SEE OUR ALL NEW ALASKA 2017 IMAGES . . .
the CamNats Camera Club took us to Alaska. Our main goal was to shoot images of the Coastal Brown Bears of Silver Salmon Creek. We stayed at the Alaska Homestead Lodge which is located in the Lake Clark National Park, Alaska; and necessitated flying in to Lake Clark National Park on 2 small planes.
We (Butch, Linda & Rob) decided to go a few days prior to our group's departure for Lake Clark, so we could see some other sites. After spending our first night in Anchorage, we rented a car and departed Anchorage and headed to Seward. Of course, along the way, we made many stops for photography and just to soak up Alaska's beauty. One of our stops included visiting a small fishing town called Whittier. One of the highlights of going to Whittier was that we had to drive thru a 2 1/2 mile tunnel under Maynard Mountain to get there - one lane passage, and that lane also had a set of railroad tracks. Vehicles and/or the train had to take turns going either in or out of town thru the tunnel. No problems there, just made it more exciting! When we did arrive in Whittier, we found a charming little town which was mostly fishing docks and boats and fisheries, along with restaurants and shops to visit. It was just beautiful and presented a lot of photographic opportunities. Later, when we arrived in Seward we found yet another beautiful fishing harbor and lots of sites to see. There is nothing like an image of downtown Seward with a backdrop of beautiful snow covered mountains in the background.
Early the next morning we took an 8 1/2 hour Glacier Tour with Major Marine Tours’ Adventure Cruise. It was breathtaking from the very first minute to the last. By the end of the trip I could hardly lift my camera anymore. We saw beautiful foggy morning skies - we saw beyond amazing huge rocks in the bay which were covered with birds - we saw sea life, including an orca whale and a humpback whale that breached in front of us at least 10 times. And, when we finally got to our main destination of the Kenai Fjords and the Glacier -- A Glacier so large and beautiful, you could only stare at in awe. We were a speck in the water next to it. The sky still had a lot of low clouds. The Glacier started at the water's edge and traveled into the clouds . . . it took a winding path . .
Hopefully you all can get out and experience it for yourselves - and, if for some reason you cannot, let us take you there . . .
We took this 8 1/2 hour boat tour which ultimately took us to the very impressive Northwestern Glacier which is located in the Kenai Fjords National Park. The trip was magical from start to finish. Our expert crew pointed out sights which included birds, whales, seals, unbelievable views and of course The Northwestern Glacier. By the end of the tour we could hardly lift our cameras. There was just so much to see and soak in.
The big day had finally arrived. Our group was taken to a small airport outside of Anchorage to board the 2 planes that would take our group to Lake Clark National Park and the Alaska Homestead Lodge. After a wait of several hours at the airport, our flights finally were able to take off. It had been too foggy earlier but eventually we got the all clear. Our group needed 2 planes and we were only allowed a certain weight limit of our gear. The flight was amazing and we saw some magnificent views. Our landing on the beach was smooth as silk. We were met by the owners and staff of Alaska Homestead Lodge. After unloading our gear and being fed a delicious lunch at the lodge, it was off to our first adventure. We spent 5 days at the Lodge and learned lots about the habits of the Alaskan Brown Bear. At this time of year they spent most of their time eating grass. While we were there we did get to follow them out on the mud-flats looking for clams and told by our very capable guide Belle, that the Salmon would be there soon and the bears would then feed on the fish. We were transported in small carts attached to the back of a 4-wheeler out into the meadows and beach areas where the Alaskan Brown Bears located. Most of the females had cubs with them. It was lots of fun watching the antics of the cubs. The cubs stay with their mothers for the first 2 years of their lives and at that time, they leave their mothers who are now ready to mate again. So, some of the cubs were known as spring cubs (having been born the past spring) and the others were called 2nd year cubs.
At one time the only way into Whittier was thru a railroad tunnel under the mountain. In the year 2000, the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel which added a one lane road bed within the tunnel. Now both trains and motor vehicles take turns using the tunnel with an alternating one-way schedule between Portage and Whittier. The Whittier Glacier is seen as a backdrop to the town. During the warmer months, the town is a bustling fishing/tourist attraction. During the cold and snowy winters almost the entire population (about 200 or so) people live in one building known as Begich Towers.
. . . joys of visiting Alaska are the people. We met a few women on our way to Seward who told us about Ava. Ava is a very welcoming local woman who lives a bit out of Seward and she feeds birds! In front of her porch she has many bird feeding stations amongst the trees and natural habitat. Her porch is lined with chairs for her human visitors to sit, relax, watch, and photograph the birds. It was a good break for us and it is always good to talk to locals and learn from them.