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Entire Trip At-A-Glance

July 19, 2017: Day 1 4:20am Up getting ready. 4:55am We are in the limo headed for the airport.  6:15am We are at Newark airport. 9:53am We are in the air.  Our trip to Alaska has started! 3:29pm We are on the ground in Seattle. 2:13pm We are in the air.  Last leg of the trip to Alaska. 5:25pm We are in Fairbanks Alaska.  6:20pm We are now in our room on the fourth floor of the Marriot Springhill Suites Hotel. July 20, 2017: Day 2 12:15am I woke soon after midnight and took a photo of the park across the street. 5:00am I woke again, took another picture of the park. 8:20am We had breakfast in the Marriot lobby lounge/restaurant. 9:05am We are heading into the UAF Museum of the North. 1:15pm We decided to watch “Dynamic Aurora”.  The movie was very informative. After the movie was over we took in the Museum of the North. After that we headed up stairs to the art gallery. 1:35pm We are back in our room at the hotel. 2:00pm Dinner at the Crepery Restaurant in the Co-op behind the hotel.  3:20pm Barbara picked out 2 small nuggets I bought the earrings as a souvenir/birthday gift. 6:00pm Justin gave a slide presentation of the trip and our itinerary. 7:00pm Lavelle’s Bistro for dinner. 11:00pm Bed time. July 21, 2017: Day 3 6:25am We are about to leave for breakfast. 8:00am We are on the bus and headed south towards Denali National Park. 8:12am We stop to look at the Tanana River and the Tanana Valley. 9:12am We have stopped in Nenana for restroom break. Nenana’s claim to fame is the “Nenana Ice Classic”. 10:43am Lunch at “Alpenglow” in “The Grande Denali Lodge”. 12:25pm We got on a Parks system bus that will take us to The North Face Lodge. 2:20pm 15 minutes for a bathroom break at the Teklanika Rest area. 2:57pm We stopped on the road for views of Dall Sheep. 3:20pm Our first Caribou. 3:43pm We are at the Igloo Picnic area on the Toklat River for a box dinner. 5:13pm We stopped at Polychrome Overlook. A Caribou & Golden Eagle nest with 2 young. 6:05pm Toklat River Rest Stop & Three Dall Sheep. 6:30pm Caribou very near the road. 7:10pm Great photo op of an adult, female Grizzly Bear.  7:30pm A nursery herd of Caribou. 8:15pm Our first look at Mount Denali and Wonder Lake. 8:30pm We are at North Face Lodge. July 2, 2017: Day 4 7:08am I went inside and found someone to ask if that was Mount Denali or not.  It was. 7:30am Breakfast.  Baked French toast. 8:45am They put out the makings for lunch and we each got a small cloth bag to put our lunch in. 9:45am We are on our way to explore Denali National Park. 10:20am >ice pictures of Mount Denali & Wonder Lake. 11:00am Pictures of Labrador Tea & Caribou Lichen. 11:50am Stopped for photos of river valley, fireweed and Mount Denali. 11:56am Monkshood wildflower.  It is extremely poisonous. 12:20pm We have stopped for lunch on the tundra. 1:22pm We found a large Caribou resting in the shade near a small pond. 1:35pm We took a little walk to a little pond for Greater Scaup. 1:50pm A female Gadwall duck with ducklings. 2:07pm People fishing in Wonder Lake. 2:25pm We are back at North Face Lodge. 3:30pm Justin gave a talk about photography and lightroom. 6:00pm Hors d’oeuvres and drinks. 6:35pm Barbara and I found our clothespins and we are seated with Chris and Charlene. 10:10pm Barbara and I rode bikes to Wonder Lake. 10:20pm Relaxing in the ‘Midnight Sun’. 10:45pm Bed time for these old fogies. July 23, 2017: Day 5 6:43am Denali was visible again. 7:30am Breakfast.  This morning it was crepes.  8:38am Barbara is in the dining room making our lunches for today. 9:20am Today will be our Alpine day. 9:40am Our first stop for the day is at Wonder Lake. Short-eared Owl happened to fly by. 10:20am Fireweed and nice mountain views: photo assignment. Northern Harrier flew past. 11:08am We have stopped to look at Muldrow Glacier. 11:35am Someone spotted a Golden Eagle soaring near. 11:50am We have stopped at Eielson Visitor Center. 12:30pm The Stony Hill Scenic Overlook. 12:55pm What a great way to enjoy lunch and good company. A Golden Eagle was soaring over our heads. 2:37pm Willow Ptarmigans on the Park Road and some hikers. 3:46pm Ducks in a pond… more Greater Scaups. 4:20pm Back at North Face Lodge. 6:30pm Dinner.  Group song about day’s hike. 8:40pm Back to our room to try to get as packed as we can before we go to bed. July 24, 2017:  Day 6 5:30am Breakfast.  Quick meal of scrambled eggs. 6:15am We are on the bus getting ready to head back to the park entrance. 7:35am Willow Ptarmigans on the road. 7:51am We are at Eielson Visitor Center on our way out of the park. 8:10am A large nursery Caribou herd not far from the road. 8:36am Just passed Highway Pass (mile 58) and a sign says it is 3,980 feet. 9:47am We just saw a Long-tailed Jaeger. 