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Alaska Trip (Fairbanks, Denali, Seward)

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by jloden, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Ok! It took me a while to get through all 2000 or so photos I came home with, but I finally did it, so here's my "images to share thread".

    I apologize in advance if this thread/travelogue is way too long for most folks, but I figure who else to share my excitement and photos with but my mu-43 brothers and sisters!

    My wife and I just got back this week from a trip to Alaska with her brother and his wife. The four of us have done previous trips together including a day hiking trip to WY, so we've wanted to do an AK vacation for a while. Finally got the chance so this year we did a 10 day trip with hiking, sightseeing, and a kayak trip in Fairbanks, Denali National Park, and Seward.

    It goes without saying that I can't post all my favorite photos here, so if you want to see more of our trip, you're welcome to check out my <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/sets/72157631246069696/">Alaska album on Flickr</a>. I culled out about 250 favorites out of 2000, though that's including a number that are more "snapshot" memories of the trip than photographic masterpieces.

    All photos are with the GX1 or G3, and by far the most used lenses were the 14-140mm and 100-300mm. I can count the number of times I changed lenses on my fingers, and the 14-140 was amazingly useful in AK with its huge range. 99% of what I took was in bright sunlight and a lot of landscapes and scenery, so the slower aperture was no issue at all. I also had with me the 25mm f/1.4, 12mm f/2.0, 45mm f/1.8 and 7-14mm f/4.0 but only used the other lenses a couple of times. The 45mm never even made it onto the camera actually. Partially this was due to not having time to change lenses while hiking and touring with 3 other people but also because I was able to get really nice portraits using a longer focal length on the 14-140/100-300 with lots of available light.

    On the bad news front, my G3 did not survive the trip :sad: On the second to last day, I was walking to the car after a hike when my neck strap's lanyard snapped, sending the camera into free-fall from my neck to the parking lot pavement. It took several end over end tumbles and the lens survived (thank you, lens hood!) but the camera was badly damaged including warping the lens mount such that it would no longer focus properly. Moral of the story? Don't trust your camera gear to a cheap lanyard.... sigh.

    Anyway, on to the photos. We started our trip with a great view of the Alaska coast coming into Anchorage

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7868263110/" title="Alaska From the Air by jloden, on Flickr"> 7868263110_4f8a434996_c. "800" height="601" alt="Alaska From the Air"></a>

    We left Anchorage right off for a 6 hour drive to Fairbanks, passing through the Denali Park area along the way. We had a pretty drive and even stopped for a photo break or two along the way where I got my first mountain shots of the trip.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7868278982/" title="Denali Overlook by jloden, on Flickr"> 7868278982_1b36b3e945_c. "800" height="601" alt="Denali Overlook"></a>

    One of the first neat things was how long it stayed light out this time of year. Even well after the sun went down there was a lot of light in the sky. This is what it looked like at midnight - similar to the brightest full moon night, except there was almost no moon visible at all that time of the lunar cycle.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7868290002/" title="Fairbanks Midnight Drive by jloden, on Flickr"> 7868290002_5e59c261ba_c. "800" height="601" alt="Fairbanks Midnight Drive"></a>

    In Fairbanks one of my favorite places for photographs was the Pumphouse Restaurant which has some really nice gardens and a few unique sculptures out front. While we waited for a table I was able to wander and take a few photos. I particularly liked this sculpture out front

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7868309260/" title="Pumphouse Gardens Statue 2 by jloden, on Flickr"> 7868309260_7962d730be_c. "601" height="800" alt="Pumphouse Gardens Statue 2"></a>

    In Fairbanks we stayed one day and went for a hike that promised some nice 360 degree panaromic views atop a large plateau with some rocky outcrops.

