stop. We were nearing the area where the grizzly bears had been seen. We were so fortunate they were still there feeding on what was left of the caribou. The direction of the sun shaded their faces. I was able to get video of their fur blowing in the wind. We saw a few caribou here and there, but nothing like the herds seen in June. The mountain Denali was blocked from view with all the clouds. Back at the Toklat rest stop. I looked up and saw 5 All sheep on the hill side. I let the others know and they were happy to see them. We would see more as we were going down Igloo canyon. We were almost back to Savage River when I looked back and was able to see the summit of north peak. A few minutes later we were able to see the summit of south peak. Back on the pavement and almost back to the entrance we did see two moose cows laying in the river bed. That we pretty neat to see. So for the day, moose, caribou, dall sheep, grizzly bears and the mountain Denali had been seen. We would also see several ground squirrels and snowshoe hares. We also saw an owl chase out two Ptarmigans. I saw where one flew off to and wasn’t able to see the other, I didn’t see the owl either, leaving me to think the owl was able to get one. I really enjoyed my day in the park. I was happy to get back to my camper and enjoy a beer. I off loaded my cameras and relaxed the rest of the evening, I went for a walk around the RV park, a caravan pulled in while I was gone. I looked around for ideas to improve my camper. It was a decent hour when I called it a day and went to sleep. I am well and feeling great. It has been really windy and thus far my portable slide out cover is holding up. 👨🔧😉
Thursday, July 20, 2017
I’m trying to remember how the day started. It is now Monday July 24 and I still cannot remember how the day started. I must have been really distracted with what I scheduled for tonight and then tomorrow. I bought a shuttle bus ticket for the two o’clock Eielson which wouldn’t get back until 10PM or later, and, then be back for a 7:45AM bus the next morning. Anyway, I made my way to the the Wilderness Access Center for the bus ride into the park. I wasn’t to surprised when I saw the bus driver and knew him right off. I have seen and road with him in the past. And he knew me from when I would bring mom up with me, and, from the number of times I road the bus last summer(2016.) It turned out to be a good evening. We would see a lot of animals. The driver is a bird fan and the first thing we saw was a Willow Ptarmigan with chicks. We would next see a bear as we were crossing the Teklanika River. It was a fair distance away but it was easy to see it was busy eating soap berries. Soap Berries are like by bears but tastes like soap to people and not liked very much. We then saw some Dall Sheep not that high because we were able to see their legs. Normally they would be so high up a mountain slope they are just white dots. We would then see several Caribou. At one stop for a Caribou sighting, I videoed a stream coming down to the road. It was a relaxing sound to hear. I would then have a chance to get video of my first Golden Eagle that I had seen this year. It was pretty kewl to be able to watch it in flight soaring on the winds. We would then see a moose cow with a calf born this spring. We would then see a grizzly bear with two yearlings. I enjoyed being able to watch the sow wanting to get moving and the cubs wanting to check everything out and eat. One cub hung back a fair distance. The sow didn’t seem to mind at all and just kept moving farther and farther away from the cubs. The cubs were becoming more independent all the time. We then cam across a wolf on the road that we and another bus would follow for 20 minutes or more delaying us getting back to the Wilderness access center. It was interesting to watch it not concerned with us being behind it at all. It seemed to be intent, getting down the road to its destination. It finally moved off the road in the same area I had seen it move off the road back in June. I can’t help but feel there is a wolf den not far from there. We would then see another Willow Ptarmigan. We mad it back to were we started 30 minutes late. I was only thinking, oh boy, I get to be back here in about 9 hours to catch a bus to the end of the road. I made it back to my camper and wanted to off load the video on the the computer I took today. It was after midnight when I laid down to get some sleep. I hope you and your are well and life is good. I am well and feeling great.👨🔧😉
Friday , July 21, 2017
I made it back to the Wilderness Access Center of Denali National Park for a bus ride into the park, all the way to the end of the road at mile 92. It was almost a full bus. I ended up sitting in the wrong place as the people right behind me didn't exactly smell the best. People in front of me opened the window next to them and that helped a bit. I did my best to let it not ruin the day. We were on our way and we would see Ptarmigans, Dall Sheep and bears on our way into the park. We even saw a Long Tailed Jaeger chick all by its self. It still had lots of down and was unable to fly so why it was next to the road alone as baffling. As we made our way past the Eielson Visitor Center at mile 66, towards the end of the road, we saw a moose laying in what looked to be mud. It seemed pretty relaxed, so all must be fine. The late return to the camper the night before and the early start this morning was starting to catch up with me and I found myself