9:55am A female Grizzly Bear with 2 cubs. 10:53am Male Northern Harrier (Marsh Hawk). 11:20am We are at the Denali Park Depot. 12:50pm We are all on the train in our seats and the train is underway. 1:20pm We have just been seated in the dining section for lunch. 4:15pm The train has slowed way down as we enter Talkeetna. 4:35pm We are in our room at the Talkeetna Lodge in Talkeetna Alaska. 6:30pm We were late for dinner. 8:07pm Back to the room, start packing and finish in the morning. July 25, 2017: Day 7 7:00am Getting ready to go have breakfast. 9:00am Breakfast was buffet style with many options. 9:30am We are on the bus and just heading into Talkeetna. 9:40am We are about to walk through the town of Talkeetna. 10:00am Justin stuck his hand in the river water to show how much suspended flour or silt there is from the glaciers feeding the rivers. 10:47am Standing in front of Nagley’s Store. 11:00am Lunch time at the Denali Brewing Company, Twister Creek Restaurant. 12:25pm We are back on the Magic Bus heading south towards Anchorage. 3:05pm We stopped at Potter Marsh. 3:52pm Back on the Magic Bus heading towards our next hotel. 4:05pm We stop for pictures of Dall Sheep. 4:40pm We are now in Girdwood. 4:53pm We are at the Alyeska Resort. 5:45pm  Tram ride to the top of Mount Alyeska to the Seven Glaciers Restaurant. 6:10pm We are sitting down to eat at the Seven Glaciers. 10:00pm Just got back from dinner.  The food was delicious. Bed time. July 26, 2017: Day 8 7:05am Done with breakfast. We have just started our short (~1.5 miles) walk with Justin. 8:13am The group divides. We see a female Pine Grosbeak. 8:30am Sow Black Bear and three cubs on the resort grounds. 11:53am Back from the morning walk. 12:50pm We left the hotel about 12:30 and are now eating our box lunch on the bus. 2:25pm The train stopped in the middle of nowhere at what is called a ‘Whistle Stop’. 2:31pm Erin is rowing her arms off. 2:36pm Icebergs. 2:40pm Views of Spencer Glacier. 3:02pm Barbara eats a chunk of ice thousands of years old from the glacier. 3:15pm We have just entered Placer River. 5:00pm We are on the train heading back to where we got on. 6:00pm We have arrived, safe and sound, back at the resort. 7:04pm Sitting by an outside firepit. 7:16pm Back in the room. July 27, 2017: Day 9 5:48am I am showered and dressed and Barbara is almost there. 6:50am A very nice buffet style breakfast with many options. We are still finding it difficult to sleep with it never really getting dark at night. 7:17am We are on the bus about ready to head out. 8:38am We have stopped at Tern Lake (Tern like the bird).  8:55am We are back on the bus and Justin is going over some of the wildlife. 9:37am We are off the bus in the town of Seward. 11:00am I walked the harbor.  A few Sea Otters drift by. 11:20am We are on the Nunatak Ship. 11:50am The Nunatak is underway… and so are we towards our next adventure. 12:25pm We see a Harbor Seal and a Horned Puffin before the ship gets to dock. 12:50pm The ship is moored at the dock on Fox Island. 2:30pm We just finished lunch and are in our room at Fox Island. 3:10pm We are getting outfitted for our kayaking tour. 5:30pm We are back from our paddle. 8:00pm We are just back from dinner. 9:35pm Almost like being on your very own private island. July 28, 2017: Day 10 7:00am I am in the main building of the lodge, drinking a cup of coffee. 8:33am We had a very nice breakfast. 8:58am We are on a small, private boat called the Steller Sunrise. 9:07am Captain is Tanya (in the orange jacket) and the crew is Tammy (in the black jacket). 10:20am Going near an island called No Name Island (cute huh?). 10:47am We are in the area of the Chiswell Islands. 10:50am A Common Murre rookery on a cliff face ledge. 10:55am Hauled out on a tiny island are some Steller Sea Lions. 11:07am Watching a feeding Humpback Whale. 11:28am A cliff full of Black-legged Kittiwakes.  They are on Beehive Island. 11:33am A cute Sea Otter is watching us watch him. 12:38pm Rhinoceros Auklets.  Small group of them. 12:54pm Headed north into Aialik Bay, between two arms of the Kenai Fjords National Park.  The glacier seemed very large.  Especially this close.  2:22pm Another Humpback Whale has been spotted and we stop to try and get some photos.  3:04pm We stop for pictures of a couple of Sea Otters. 4:00pm We are back at the dock on Fox Island. 4:40pm We get back to our room to discover a simple yet pretty bouquet of flowers. 5:00pm Try out a pedal boat that they have available on a small lagoon just off the beach. 8:21pm Dinner was at 6:45pm.  8:30pm We decided to skip the bonfire this evening and just head to bed. July 29, 2017: Day 11 6:00am I had some time to kill so I went for a walk to take some photos. 8:00am Bags are packed and sitting on the deck outside our room. 8:30am Breakfast.  