Wildflowers, Glaciers, Jaw Dropping Scenery, Grizzlies, Wolves…. You Get The Idea

July has been pretty marvelous for me…. and only continues to get better.  I do my work, in the evenings I hike, run, workout, or relax, and my days off have been happy and productive.  Life isn’t bad.

The wildflowers peaked several weeks ago, so I spent a lot of free time trying to catch some worthwhile images.  Here’s one of my favorites.

Bluebells, just after a rain shower. I intended to hike for hours, but instead spent about 90 minutes shooting a patch of flowers on the side of a mountain.

After living in Colorado for 13 years with some of the best wildflower displays in the country, Alaska was a bit of a shock initially.  There is neither the abundance or variety of Colorado, so I had to learn to appreciate what I was seeing.

Forget-me-nots, the Alaska state flower. Tiny but gorgeous!

Arctic Poppies after a rainstorm.

These bluebells were in the same patch as the others. This has always been one of my favorite flowers to photograph, but I've never been so lucky with this combination of light and rain.

Although I hurt for several days afterward, I had a blast running the “Moose Scat Scoot” race on July 3.  Sitting on a bus for an hour, then getting off and immediately running 3.2 miles faster than I’ve ever run before (22 minutes) was quite an experience.  But it was a lot of fun.  Employees from my property won the 5k and the 13 mile races so we were psyched.  I was happy to get 5th.  And of course I did it “barefoot” (well, in my 5 fingers).

One of the employee activities that I’m pretty proud of this summer was Open Mic Night, which we put on a couple of weeks ago.  We have some talent here, and the employees had a wonderful time.  This short video also includes clip from our “Cabin Nite Dinner Theater” which is 90 minutes of cheesy fun.  Jamie would be perfect for this job!

An RA and I lead weekly hikes in the area.  The hike up Dragonfly Creek for 12 of us was particularly memorable due to the wind.  Once up on the ridge, the wind was probably over 30mph, with gusts that had to be 50mph+.  Which of course made hiking a challenge.  And was also fun, in a perverse way.  Several of us decided to jump to see how far the wind would push us while in the air.

For those who are old enough... do you remember the old commercials? "Oh oh oh what a feeling.... Toyota!"

I took employees on a photo safari down the Denali Highway again.  We drove around for a few hours to give them a chance to see new scenery, and to search for photo opportunities.  We had a great time.

I love that there are people from 3 countries in this photo! (US, Turkey, Czech Republic). No Bulgarian representatives on this day.

Blue sky, white-capped mountains, bright green grass, red mud.... the colors were amazing.

I finally got out for my first real camping trip in Alaska (my only other time in a tent here was April in Seward, in a city “campground” so that doesn’t count.  I thoroughly enjoyed my night on the Denali Highway.  This 3 minute video shows a very close moose (shot from the car), an abandoned cabin, and a first-hand look at what hiking in Alaska is like.

That was the easy version of Alaska hiking.  One day when I’m not too busy cursing I need to video true AK bushwhacking!  It can be an “experience” in the same way that real estate agents describe old homes as having “character.”

As cool as other stuff can be, we all know that one of the big reasons people love Alaska is the WILDLIFE!  I certainly see plenty of it every time I go into the park.  Hotel guests yesterday reported seeing 11 (eleven!!!) grizzly and wolves feeding on a caribou on their park tour.  WOW!  Seeing a moose around here is no longer a big deal.  As someone said today “there as common as mice.”  Well, maybe not, but they are quite common!

I don’t have many photos of the wildlife, as my lens just isn’t quite long enough to be worthwhile.  I do have some nice video footage however.  This video shows some of the common Denali wildlife.  No lynx unfortunately – although I’ve seen them 4 times, it’s always too brief to get video.  It also has clips from a hike I did in the park recently.  Thanks to one of my employees Eva for supplying the cool beaver video.

More stuff coming VERY soon!  I just returned 2 days ago from an AMAZING 3 night trip that I can’t wait to share with everyone.

Looking forward to hearing back from everyone out there!