    Fireweed - this stuff is all over in that area of Alaska and can be very beautiful, especially when large fields of it bloom or change color together.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7869739422/" title="Fairbanks Hike - Fireweed by jloden, on Flickr"> 7869739422_a7b8b9dbdc_c. "800" height="601" alt="Fairbanks Hike - Fireweed"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7869734714/" title="Fairbanks Hike by jloden, on Flickr"> 7869734714_c2c6b6104f_c. "601" height="800" alt="Fairbanks Hike"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7869753614/" title="Fairbanks Hike by jloden, on Flickr"> 7869753614_caa19b1f86_c. "800" height="601" alt="Fairbanks Hike"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7869758088/" title="Fairbanks Hike by jloden, on Flickr"> 7869758088_8f7a34f65d_c. "601" height="800" alt="Fairbanks Hike"></a>

    On the way back from our hike we stopped to see the Alaska pipeline, which was an impressive engineering feat, with a very entertaining (at least to me) warning sign.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7869884954/" title="Alaska Pipeline by jloden, on Flickr"> 7869884954_00ff70cd80_c. "601" height="800" alt="Alaska Pipeline"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7869883154/" title="Alaska Pipeline by jloden, on Flickr"> 7869883154_4438604454_c. "800" height="601" alt="Alaska Pipeline"></a>

    Then it was on to Denali National Park for a couple days of hiking. First, we stopped in for the Dog Sled Demonstration which is offered free of charge by the park.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875851096/" title="Denali Dog Sled Demo by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875851096_f900109667_c. "601" height="800" alt="Denali Dog Sled Demo"></a>

    Unless you've seen it before, you have no idea how excited these dogs are to WORK! The dog pictured here, named Lava, was so antsy he kept trying to pull the sled by himself before they were even hooked up yet.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875845930/" title="Denali Dog Sled Demo - Lava is ready to go! by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875845930_d8b65c38d6_c. "800" height="601" alt="Denali Dog Sled Demo - Lava is ready to go!"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875848704/" title="Denali Dog Sled Demo - Lava by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875848704_5e3fa72ac9_c. "800" height="601" alt="Denali Dog Sled Demo - Lava"></a>

    Another bonus - as we got to our hotel, I didn't feel like going to the room so I wandered outside with my camera for a bit and got stupidly lucky. Our hotel (the Grande Denali) had a fantastic view, and the sun happened to come through the pass and light right across the mountain range just as I was standing there looking for something to photograph. This lasted *maybe* 5 minutes before it was gone but it was really beautiful.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861263162/" title="Grande Denali Sun Painting by jloden, on Flickr"> 7861263162_d4b7a6fb3b_c. "800" height="601" alt="Grande Denali Sun Painting"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861322892/" title="Grande Denali Sun Painting by jloden, on Flickr"> 7861322892_2910ab22fd_c. "800" height="590" alt="Grande Denali Sun Painting"></a>

    The next day we started our hiking adventures with a 4 hour early AM bus ride into the park to hike a spot which has great views of Mt. McKinley (when it's visible - only about 1/3 of park visitors ever see McKinley at all since it's so frequently shrouded with clouds). On the way up we went through another incredible area, Polychrome Pass. This narrow pass has a rest area with stunning views, and also stunningly high winds at least the day we were there :biggrin:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861268330/" title="James Looks out over Polychrome Pass by jloden, on Flickr"> 7861268330_c034e6bc72_c. "800" height="601" alt="James Looks out over Polychrome Pass"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861264698/" title="Polychrome Pass by jloden, on Flickr"> 7861264698_d247254406_c. "800" height="598" alt="Polychrome Pass"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861266842/" title="Polychrome Pass (B&amp;W) by jloden, on Flickr"> 7861266842_184e2f5d1f_c. "800" height="598" alt="Polychrome Pass (B&amp;W)"></a>

    Shortly after Polychrome Pass we departed the bus for our hike across the tundra. We had our first sighting of these Arctic Ground Squirrels, which reminded me a lot of Prairie Dogs or Meerkats. They stood watch at all times and alerted each other of our approach with peeping noises.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861273902/" title="Arctic Ground Squirrels by jloden, on Flickr"> 7861273902_96e6c05115_c. "800" height="601" alt="Arctic Ground Squirrels"></a>

    And (drumroll please).... our lunchtime view of Mt. McKinley/Denali - the star of Denali National Park

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861270880/" title="Mt. McKinley by jloden, on Flickr"> 7861270880_5a5e44da7d_c. "800" height="608" alt="Mt. McKinley"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861272818/" title="Mt. McKinley (B&amp;W) by jloden, on Flickr"> 7861272818_f3319059b7_c. "800" height="608" alt="Mt. McKinley (B&amp;W)"></a>