Steel-cut oats or scrambled eggs. 9:24am We are hanging out waiting for our boat ride back to Seward. 10:00am Everyone is on board and we are about to head for Seward. 10:53am Captain Tanya did a great job and we all got some close up photos of the Sea Otters. 11:10am We are now moored at the Seward Harbor. 11:30am Barbara is all shopped out! 12:30pm We just finished lunch. 12:41pm We are at the Alaska SeaLife Center. 1:30pm Kathleen, our guide on the behind-the-scene tour.  The tour was very informative. 2:30pm The tour is over. 3:37pm We are out of Seward and heading towards Anchorage. 5:40pm We are in Anchorage. 6:35pm We are in our room, #1107.  10:30pm We didn’t leave our room, we just packed for Brooks Falls. July 30, 2017: Day 12 5:26am I am up and almost ready.  Barbara is getting there….. 6:00am And yet another very nice buffet style Breakfast. 7:45am Bags out and ready for pick up by hotel staff. 9:50am We are at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. 10:50am We are on the plane.  A fairly small plane.  11:13am The plane is in the air and we are on our way to King Salmon. 12:50pm We are on the Otter Float Plane. 1:00pm We have taken off from the King Salmon River on our way to Brooks Falls. 1:16pm We have just landed on Naknek Lake near Brooks Lodge. 1:28pm We have already seen 5 Brown Bears. 1:30pm Justin guides us directly into a safety video. 1:51pm We left the video cabin and walked directly into the dining room for lunch. 2:53pm We are walking, as a group, to the Brooks Falls viewing platform. 3:15pm We are at the platform watching the Brown Bears catch and eat salmon. 5:30pm We are heading back to the lodge with plans to return after dinner. 6:45pm Dinner was pork loin or Sockeye Salmon. 8:03pm We headed for the Riffles Platform first. 8:12pm We migrated from the Riffles Platform to the Falls Platform. 9:30pm We spent 1.5 hours at the platform and are now heading back to our rooms. 10:06pm   We are back in the room. July 31, 2017: Day 13 7:03am Breakfast started at 7. 7:45am Justin leads us to the shed that they keep all the rental boots and waders in. 8:42am We are walking in Brooks River. 9:32am Immature Bald Eagle on the top of a tree.  9:44am The Ranger on the platform is watching us walk in the river. 10:52am Subadult bear walking right towards us. 11:24am We are now on dry land walking through the brush heading back to the cabins. 11:45am Shots of bears from our cabin area. Noon Lunch at the lodge.  Buffet style.  2:03pm I am sitting on the deck enjoying the beautiful day at Brooks Lodge. 5:30pm Dinner time.  6:35pm There is a bear on the trail so we have to wait. 6:55pm Finally, twenty minutes after we got to the curve, we were allowed to cross the bridge. 7:25pm We are now at the platform 9:52pm Many of the workers dressed in costume. 10:15pm We are trying to do our preliminary packing. August 1, 2017: Day 14 6:00am Justin set alarm for 6am. 7:00am I am dressed and ready. 8:20am Barbara and I had breakfast alone. 8:30am I took a sequence of photos of a float plane landing and taking off. 8:50am I saw two Subadults play-fighting in the grass. 9:10am A Sow with two Cubs came wandering by. 12:08pm After having a quick lunch (Tuesday is Taco Day). 12:15pm We are at Lake Brooks and there are already a couple of float planes at the ready. 12:43pm We are at the dock, unloading and waiting for our luggage. 1:12pm We are at the King Salmon Airport. 3:00pm A video and time to look around the visitor center. 5:10pm We are finally in our seats in the plane. 5:55pm We have just started our descent into Anchorage. 6:42pm We pulled up to the curb at the Marriot in Anchorage. 7:45pm We are walked to Sacks Café on G Street, between W 3rd Ave and W 4th Ave. 9:54pm Dinner is over. 10:26pm We are back in our room, our very messy room. August 2, 2017: Day 15 5:16am Barbara is getting ready. 6:20am We got to the airport by taxi. 6:31am We made it through security. 6:45am Barbara walked back to a McDs we passed getting to our gate. 7:55am We are in our seats, 2D & 2F getting comfortable. 8:23am We are in the air, leaving Alaska, how sad. 12:25pm We are on the ground in Seattle, Washington. 3:11pm We are in our seats, 2A & 2C, onboard Alaska Airlines flight #14. 11:40pm We are on our approach into Newark Airport. 11:50pm We have touched down in Newark, NJ. August 3, 2017: Day 16 12:02am The plane is at the terminal and the seatbelt sign just went out. 12:50am We have all our bags and are about to walk out into the NJ air. 1:04am Our driver has just pulled up. 2:05am The adventure is officially over (pout, pout). .
Alaska Vacation
July 19, 2017 to August 2, 2017 The Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Photo Safari Barbara & John on Natural Habitat Adventures
July 19 - Aug 2, 2017 Entire trip At-A-Glance
“Leave only footprints, Take only memories’ (…and maybe some pictures)