Friday, August 31, 2012

Animals in pictures closer than they appear

Since the sun wasn't cooperating with my plans to spend my b-day at the beach today, I decided to download my pics from the trip to AK last week.  Here are a few shots from Denali.  It was BEAUTIFUL and it was COLD (it has been wicked hot in MA this summer, so 50's with rain and wind felt WAY colder than it should have!)  LOL!
This is one of the Ranger/Sled Dogs here at Denali.  Did you know this is the only National Park in the US to have it's own Sled Dogs?  I believe this is Tuya, one of the Volcano Litter (all the pups from that litter are named for AK volcanoes).  He reminded me of Cad for some reason.  Ironically he is the tallest of all the sled dogs at the kennel.  Guess I know who got the other half of Cad's legs. :D  We got to tour the whole kennel & meet all the dogs.  Then some did a sled pull demo for us and let us pose with them for pictures.  Very cool!
We had driven down to Denali the day before & taken a tour, but didn't see any wildlife.  You can only drive through about 15miles of the park.  The rest of the park is only accessible by tour bus or hiking.  Have you met me?  Real hiking just isn't in my nature.  Kudos to those who do it, I just know I'm Stan from A Walk in the Woods.  Love the idea, not the implementation. :)  But I digress...
We decided to drive through the part we could after leaving the Sled Dog Demo.  A few miles in- seriously only a few- a bunch of cars were pulled over.  Tell-tale sign there is something to take pics of!!!  We eagerly approached and pulled over.  JACKPOT!  We got to see a grizzly.  When I took the pics I was about 50 yards away.  Little did I know that a hiker had been mauled by one of these while we were on our tour the day before- and not far from where we had gotten off the bus for a rest stop.  The poor family and unfortunate for the bear.  I don't think I would have gotten out of the car to take the pictures- even though a ranger was standing right there with us.  Just after I took this picture the bear dove down into the ravine and I made as hasty/safe an exit to the car!
While the thrill of the grizzly sighting still fresh we came across this moose wandering around.  He wandered for a while, then stopped at the edge of the road, looked both ways (at all the gawking tourists) walked almost all the way across the road, and then got distracted by an extra larger construction cone.  He stopped to scratch his antlers for a bit and then headed back out into the bushes.

Overall, a totally thrilling experience!  (When I get my act together I'll post pics of the rest of the park 'n trip).  Hope you enjoyed the pics.  Click on any of them to enlarge the shot. :)

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous pics and what an amazing opportunity! So sad about the mauling and not to sound callous, but very much a part of being in the wild.

    I love to go hiking locally, but the only animals we really have to watch out for are snakes and most of them are not poisonous. When we went out west, I was a bit of a nervous wreck watching for mountain lions and bears!!


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