    After lunch we hiked the remainder of the way to the Eielson Visitor's Center to pick up a bus headed back to the park entrance, and I snapped this patriotic themed photo.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877958634/" title="Eielson Visitor's Center View by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877958634_9fe7b8f6d7_c. "800" height="601" alt="Eielson Visitor's Center View"></a>

    For day two in Denali, we hiked Tattler Creek and were supposed to summit Sable Mountain. Unfortunately, our guide book had terrible directions, and we ended up ascending the wrong mountain (*much* further and more difficult climb). On the plus side though, I'm pretty sure we got a much more intense view from where we DID summit :rolleyes: 

    The first day in the park I had only brought the 14-140 for space and weight reasons, but once I realized how far the wildlife was likely to be from us, I sucked it up and carried the 100-300 and the 14-140 the next day. This turned out to be a great call, as we were destined to see a LOT of wildlife on this day of the trip, maybe even more than we wanted to :eek:  Shortly into our bus ride of day 2, the 100-300 had its first chance to come in handy with a shot of some Dall sheep. To put this into perspective, these sheep were literally little white dots on a hillside to the naked eye.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877992388/" title="Dall Sheep - Denali Sighting by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877992388_39ec477feb_c. "800" height="601" alt="Dall Sheep - Denali Sighting"></a>

    We had a long hike to the top of "Sable Mountain" but were rewarded with a great view for our efforts.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877945372/" title="Sable Mountain Hike by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877945372_c76054069e_c. "800" height="601" alt="Sable Mountain Hike"></a>

    On the way back down Tattler Creek to meet up with a park bus for our ride home, we were keeping a wary eye for bears, until we enountered this extremely fresh pile of bear scat. As in still warm fresh. Hmmm. Needless to say, we were now REALLY on the lookout and making sure to make plenty of noise and stick together.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875960932/" title="Sable Mountain Hike - Grizzly Scat, and it's still warm... by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875960932_20dcfbe640_c. "800" height="601" alt="Sable Mountain Hike - Grizzly Scat, and it's still warm..."></a>

    About 7 or 8 minutes later, my wife started making inarticulate noises and pointing, indicating she had indeed spotted a bear. A female Grizzly, with two cubs, and about 75 feet from us :eek:  Fortunately, she wanted nothing to do with us and was already headed away. Once it was obvious she wasn't going to stick around, I did manage to get a few shots of a furry Grizzly backside - though I'm much happier with a mediocre picture and not having had a closer encounter with the front of the bear!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875963566/" title="Sable Mountain Hike - Grizzly Close Encounter by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875963566_d369594d0c_c. "800" height="601" alt="Sable Mountain Hike - Grizzly Close Encounter"></a>

    We had spooked the bear away from us, but she headed onto the road where a tour bus stopped for a photo op, leaving the bear between us and the road/bus. Oops. Fortunately the bear and her cubs crossed the road eventually, not 10 feet from the bus (ironically, those visitors got a much better view than we did of the bear we were within 75 feet of while hiking), where she climbed the opposite slope. We were able to hike to the road finally and eventually board a bus headed back out of the park, but I was able to get some better shots of the momma Grizzly and her cubs from the road:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7882731498/" title="Grizzly and Cubs - Denali National Park by jloden, on Flickr"> 7882731498_516253c748_c. "800" height="601" alt="Grizzly and Cubs - Denali National Park"></a>

    Interestingly, on the same slope was this male Grizzly, who took off running when he saw the mother and her cubs. He obviously wanted no part of that, and ambled off several hundred yards to feed elsewhere.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7882734956/" title="Male Grizzly - Denali National Park by jloden, on Flickr"> 7882734956_524fd11dfc_c. "800" height="601" alt="Male Grizzly - Denali National Park"></a>

