TWOI: 12/15/17

Happy Friday!  This week featured quite a bit of Alaska.  I took so many photos there; I hope you don’t mind.

I’m also just beginning to play around with Instagram stories.  They’re all the rage nowadays, and I haven’t really used them before, so we’ll see how it goes!

This first photo is from my most recent post on crossing the Red River during our backpacking trip in Lake Clark National Park.  The scenery is beautiful, but the water sure is cold!  Check out that post here.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

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Backpacking Alaska – Day 3: The Red River

Day 3 was all about the Red River.  This was our major obstacle.  We knew it was coming, and we knew it would pose a challenge.  I’m told when our fearless leader divulged our planned course to a bush plane pilot, his first question was, “do you have a floatation device for crossing the Red River?”  Um…. no?

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

See the black bear just outside the trees on the far side?  This was the only black bear we saw the entire trip.

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TWOI: 12/1/17

Another week has flown by!  This one was really crazy, following Thanksgiving last week.  On top of wrapping up Kumoricon pictures, there’s no time to slow down!

I did a few more grid photos this week on Instagram.  How do you like them?

This first one was from the train ride to Denali National Park.  I’m a sucker for reflections, and those low clouds added an extra dynamic.

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Backpacking Alaska – Day 3: Wind

The second night came and went in a blink of exhaustion.  Crawling out of my tent, I found some of our crew were already down on the beach.  They’d spotted a bear out clamming in the receding morning tide.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

This was my first real opportunity for shooting the bears we had come out here to find, and I was stoked, my aching muscles quickly forgotten.

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Backpacking Alaska – Day 2: Rocks

Day 1 was all about distance.  But that turned out being a good thing, because Day 2 rocked.  And sadly, that wasn’t a good thing.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

We woke on Day 2 to find moisture on our tents and moose tracks feet from our camp.  It was fortunate we were so tired; we weren’t kept awake by any unidentifiable noises in the night.  I was also shocked to see the drastic variances in the tide.  The waterlines on the beach came within feet of our tents; we were lucky to have not gotten wet.

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Backpacking Alaska – Day 1: Distance

Who’s ready for backpacking adventures?  I know I’ve been promising them for a long time, and you’ve had a taste here and there, but I’m finally getting into the heart of my epic adventure into the Alaskan wilderness.  I appreciate your patience.  It was truly a remarkable journey, and I’m excited to share it with you.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

After an hour’s bush plane flight out of Anchorage, we found ourselves on the beach in Chinitna Bay, and once our pilot departed, we were on our own.  We had finally arrived, and I was ready.  This was my first time truly backpacking, and I couldn’t wait.

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Alaska: My First Bush Plane Flight

Apologies for the hiatus!  I know I took a little break from the Alaska posts, but they’re back!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Right from the start, I knew a flight in a bush plane was on the itinerary for Alaska.  Much of the Alaskan wilderness is completely wild.  No roads or modern conveniences.  Completely untouched – just the way we like it.  As a result, it’s only accessible by small bush planes, and once they drop you off, you’re on your own!

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Hiking Denali: Savage Alpine Trail

Busing Denali National Park is a good way to sample the park in a single day.  But to truly enjoy the wonder that is this stunning national park, one must slow the pace a bit and get out from behind dusty window panes.

For our second full day in Denali, we wanted to get our hiking boots dirty.  We knew we couldn’t venture beyond Savage River without a bus pass, but after the previous day, the last thing any of us wanted to do was sit on a bus again.   Continue reading