Seeing as I'm leaving the country in nine days and have ”a little bit” of wrapping up and nailing down to do, I'm left with somewhat limited time for blogging. I will thus have to be quite efficient (i.e. not too chatty) as I'm presenting the rest of the Alaska story.
Ready? Ok, here we go.
From Talkeetna I drove to Healy, which was my base camp for venturing into Denali National Park, utilizing the excellent hop-on hop-off shuttle bus service. Denali, or ”the high one”, is the indigenous name for Mount McKinley, the highest mountain peak in North America. The national park is also the home of a plethora of wildlife, and during my day trip I counted about ten grizzly bears, five moose, herds of caribou and dall sheep, three gyrfalcons, and countless ground squirrels.
I know I promised tales of blueberries and wet feet, but I'll just shower you with photos instead. My apologies. (There will be blueberries though!)
Grizzly bear! (Yes it's there. Look hard.)
Another one. This guy was actually on the road when we came riding in the bus.
”I said hello caribou, goodbye heart, sweet caribou I'm so in love with you...”
The view from Eielson Visitor Center.
Finally! The Alaskan blueberries were just like the Swedish: small, but packed with flavor. (This is where I went off road and my feet got wet. Totally worth it!)
Eielson Visitor Center from above. This little climb took 35 minutes up and 17 minutes down. Best thing, besides the view? The caribou that was resting at the top, calmly observing the sweaty hikers zigzagging their way up the rocky mountainside.
Afternoon clouds playing games with shadows.
The next day I set off south, from Healy via Anchorage to the Kenai peninsula and Sterling. It was a long drive, but also ridiculously beautiful; I wanted to stop and take pictures about every two miles or so, in particular as I was going past Turnagain Arm.
After staying the night in Sterling I backtracked a few miles to the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area; more on that in part III...