    Having had enough excitement for the day, we settled onto the bus and out of the park, but were lucky enough to see just about every form of wildlife the park offers, except wolves. The 100-300 got a workout, but I was able to get some of my very favorite shots of the entire trip.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7882737760/" title="Bull Moose - Denali National Park by jloden, on Flickr"> 7882737760_d4113a3df2_c. "800" height="601" alt="Bull Moose - Denali National Park"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861278012/" title="Caribou by jloden, on Flickr"> 7861278012_fe014d695a_c. "800" height="601" alt="Caribou"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877932496/" title="Caribou Sighting - Denali National Park by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877932496_cb1214d04f_c. "800" height="601" alt="Caribou Sighting - Denali National Park"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7868322414/" title="Grizzly on the Ridge 2 by jloden, on Flickr"> 7868322414_b9a8af04a7_c. "800" height="601" alt="Grizzly on the Ridge 2"></a>

    Sadly, it was time to leave Denali so we packed up and drove back down South to our last stop of the trip, the town of Seward, Alaska. The drive down the Kenai Peninsula was very scenic. The road is right along the coast for most of it, and there was a rail line parallel to the road that was practically in the water in some places. Bet it'd be a great rail trip though!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877923678/" title="Roadside Stop Kenai Peninsula by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877923678_8dabc7557a_c. "601" height="800" alt="Roadside Stop Kenai Peninsula"></a>

    Along the way we happened upon the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, which is nestled in a beatiful valley surrounded by stunning mountains and had quite the assortment of animals. We stopped in for a visit and toured the Center for a bit. It was certainly less exciting than capturing Denali's wild denizens, but I was able to get extreme close-ups on animals that would have been difficult or impossible in the wild so I had fun shooting there also.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875861608/" title="Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875861608_ee146b7425_c. "800" height="601" alt="Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877921264/" title="Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877921264_3ca8e8ff2a_c. "800" height="601" alt="Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877907282/" title="Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877907282_9a2d08663f_c. "800" height="601" alt="Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875872164/" title="Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875872164_8fccd94d5a_c. "800" height="601" alt="Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875857698/" title="Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875857698_c47aa4641d_c. "800" height="601" alt="Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7881374094/" title="Bald Eagle - Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (Edit) by jloden, on Flickr"> 7881374094_720cc0a07f_c. "800" height="601" alt="Bald Eagle - Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (Edit)"></a>

    Getting back on the road down the Kenai Peninsula, I spotted a promising pulloff in Moose Pass, AK and asked to stop for a bit. We got out of the car and had the luckiest break of the whole trip (ok, aside from NOT getting eaten by a Grizzly). Not only was there a beautiful calm lake with a mountain reflection and float planes in one corner, but as we were standing there a float plane came in for a landing. I couldn't believe my luck and I was snapping away like crazy. Then, just as the float plane docks, an Alaska Rail train comes rolling through, right across the bridge over the lake. I titled this one "Spirit of Alaska" because I couldn't think of any way to make this picture better epitomize Alaska in one image, unless maybe a moose wandered into one corner to feed :tongue:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861281634/" title="Spirit of Alaska by jloden, on Flickr"> 7861281634_723aa41220_c. "800" height="601" alt="Spirit of Alaska"></a>
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  2. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Part II

    We finally made it to Seward and our hotel on the harborfront on Resurrection Bay, which was very picturesque as well (it was hard to find anywhere that *wasn't* in Alaska!).

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877885300/" title="Seward Harbor Fish Haul by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877885300_feb2be73a0_c. "800" height="601" alt="Seward Harbor Fish Haul"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877886908/" title="Seward Bay Oceanfront Condo for Birds by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877886908_2c07ca421c_c. "800" height="601" alt="Seward Bay Oceanfront Condo for Birds"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877910826/" title="Seward Harbor at Night by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877910826_ae956a4151_c. "800" height="601" alt="Seward Harbor at Night"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861283314/" title="Seward Harbor by jloden, on Flickr"> 7861283314_faa667bf07_c. "800" height="600" alt="Seward Harbor"></a>

    Our first day in Seward we had a whale & wildlife watching boat tour which was another fantastic opportunity for the 100-300 to shine. We saw Orcas, Sea Otters, Puffins, Bald Eagle, and even a Mountain Goat (on an island in the ocean??).