dozing off a couple of times. I wished I had as the bus driver enjoyed to talk and had talked all the way. We were just about at the roads end when a bus was coming our direction. I asked to flag it down so I could hop onto the bust going back towards the park entrance due to being so tired. The bus wasn't nearly as full and I was able to spread out a bit more. On the way out and almost back to the Eielson Visitor Center, we not only saw the moose I had seen just a bit before but another moose was laying close to the first one. This moose bull had a very large set on antlers that were very impressive to see. Past the Eielson Visitor Center, we would caribou and a lot of bears. The bus driver didn’t talk as much and was very nice to be able to look around and get lost in thoughts, looking at the scenery. We arrived back to the Wilderness Access Center and by switching buses, I was able to save one hour. I tried to lay down and take a nap but was unable to as I was thinking about getting some updates done and uploaded. The internet at the RV park was down so I walked to a pizza place and used their internet. I enjoyed some pizza and beer while working on my travel journal. I didn't get much done as a ranger and friend sat down next to me at the bar and we talked as the ranger is from colorado. They enjoyed looking at some of my videos and pictures as we talked. All in all it had been another great day at Denali National Park. I am well and feeling good. I hope you and yours are the same. I have included
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Hi all, I hope you and yours are well and life is good. Since I have no one with me to share, this is my sounding board. Today is turning out to be a very good day. I wanted to drive from the RV Park to the Wilderness Access Center to fill up water bottles as don't care for the chemical taste. While at the WAC, I purchased a shuttle bus ticket for 5:00PM tonight. It is just over a 6 hour ride. I'm happy, no, very excited I did because I just in passing, inquired about camping availability at one of Denali NP camp grounds, expecting to hear, "sorry, nothing available." Instead I was informed I could get 4 nights at where I so wanted and dreamed about camping at the Teklanika Campground inside Denali National Park, 29 miles. I had a very difficult time hiding my excitement. I'm going to be camping where I wanted to camp so much this summer while in Alaska and now I am. And it is going to be over my BD. I guess good things do come to those that wait. I came back to the camper to try and get some journal entries done but was unable to due to thinking about camping out at Teklanika Campground. My mind has been full of all that I could and want to do while out there. I made it to the WAC to catch the bus into Denali. As I had hoped, the bus wasn’t crowded at all. There were only 7 of us on the bus. I am so glad I decided to try the later departure because it would turn out to be a fabulous evening. The one draw back is I forgot my favorite camera that I like to use the most. I was reaching for it when I noticed I hadn’t unplugged everything and when I did I became absent minded and grab the pack without putting my camera in it. I would have to spend the evening using my backup camera. As it turned out it wouldn’t be a problem at all. We would see a bear first that was looking good and healthy with a very thick coat. Next a caribou would be seen walking on the road going the same direction we were going and we were delayed some. It was fun to watch it as it trotted down the road looking to the right and the left. It finally moved of the road and into some willow bushes. Few moved on letting it be. We would then see another caribous walking on the road going in the same direction we were. Incase, there are thoughts as to why the caribou and other animals are walking on the road, it is because it is the path of least resistance. The caribou was couldn’t make up its mind as to where it wanted to go to the right or left. It final moved of the road to our right. We watched it as it moved up the mountain nearly straight up and to the ridge. Once it arrived at the top of the ridge it stopped and looked like poised for us giving us a good side shot. It was fun to watch. We continued down the road and we all wouldn’t believe our good luck as on the road on the left side was what at first was a bear. We would be able to get right next to it and watch not very far away at all. While we were watching, we would see that behind her was a spring cub. We were very quiet and we could here it crying out. It was very very kewl to be so close to an interior grizzly and be so accepting of us being there. It is these moments of harmony that makes me continue to want to be in Alaska. The grizzly and cub would move through the bushes and back onto the road and crossed in front of us and into some willow bushes. We let them be and moved on down the road. We would arrive at our turn around point. We would spend 30 minutes walking around the deserted rest area and talked. We moved over to where there was some antlers and watched as a couple left them above their head and pose for a picture. I have been at this place so many times since 2009 and tonight would be the first I would do it and get a picture. I have to say what I had thought of being silly in the past, was fun. We started for our trip back down the same road to the park entrance. On the way back we would see caribou and the sow and cub, they had moved up the