We flew to Anchorage and rented an r.v., which is dwarfed here by
what Alaskans call "the country".
This is the view from McClaren Summit on the Denali Highway.
The tundra in south-central Alaska begins at around 4,000 feet.
Our little climb to the snow fields yielded enormous views of pristine
wilderness, many snowball fights, and a snowman with two eyes made
out of... marmot poop.
Steve at Broad Pass, along the main highway between Anchorage and
Fairbanks. The joke is that the best thing about Anchorage is
that Alaska is only twenty minutes away. Indeed, one doesn't need to go
far, nor even leave the main roads, to find untouched natural beauty
and fully functioning ecosystems.
The snags in the foreground are one of the many "ghost forests" found across thousands of miles of
south-central Alaska. They are the result of a major land subsidence
during the 1964 earthquake, whereby salt water invaded the root systems
of any low-lying spruce trees. The brown trees on the hill are dying
from the spruce bark beetle. This is a natural infestation that,
like so many natural cycles in Alaska, occurs every few decades.
Picnic on the tundra at the Eilson Visitor Center, Denali National Park.
We were fortunate to see the North Peak of Denali for about five minutes (not shown
Lonna and Elias ("Bunky") at Portage Lake near Seward. Note the icebergs
in the lake. This glacier has receded so much it is no longer visible from
the lake. A hundred years ago, there was no lake and the glacier
came to where the photo is taken. Many
other glaciers have receded many miles in the last hundred years as well.