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877897578/" title="P1020605 by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877897578_b7f27b33b0_c. "800" height="601" alt="P1020605"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875907328/" title="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875907328_e873301324_c. "800" height="601" alt="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877888326/" title="Major Marine Wildlife Tour - Gorgeous Cloud Formation by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877888326_b1f9a71310_c. "800" height="601" alt="Major Marine Wildlife Tour - Gorgeous Cloud Formation"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875877166/" title="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise - Sea Otters by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875877166_f9487d5fb9_c. "800" height="601" alt="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise - Sea Otters"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875883722/" title="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise - Puffin Takeoff by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875883722_c1de816897_c. "800" height="601" alt="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise - Puffin Takeoff"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875901936/" title="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise - Steller Sea Lions by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875901936_5f3caf5137_c. "800" height="601" alt="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise - Steller Sea Lions"></a>

    We also saw these sea birds, which nest in huge numbers are were quite the sight to behold when they took off and screamed in unison!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875891242/" title="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875891242_1e92fc5cc3_c. "601" height="800" alt="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875889244/" title="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875889244_17ffa3fa0d_c. "800" height="601" alt="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise"></a>

    And of course, whales :smile:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875882306/" title="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise - Orca Fluke by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875882306_108d50891f_c. "800" height="601" alt="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise - Orca Fluke"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875880716/" title="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise - Orca 2 by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875880716_0807be7e23_c. "800" height="601" alt="Major Marine Tours Wildlife Cruise - Orca 2"></a>

    The next day we visited the Seward Sea Life Center where I was able to again get some great wildlife close-ups that weren't possible in the wild. Out front of the center they also have this really neat bronze sculpture commemorating the Iditarod trail blazers.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877839860/" title="The Trail Blazers by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877839860_6e51a26a6c_c. "800" height="601" alt="The Trail Blazers"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877868694/" title="Puffin by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877868694_59efb6de96_c. "800" height="601" alt="Puffin"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877863528/" title="Puffin by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877863528_b819157d20_c. "800" height="601" alt="Puffin"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877861718/" title="Bird Sanctuary Seward Sea Life Center by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877861718_c98975fa10_c. "800" height="601" alt="Bird Sanctuary Seward Sea Life Center"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877856468/" title="Seal by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877856468_1c2f2e29e1_c. "800" height="601" alt="Seal"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877853434/" title="Steller Sea Lion by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877853434_a04cd484b9_c. "800" height="601" alt="Steller Sea Lion"></a>

    Part of the Sea Life Center included a deck with a great view of the tail end of Resurrection Bay where I grabbed this shot, which turned out to be one of my favorites also.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861284822/" title="Resurrection Bay by jloden, on Flickr"> 7861284822_07a9c61e7d_c. "800" height="601" alt="Resurrection Bay"></a>

    After the Sea Life Center, we toured Seward a bit, had lunch, then had a kayak paddle scheduled with a tour company. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions our trip had to get postponed at the last minute to the next morning (just enough time before our flight out that evening from Anchorage too!). On the plus side, while at the waterside ready to kayak, I snapped a couple shots of a Sea Otter and Resurrection Bay. Since kayaking was out, we hiked to Exit Glacier instead. Not many pictures unfortunately since I inadvertently left my 14-140 in the room and had to take all shots of the hike with the 7-14 and 100-300. So all I have is extremes of perspective from that hike :tongue:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7861286202/" title="The Ranting Raven by jloden, on Flickr"> 7861286202_01973dbd1d_c. "800" height="600" alt="The Ranting Raven"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7868325436/" title="Sea Otter 2 by jloden, on Flickr"> 7868325436_59c45185c1_c. "800" height="601" alt="Sea Otter 2"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875976120/" title="Fishing on Resurrection Bay by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875976120_8c1cf2e97b_c. "800" height="601" alt="Fishing on Resurrection Bay"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875922144/" title="Exit Glacier Hike by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875922144_164d2dfeac_c. "800" height="601" alt="Exit Glacier Hike"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875932206/" title="Exit Glacier Hike by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875932206_eba087cbb1_c. "601" height="800" alt="Exit Glacier Hike"></a>

