Saturday, July 7, 2012

Close Encounters of the Alaskan Kind

I often post pics of my travels, but there today I'm sharing some of the deeply kickass things right in my own back yard.  Some weekends just seem to serve to remind me how awesome Alaska is and this was definitely one of them.  It started yesterday as we were headed up to the Denali National Park for a family getaway.  We hadn't even made it out of our neighborhood before we saw this fella:

Now there have been a ton of eagles this year and the usual crop of moose, but even though people had said this was a big year for bear (and we'd seen plenty of evidence of them), this was the first I'd seen this summer.  Right outside the car window.  Maybe ten feet away.  A nice beginning to the trip.

We headed up to the park, finding the only gorgeous weather in the state, and this morning we took a hike up Savage River inside the park.

We passed a family of dahl sheep up on a hill and kept walking, taking a jog off the main trail over some rocks until that off-shoot pretty much dead ended into the river.  And just as we were turning back toward the main path, we saw them.  That same family of dahl sheep.  Blocking our way.  And coming closer.  And closer.

(No zoom, boys and girls, they really were that close.  Maybe twenty feet away.  If that.)

Now, the sheep aren't aggressive, but they can do some damage if they thwack into you with those horns, so we gave them the right of way, backing up as much as we could until they decided to veer down to the river, where we got an up-close-and-personal view of them crossing (a rarity, according to a nature photographer we chatted with after the sheep had disappeared over the next hill).

(What you don't see in this picture is that the one behind just thwacked the jumper on the butt with his horns because he was taking too long.)

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I'm a lucky brat.  Today was a good day. 

1 comment:

Vivant said...

Interesting neighbors you have there. Wonderful pictures!