Endings

This has been the most colorful of my three seasons in Denali.  Unfortunately, it’s also been very grey and rainy, making photography a challenge.   Mixed light, shafts of light shining through the clouds, the glow just after a rainstorm – that blows my mind.  Dark, steel grey clouds – that’s hard.  Harder for me to bring some of the magic across in an image.  Even so.  It is magic.  You truly do have to be here.  Some days this place makes my heart stop like no other place has.

Since most of you never will be come to this place, here’s a few final sets of Denali colors.

As always, click on the thumbnails to view larger as a slideshow.

Dark clouds require a readjustment of expectations.  Grand scenics can turn out dull.  Better to search for small things, as I did with a recent post.  A few days ago I spent some time on and near the roadside capturing smaller, quieter scenes.  Perhaps the best part was all the cars stopping, anxiously looking past me, wondering what animal I was seeing.  I think they were disappointed.  People want grandeur.  They are bored by small and quiet.  

Females get no respect.  I can’t tell you how many times in the past month I’ve been on a bus or at my car, stopped at a moose sighting, only to hear someone say “oh, it’s only a female.”  No interest in watching it or shooting photos.  Yet if that same cow moose had calves, or was a bull with antlers, people would fall all over themselves (or more likely, other people) to shoot photos.

A shame, because any moose is a joy to watch.  And a moose surrounded by these colors is a magnificent sight.

The color change in interior Alaska is rapid and dramatic.  These two images were taken 5 days apart, from the same location.

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The clouds have been constant and oppressive, but occasionally those bolts of light I love so much appeared for a few brief minutes.

After 3 weeks of heavy clouds and rain, the sun made an appearance for 2 days this week.  It was a shock to go from heavy clouds, to barely any in the sky.  Sometimes I have to remind myself how lucky I am to step out of my cabin to a view like this.

Unfortunately, that was five days ago.  As I write this, the temperature has dropped dramatically, and it’s been lightly snowing on and off for two days.

So.  Endings.  Large organizational changes at work mean I am one of a number people with a new employment status.  A victim of new realities.  Or beneficiary perhaps.  Time will tell.   In any case it’s an opportunity to make real a long-term desire to learn a new skill.  To finally take the time to really learn Spanish.  I am tired of Latin American travel where I miss out on many wonderful interactions due to limited Spanish.  And of course, in most of the US, it’s a valuable job skill.

My Alaska adventure is wrapping up.  I am now unemployed for a undetermined amount of time.  In the morning I begin my drive out – three weeks to road trip to Colorado.   With luck the weather will stay warm enough to make camping or sleeping in my car bearable while I drive through Yukon and British Columbia.  I hope to avoid the heinous lodging experiences of last year.  Exact route TBD.  Suggestions welcome.

From Colorado, fly to Ecuador.  For my next adventure I’ll be down there for about 2 months.  Plan?  At least 6 weeks of immersion spanish lessons.

No more posts for several weeks while I’m on the road.  Hopefully you’ll be out enjoying adventures in your part of the world.

Ecuador.  Adventures await.  Who’s going to join me?

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