Friday, August 29, 2014

High Seas Adventure

On our next day in Glacier Bay National Park we had ourselves booked in for a half day kayak tour...the first time we had tried something like this. As you can see from the attached, the seas were high and rough, but we forged on having quite the adventure paddling around Bartlett Cove for a few hours. I took along my waterproof camera for the ride, firstly to make sure we got an image of us to prove we did in fact go out, and the other image here is some form of sealife hanging off the docks we paddled under and through. 
I'm in Olympia in Washington state as I write this as we have left Alaska behind and we are already noticing the huge difference in many ways after just one night. Off to find some waterfalls today in the Columbia River Gorge, the border between Washington and Oregon.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

No. 56 - Glacier Bay National Park

On Monday we flew into Gustavus and then a 13km drive took us into our 56th USA National Park. That first night I captured a nice sunset at Bartlett Cove where the Lodge is located....and the next day we did the full day boat tour up into Glacier Bay where we got to experience some amazing sights. On waking it was raining heavily which didn't look to promising. Fortunately the weather started to clear not too long into the journey and by the time we got to the good stuff the conditions were awesome...... great clear light with breaks of sunshine and fantastic clouds. I really couldn't have asked for much more. This is just a couple of quick images, the 2nd one showing some awesome "calving" of the glacier face as it breaks off and crashes down into the sea. Each of the 5 new parks here in Alaska has been awesome and I was thrilled to realise the last one on the list will probably give me my best images.  We have another day here before we fly out on Thursday - we are doing a half day kayak trip that should be interesting (to say the least!)
Don't worry, we're not headed back home just yet....we are flying down to Seattle for a 9 day road trip back to Los Angeles via Nevada and Utah - plenty more to see!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Nugget Falls in Juneau

We are spending a day in Juneau in south east Alaska before heading over to Glacier Bay National Park on Monday morning. The main attraction here is the Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls, a very spectacular combination that we are staying only a couple of kms from, so we walked up here in the morning. Photo viewing locations are quite limited so I was pretty happy with this one on a grey, dreary Sunday morning - luckily I caught a view that doesn't show the many visitors to this spot. Very soon after this the rain started and has led to a damp Sunday afternoon....good to get that out of the way now!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Spectacular Alaska

I'm sitting in the airport at Anchorage waiting for our 8.10pm flight down to Juneau after we arrived back from the 4 day visit out to the Lake  Clark/Katmai area.
After Wednesdays exciting day with the bears, Thursday was back to more of what I like best - spectacular Alaskan scenery. We were flown around for the day in the seaplane to the 2 different parks we are visiting on this leg of the trip. Firstly down south to Katmai National Park where the scenery was incredible, including this close up fly-by of the active Mt Martin in the Valley of the 10,000 Smokes section of the park. After lunch spent inside an old volcano on the shores of an amazingly blue lake, we headed north up to Lake Clark National Park, where a visit to the Twin Lakes was equally spectacular. 
Next day we did the hike over to Tanalian Falls and Kontrashabuna Lake. A very awesome and powerful falls that allowed some great access for photography, and to finish off this catch up post, a colourful sunrise this morning outside our cabin at Port Alsworth where they tether the seaplanes for the night - not a bad way to end an awesome 4 day leg of the trip.
Off to Juneau tonight for a couple of nights and then on to Glacier Bay National Park...look for our upcoming kayak trip pics to come!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Feast of Bears

On Wednesday we flew by floatplane into our 55th USA National Park - Katmai. Best known for its feasting bears we were treated to a greet day of watching the bears on one of the many rivers, and especially lucky to spend quite some time with one mother and her 2 cubs. As you can see from these, especially the second one here, they were very close! A real taste of the wilderness on this day....with more to come!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Welcome to Lake Clark National Park

On Tuesday we took a fantastic scenic flight from Anchorage down to Lake Clark National Park (look that up on google maps!). A very small plane that only had 4 people on board and the terrain with flew through was very rugged and beautiful. Checked into the lodge and this evening this view is what we got to see just out in front of our cabin!
Tuesday we are off to Katmal National Park where we will get to view the many bears feasting on the salmon....should be awesome as we are being flown in to the park on a!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Seal Time

On Monday we had a fantastic time doing the all day Kenai Fjords National Park Glacier Boat  and Wildlife Tour out to the farthest part of the park...the Northwestern Glacier. Many, many highlights throughout the day, when the weather was great - we saw seals, otters, bald eagles, humpback whales, orca whales and plenty of amazing ice formations. This is just a sample of the abundance of seal life we witnessed today.
Tomorrow we are off to Lake Clark National Park....a very hard to get to location, by small aircraft and then we'll have a few days there and also a visit to Katmai NP by seaplane!