Denali and surrounds

Denali National Park and Preserve is a huge national park, somewhere around 6 million acres. Although some hiking is allowed in the park, there aren’t a lot of trails, so a lot of people take these tour buses along the central road through the park. Our bus driver/naturalist had a voice that reminded me of old filmstrip documentaries we would watch in grade school. A little soporific. We took an 8 hour trip, and we saw Dall sheep, caribou, grizzly bears, moose, a fox, hares, ptarmigans, owls, magpies, and other denizens of the woods, taiga, and tundra. The park was founded to save the Dall sheep, a kind of wild sheep that lives way up on the crests of mountains. We saw lots of them from a distance, with lambs prancing about. My simple camera wasn’t up to taking photos of most of the wildlife, but I managed to get a few (somewhat fuzzy) snaps.

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Kenai Fjords and Aialik Glacier

The Kenai Fjords National Park is mostly inaccessible by land — there’s not much in the way of hiking, and a lot of it is occupied by the Harding Icefield, which is a gigantic sheet of ice out of which several glaciers flow. To see the park you need to take a boat into the fjords. We went around the Aialik peninsula to see the Aialik Glacier. We saw lots of Steller sea lions, bald eagles, tufted and horned puffins, harbor seals, a black bear or two, mountain goats, porpoises, and other birds whose names I forget. The sea otters kept their distance so it was hard to see them up close. The ocean was a bit choppy so most of my photos came out a bit blurry, but I managed to snap a shot of some Steller sea lions hauled out on a rock:

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