hill. It was good to see them again. We would also see an owl perched on a bush branch. The excitement there was at seeing the bears next to the road would be nothing compared to the excitement there was when, not one, not two, but three wolves were seen on the road walking towards us. It was so awesome to watch them. And unfortunately, happened way to fast. One wolf moved to the right and one wolf moved to the left. It was then we saw the third wolf coming down the hill right next to the bus. This had proven to an excellent evening of viewing wildlife, and the trip wasn’t over yet. We would see a small, young caribou all alone and though that was strange. I wondered how the wolves had missed it. We would then see another bear walking in the direction we had seen the young caribou. I wondered in the bus rid the next day would have us seeing a fresh kill site. We had almost made it back to the park entrance when we would see a moose cow with two young mossed bulls. We wondered if it might be a family. The bulls had very small antlers and was a sure give away they were young. We made it back to the WAC and I made my way back to my camper. It had been a very good day. Another day I just wouldn’t believe if I hadn’t experienced it. 😃
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Hi all, I hope you yours are well and feeling great. I'm well and feeling great. I'm at the WAC waiting for the 2 o'clock bus into Denali. Last night was amazing we saw caribou, Dall sheep, moose, grizzly and the mountain Denali. The highlight was seeing 3 wolves on the road walking towards the bus. It looked like they were on the hunt. I hope to add pictures to my site tomorrow. I am well and feeling great.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Hi all I hope you and yours are well and feeling good. I'm waiting for a bus to take into the park. I need to take tomorrow to get caught up on my travel log. I am getting so behind. I tried to this morning but internet access had me distracted. On a side note, the homemade slide out cover is holding up. It is raining and windy today and I'm happy with how it is holding this far. 😀I am well and feeling great.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Hi all, I hope you and yours are well and feeling great. I am well and feeling great. Today was spent cleaning and working on my website and Alaska 2017 journal. The page was getting to large. I am trying to get caught up and I hope to be caught up very soon. I had to stop for today because I'm riding a bus into Denali this evening. :)
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Hi all, I hope you and yours are well and life is good. I am well and feeling good. Today, unfortunately, the day started at 6:30AM. A caravan that had been here for the last few days all decided to leave at the same time. They weren’t shy about making all the noise they could. I don’t know why a generator can’t be used. Some of those Class A rigs are louder? LOL
I cleaned up and decided this morning would be a good time to wash clothes. And right after I started a load, I thought since the camp sites around me were empty, this would be a great time to move the trailer to dump my tanks. So, I set a timer for the time it would take for the clothes to wash. I then started getting the trailer set to be towed over to the dump station. Everything went really well. Right before I was going to move the trailer, the timer went off. I moved the clothes to the dryer and set a timer again. I moved the trailer over to the dump station and dumped the tanks. Let some water run down the black tank to try and rinse it out. I finished and moved the trailer back to my site and backed it in. I had a little bit of trouble but was able to get the camper right where I wanted and then setup the trailer, leveling it and all. I am getting better at being able to level the trailer. The timer went off so I took a time out to get my clothes and put them in the trailer. I finished setting up the trailer. I then put my clothes away and decided it was time to cook pasta. I have been wanting pasta for a few days now, but time always seemed run out before needing to go catch a bus into the park. I had the pasta and was just as good as last time. I then cleaned up dishes and put things away. I am using the reminder of the time before going to catch the bus, to work on my travel journal. I made my way over to the WAC to catch a bus into Denali. It was a ride. There was only 3 of us the bus driver made 4. We didn't have to go very far down the road before we saw our first animal. It was a bear. Only the second time in all the years I have been coming to Denali I have seen a bear while still on the public section of the road. The bear was great to see and set the tone for the evening. We had just left the Teklanika Rest stop and we saw another bear. This bear was staying more stationary eating berries and scratching. I thought it was amazing to already see two bears. We next saw caribou on a ridge and they were moving at a good pace, sometimes running at full speed. We kept looking to see if there was anything behind them but didn't see anything. We saw another caribou with some nice looking antlers. We made it to our turn around at Toklat. We were able to see some Dall sheep high on a mountain. The bus driver suggested we walk down the river to the bridge and he would pick us up there if we wanted, instead of sitting around. We all chose to walk. I went a different way and enjoyed hear the sounds of