Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Parks Highway Revisited

Birdie has a friend visiting for a week, so we headed back up the Parks Highway to show her the sights. We camped at Byers Lake in Denali State Park.
Of course for me, the first thing to do in a new campground is check out the hiking trails. Birdie and Red were good sports and came along too.
 This old cabin next to the lake was built by a man named Beeman and his wife in 1959. They spent the winter trapping here.
 It's vacant and still partially furnished if you're interested, but hurry because it is quickly recycling back into the woods from whence it came.
Perhaps the Beemans used this bearing tree to find their way back to the cabin when out on the frozen lake.
 Our trail leads to a suspension bridge.
 The view from the middle.
 After we crossed the bridge we turned back to the campground.
So we could get up at the crack of dawn to drive to Denali National Park. We made it a day trip in Birdie's car.
 It was a beautiful clear morning at dawn.
 And we could see the Great One in all it's glory from the viewpoints along the highway.
 At the park we took the shuttle to the Eilson Center, partway into the park. We saw bull caribou getting their winter coats back.
 Lots of hungry grizzlies were out eating as fast as they could.
 Gotta get as much fat as possible to get ready for the long winter.
 The cubs are so cute.
There were plenty of Dall sheep too, but our driver didn't think they were important enough to stop...we just did a "drive-by."
 The colors of Polychrome.
 This bear was walking in the road...and took his time about getting out of it.
 Bear foot.
 This picture is for Jennifer to remind her of the Alpine Hike we took.
 Red looks over the locked moose antlers. You can see the view of Mt. McKinley from here.
 This is a Cross one to me, so I Googled it. It is a color variation of the Red Fox.
Not a cross breed, but called a cross because of the long dark stripe running down its back, intersecting another stripe to form a cross over its shoulders.
The next day we took another day trip to Talkeetna. Did a little walking around, shopping, and eating.
 Visited their very clean and pretty public restrooms.
 Spent some time looking for the Mayor, but heard he was out hunting.
 These orange mushrooms are very photogenic.
On the way back we drove out Petersville Road to look for moose. 
Didn't see any moose, but we did come across an exciting event at Moose Creek.
We found the salmon spawning ground just as the salmon were spawning.
 I wish I had gotten a video as they swam in circles.
They were bright red.
 Salmon splash.
 Moose Creek
 A little farther up the road we came upon Reflection Pond. There were two wide pullouts on either side of the road....would be a great place to boondock and put the kayak in.
 But we were in a car. Some of the Fireweed are turning fiery red. I'm really enjoying being here to witness the changing of the seasons.
August 8, 2012 Denali bids farewell as we drive south on the Parks Highway. This is from the South Viewpoint.
 Close-up of the summit. I can almost imagine why someone would want to climb it. Almost.
 Trumpeter swans were spotted on a small lake beside the road.
 A beautiful pair, but no babies. 
 Trumpeter swans are entirely white, but their heads get an orange stain due to iron-rich waters and mud where they forage.
We watched them swim and eat until they went to sleep.
 And at that same lake, Denali was reflected.
Birdie and Red are off on their own adventures tomorrow while I get my RV step motor replaced and other service done.


  1. Stellar sunrise! Swinging bridge looks fun. But have to agree with you about climbing McKinnley! I'll stick to my hikes!

  2. What a gorgeous view of the summit! I think I enjoyed your second trip even more!!!

  3. Didn't think your pictures could get any better but I was wrong. Fabulous. Sorry to hear you are having more RV maintenance done but I guess it's part of the package deal.

  4. Very cool Cross Fox! Ashley and I like the trumpeter swans and the reflection of the Great One. Makes me wish I was still there with you. I'm guessing your step gave out again???

    1. Yes step motor was only working intermittently, so got it replaced. We stopped at that lake with the swans...saw an osprey there, but no swans, remember?

  5. I can no longer pick a favorite photo. Do you typically spot the subjects for your lens? Or does your traveling partner of the day see things and then you focus in? Seems like it'd be tough to do both, but your zoom lens brings everything to life! Thanks, Liz.