    Our last day in AK, we geared up for a morning kayak tour. Photographing with a telephoto lens from a moving kayak was challenging to say the least, but I did get a few shots. Here's a few from our paddle and of the waterfall near Lowell Point that we stopped at for a snack break before heading back in.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7868332690/" title="Marlana Kayaking by jloden, on Flickr"> 7868332690_a98be9feb7_c. "800" height="601" alt="Marlana Kayaking"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7868327240/" title="Bald Eagle - View from the Kayak by jloden, on Flickr"> 7868327240_5d4f59c022_c. "800" height="601" alt="Bald Eagle - View from the Kayak"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875981364/" title="Marlana at Lowell Point by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875981364_f1dc57ffa2_c. "800" height="601" alt="Marlana at Lowell Point"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877820702/" title="Waterfall (Kayak Trip) by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877820702_56cb399c9e_c. "601" height="800" alt="Waterfall (Kayak Trip)"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7877826332/" title="Steller Jay by jloden, on Flickr"> 7877826332_7ce7380eed_c. "800" height="601" alt="Steller Jay"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7875988868/" title="Kayak view at Lowell Point by jloden, on Flickr"> 7875988868_7c6f69a030_c. "800" height="601" alt="Kayak view at Lowell Point"></a>

    Finally, we headed back to the hotel, cleaned up, threw our luggage in the car and got back on the road to Anchorage for the flight out. Not much to show except a few boring airport photos and such, but we did briefly stop on the way back to get a shot of this fascinating roadside stop on the Kenai Peninsula.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7869784078/" title="P1020985-Edit by jloden, on Flickr"> 7869784078_d5687fef86_c. "601" height="800" alt="P1020985-Edit"></a>

    Hope you all enjoyed, thanks for reading/viewing!
    • Like Like x 24
  3. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    Some very nice images. I'll have to set aside some time to look at them more carefully.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    Really great pictures, thanks for sharing them with us!

    Like Caimi, I will need to review these in greater detail when I have more time. :) 

    • Like Like x 1
  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Thanks - I know I really should have done a "best of" with just a handful of images but I couldn't help it, it's like trying to fit the ocean into a bathtub :biggrin:
  6. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    Beautiful pictures- looks like you had a memorable trip, and thanks for sharing. Sorry about the G3. Bright side? You now have an "excuse" to look at the new cameras to be announced at Photokina ; )
    • Like Like x 1
  7. scott0487

    scott0487 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 10, 2012
    Steamboat Springs, CO

    These are incredibly wonderful photos made all the better by your great narrative. Wow, I really enjoyed them. Thanks.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    It's ok - I'm already pretty well sold on the GH3 just based on the confirmed specs... probably going to replace the G3 with the GH3 despite my rule about not buying brand new cameras :rolleyes: 
  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Excellent shots! I have a 100-300mm and I love that lens. The photos had a familiar feel - my daughter went on a trip to AK in June and did most of the things that you were able to do. They didn't katak, but they did ride the train. I helped her buy a new camera before she left, a good quality Canon P&S (She didn't want anything too complicated!?) She took about 1500 photos, many of them quite good. Looks like you had more sunshine and a great trip. Thanks for posting!
    • Like Like x 1
  10. deprivedofsleep

    deprivedofsleep Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2012
    Northants, UK
    Great travelogue you've crafted there.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Jermonic

    Jermonic Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2012
    Beautiful Denali Park mountain shots. I'm in love with mountains, so I appreciated the photos a lot. :)  Thanks.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    thanks for the beautiful post, the dog was lovely!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    Great work. You've convinced me I need to travel to Alaska. Your perspective is fantastic from the scenics to the people picttures.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro


    • Like Like x 1
  15. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Well don't keep me in suspense, neuces snapper - what'd you think? :biggrin: :biggrin:
  16. dancogan

    dancogan Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 31, 2012
    SE Michigan
    Thank you for the wonderful photographs. It's just amazing to think about the beauty and wildlife of Alaska - it's on our list and we hope to get there soon. Thanks again!
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Great stuff mate....love the shot of the grizzly climbing up hill.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. BSH

    BSH Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 18, 2012
    Beautiful pics. Thank goodness you didn't end up like the other fellow who was taking pictures of a grizzly bear recently.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut Subscribing Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing. :bravo-009:

    Now I've really got to go to Alaska.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Yeah, that event happened only 5 days after our encounter on the hike, and not all that far from the area we were hiking in either :eek: 

    The main difference is we had a group instead of being solo, and we were making plenty of noise and sticking together as opposed to silently taking pictures & video of the bear and risking surprising it. Doesn't guarantee anything but we took what precautions we could at least!
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