Denali. I could hear birds, ground squirrels and the rushing water of the Toklat River. During my walk I came across fresh bear scat and thought, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea to be walking alone. I didn’t see anything and continued walking. I came to the stream and found away to across and I enjoyed it. I would stop here and there to take pictures. I made it up to the bridge and started to walk on the road and spotted a caribou out in the river bed walking the same direction and it was fun to parallel it. I met up with the other two and I showed them where I could see more Dall sheep and the caribou out in the river bed. We all had a very enjoyable walk before the bus driver picked us up. This was anew experience for me in Denali and I was thrilled to be able to experience it. It also set my mind racing thinking of my 4 nights out at the Teklanika campground. We spotted a caribou walking up the hill towards the road. It was fun to watch it move and find away through the willow bushes to the road. We thought it was just going to cross, but it turned and started walking down the road, in the direction we were going. We followed for a few minutes before it exited the road and the same side it had come from. We would then see a grizzly bear sow and her two spring cubs. I have seen this family before and I enjoy seeing the cubs looking healthy and full of energy. We sat there on the bus and watched for several minutes. We would then see 5 owls, 1 a Northern Hawk owl and 4 Short Ear Owls. The Short Ear Owls were all flying together and was interesting to see. We checked the river bed we saw our first bear but there was nothing. It was starting to get dark and made in difficult to see the moose walking near the road. We startled it as much as we where and it moved off into the trees out of sight. It wasn’t much farther down the road and we came across a moose cow and her two calfs. We sat there watching them eating from the bushes and other vegetation. We arrived back to the WAC just a bit late and no one minded as it had been a fabulous evening in Denali National Park. I made my way back to my camper and reflected on the day before going to bed.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Hi I hope you and yours are very well and life is great. I'm at the park ready for another 8 hours. This is the day before I am camping out at Tek for Four nights. I am very happy with all I was able to get done in preparation. All I'll have to do tomorrow is dump tanks and fill propane tank. Dog gone it, am I excited to be out at Tek. I will not have electricity or internet. For down time, I have bought two books to read. I am very well and feeling great.👍 😀
Monday, July 31, 2017
I woke up and started getting busy. Today would be a busy day as this would be the day to move to the Tek campground 29 miles inside Denali National Park. I would have to drive into Healy and top off my propane tank. On my way to Healy I had to pull over due to getting a low tire light indicator. I got out checked all tires and they all looked fine. I continued to Healy and the low tire Indicator went off. I stopped at one place only to find out they were having trouble dispensing propane. No problem, I knew there was another place. I stopped there and they were able to top off my propane tank. I made my way back to the camper and installed the propane tank. I then grabbed my digital tire gage and checked my tires the front right was low. Another had to much. I drove to the gas station and put air in and again all four tires had the same amount of air. I returned to the camper I proceeded to break camp and get ready to move to the Tek campground. I’ll admit I was abrehensive driving on the park road. As last night coming out of the park the road was really rough and bumpy. There was also lots of rain and figured I would be driving on a muddy road. But, neither one was the case. The road was smooth and not muddy at all. I made it to the Tek campground and was able to back into a spot with very little trouble. I was happy about that, though, I had to try two times as I noticed a truck needing to get by so I drove around the loop and did it again. I am happy to be parked very close to where I wanted to on the outside edge of the camp ground. I am hoping the spot I choose will have little traffic going by. Behind my camper is nothing but wilderness. I’m excited to finally be staying at where I have wanted to for so long. After I got camp set up, I took time to fix some lunch that was pretty good. I was tired afterward and laid down for a nap. I am ready to walk to the bus stop to take an evening bus further into the park. I was about to say into the park but I am already in the park. Very very cool. There was not much in the way of wild life sightings this evening. The highlight was to watch a cub chase after another bear. To watch as the sow took over and chased the bear for a fair distance. Then the sow and cub run in the opposite direction. To watching the cub run back fourth right to left and left to right. I could only think the cub was chasing Arctic Ground squirrel. I enjoyed watching and it was good, seeing such a young thing have such energy. Not much else was seen and made it back to the Tek Campground. I was anxious yet enjoyed my walk beck to my camp site. If one where to draw a square box, I am at the opposite corner to the bus stop. I am so enjoying being out here in Denali National Park. I am well and feeling good. 👍 😀
Journal Entries for July