Friday, August 3, 2012

Alaska, Days 8-9

We left the boat at Seward and took a bus to Juneau. We had a great tour guide and driver (Cole and Jeff.) I didn't think to take Cole's picture, he was just cute as a little bug. They were both silly and made the trip a lot of fun. Here are the pix from the bus and train.

Our first stop on the bus tour was

This was a silly picture of me
and David as prospectors. I think
Shirley has a better copy on her

Statue of Captain Cook.

This is the hotel we
stayed at. It was very
fancy and nice but I can't
remember the name.

Another view of the

David and I split the
chocolate mousse
moose cake. It was

A view of Mount McKinley or
Denali from the hotel. Everyone
told us that people NEVER get to
see prolonged clear view of the
mountain, but we did for almost 3
days! It was awesome.

It felt cold, but it was
their version of
summer, the wild
flowers were in full
bloom. Very pretty
but I was sneezing
my little brains out.

I was surprised to see dragonflies
so far north. I have no idea
what species this one was.

More wildflowers.


Wild flower

Wild flowers

This was another
lifer for me, a redpoll.

This is the train we took.

It's a dome train called the
Wilderness Express. Kind of
neat. On the one hand, I would have
liked some stops where we could
get out and explore, but on the
other hand, we wouldn't have seen
as much of the land. 

I think this was taken
at Denali National
Park. The iPhone pix
got all out of order
when I downloaded
them, kind of annoying.

Me, Shirl and Lynn in front of

Georgie and me in front of

Get this - when Shirley took this
picture she told me to move my
head cause I was blocking Denali.
I guess I'm a fat head!

This was another lifer for me, the
willow ptarmigan. The tour leader
asked what sound they make when
they urinate. Answer - they don't
make a sound the "P" is silent. I laughed.

David and I adopted
this least weasel from
the Denali visitor's
center. There are 8
species of weasel in AK.

This was another lifer for me, the
golden eagle. Someone had one
on the south Brevard Christmas
count a few years ago but I don't
think it was ever verified.

So, David and I are
walking this path
along a creek. We look
up, and there is this
HUGE caribou heading
towards us. We kind of
back up a bit to see where
he was gonna go.

THIS is how close he got to us. It
was incredible. He just wanted too
get to the creek to drink, wasn't
concerned with us at all, and posed
nice for me.

You can't tell, but the
little dot behind us in
this picture is the caribou.

At Denali NP we also saw a

Lots of scenic vistas in
the park although the road
was scary in places, lots of places
I did not want to look down.
Kind of reminiscent of a trip I
took with Joy once...

This was another lifer for both
of us, a gyr falcon. The bus driver
knew we were birders and stopped
to point it out for us.

A willow ptarmigan with babies!

Awesome shot of Denali.

This was a life
critter - arctic
ground squirrel. 

I can't remember if I saw a moose
before. This was a girl moose.

Another life critter - a grizzly bear.

This is the front of the hotel,
from across the canyon on the train.

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