Just another day.

If you want to see wildlife in Alaska, you can head into the bush and camp for a week stalking the animals or just sitting quietly. Or you can look for someone else pulled over on the highway. That is what we did. 
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We were just driving down the highway enjoying the view when we saw a bunch of people with big camera lenses looking up. Like good cheechakos, we pulled over to see what was going on. It was a bit too late in the day for my little camera to get a good picture of him, but it was cool to see.

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Lately, this big bull moose has been hanging out in our yard. He ate our rhubarb and wakes us up at night. Well, he wakes the dogs up and they wake us up. It is hard to explain how big they really are. they blend in very well and sometimes we walk right past them without noticing the first time.Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 5.09.19 PM

That is the latest news from the cabin in Anchorage. Fall is incredible here. As my fishing season winds down, we are starting to hope for snow so we can put our skis to good use. Until then, I will be looking around for large animals.Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 5.09.35 PM

Denali National Park.

We headed into Denali National Park with Amanda’s parents while they were visiting. On our way, we stopped in the town village of Talkeetna. It is a fantastic place to stop. They have every adventure necessary. Want to go fishing, someone there can arrange that. Too easy? Take a helicopter tour of Denali, they do that here as well. We just stopped at a cool little coffee shop.Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.00.39 AMWe were at the tail end of the season, so some things were closed, and the traffic was pretty minimal. The weather was not too bad, but with lots of clouds, actually seeing the mountain did not seem like a realistic thing that was going to occur. While that is always a goal of people that are visiting the area, we have been lucky to see it on clear days while fishing nearby. There is still so much to see and do that the actual mountain might be better off imagined. Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.00.27 AMWe boarded our bus early the next day and settled in for what would be an 11 hour bus tour. If you travel into the park in your own car, you can only drive in the first 15 miles. The buses were great. We didn’t have to drive, we could eat, and the bus driver was knowledgeable and entertaining. This is a great way to see the park and the inhabitants.Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.13.46 AMThe weather that we had experienced in Talkeetna was worse/better/bigger/different the next day. Everything is larger and more extreme in Alaska. The weather is no exception. Where there was rain the day before it was heavily snowing on us in the park. It was very beautiful to see a lot of the area covered in snow. The biggest concern was that the roads would be impossible to use in some spots. We were going on the last day of the season.

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We got to Savage River and were told that it might be the end of the line for us. We were 15 miles into an 85 mile trip. We waited here, saw a few bears, made a snowman, and were told to get back on the bus, we were continuing forward.Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.01.30 AMThe wildlife is used to the buses. They know that the buses are not a threat. We were able to see animals acting very naturally.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.28.56 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.28.24 AMIt was the people that were funny to watch. As soon as someone spotted an animal, the bus would stop and try to get us into a good viewing position. Everyone ran to the side where the animal would be. The sound of fake shutters clicking was entertaining and the animals didn’t seem to mind. Mostly everyone was respectful and kept their arms and hands inside. Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.27.22 AMEvery stop was amazing. The roads were cleared and we were told that we would make it all the way to the Wonder Lake Campground. Every time we got out of the bus, we were blown away. Mostly with the views, but sometimes by the wind.Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.27.02 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.38.45 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.39.07 AMThat was our visit to Denali National Park. It was outstanding and everyone visiting Alaska should try to get out there to experience it. Thanks for reading.

Another amazing day.

We have been so busy that I am having trouble keeping track of everything we have been doing. Today was pretty incredible though. It was a lazy day and we started late. Eventually we got out rock climbing. As we head south from out house we probably have one hundred climbs within 10 miles. We are out of shape, but it is sunny and we like being outside.Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 7.46.59 PM

On the way home, we stopped to get some water. Obviously, we are smart enough to not buy bottled water, so we brought our bottle to the source. the locals are always here so we figured there was a reason. Turns out, it is pretty good.Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 7.46.12 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-22 at 7.45.59 PM

On the drive home, we saw people pulled over and look into Turnagain Arm. A pod of beluga whales were feeding on salmon with their friends the seals. We sat on the side of the road and watched this sunset and admired the whitest whales we have ever seen.Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 7.15.28 PM

Moving to Alaska – Day 3.

We swam, we found waterfalls, we fished. We paddled around in our canoe and swam when we felt like it. We found leeches. We found rainbow trout. We found it relaxing. We stayed another night.

Here is the sunset before my battery died.

Lando in panorama mode.

Appropriately name Turquoise Lake just up the road.

Amanda at Turquoise Lake.

There were a few fish rising every evening.

Good night!

Long, beautiful sunsets every night.

Obi Wan vs squirrel.

Everyone loved this campsite.

Amanda's new bikini.

Swimming every day.

The family in the canoe.

The canoe was a great thing to bring on this trip.

Suns out...

Fun fooling fish.

Still Thankful.

Maybe it is all the time in the hospitals, maybe it is our awesome new dog, maybe it is because it has been almost a year since I broke my neck, but I am feeling very lucky/thankful/grateful lately. It is a good feeling. It is good to have when the stress of school is starting to build. Sticking with the Star Wars theme, we named our Pointer Obi Wan.

The newest family member.

The newest family member.

The weather in Seattle has been insanely nice. Sorry everyone on the East Coast.

Seattle weather.

Another day on the water.

So if anyone thinks that they are having a bad day, go and volunteer at a hospital. Or maybe an animal shelter. Life is good.

1300 miles in the Northwest.

 

Nursing school starts in a couple of weeks. (I am only mildly freaking out.) We needed one last vacation before things get serious. We packed up the car and headed East.

Lando and I enjoying tea at our campsite in Idaho. The Lochsa River was only steps from the tent.Screen shot 2013-09-10 at 9.30.48 AMAmanda slaying cutties in the rain.photo 2 We stopped in Walla Walla on the way. We heard the fruit is delectable.
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Amanda even let me catch a couple of fish. This was one of my favorites. He took a Rory made fly after a long cast.photo 1There was more than just fish when we made it to Missoula.IMG_20130906_164301_052 Amanda with her humpy.IMG_2743