I can't believe I haven't blogged since March! I'm going to claim summer maddness. This summer in the Great White North has been AMAZING! (say it with a sing-songy voice... I typed it that way). The weather has been sunny and warm, the days have been long, and the activities of my summer have been plentiful!
My niece came to visit in early June, and it was one adventure after another. We went to Girdwood the first week she was here. I've never seen a bear there, until I went with her. It ran right across the road in front of my car, then turned around to look at us. On the way back to Anchorage I was telling her to look for dall sheep when we happened upon 2 dall sheep right on the roadside at mile 106. THAT is a rarity, folks. Most of the time, one is lucky to see them as small white dots on the cliffs far above.
We went on a cruise out of Seward to Fox Island on Fjords Tours. Almost immediately after the tour boat captain told us that there had been no whales seen that week, my niece starts yelling, "WHALE, WHALE, WHALE!" We saw 3 gray whales that day, along with dall porpoise, puffins, glaciers, seals and walrus. She is good luck!
On our way up to Chena Hot Springs to stay at a cabin just off the entrance that my brother-in-law (once removed) owns, we saw too many moose to count, and an owl on a fence. I thought the owl was fake, until it turned it's head and looked at us. We got a lot of great pictures. I'll post soon. We stayed in Chena for 3 nights, then headed down to Denali Park for July 4th weekend. In Denali, we took the wilderness tour and saw almost 30 brown bear, more moose, caribou, dall sheep, ptarmigan, snowshoe hair and arctic squirrel.
I had her eating sprucetips, flowers and sticks (as she put it), and even got her to try escargo stuffed mushrooms. Out of everything she ate, the escargo is the only thing that grossed her out! I had her picking fireweed, berries and pressing flowers. She said she was freezing the whole time. I think her thin Florida blood just couldn't take the weather difference. I kept her busy camping, hiking, picking, driving and enjoying the Alaska summer with me.
She headed home just a few weeks ago and I miss her terribly. She helped to make this wonderful summer even better.
The weather is cooling, there's a chill in the air now, the fireweed flowers have hit the top and are beginning to seed, the leaves are turning yellow, and the berries are ripe. Fall has arrived. Winter is right around the corner! Time to start planning for next spring already!