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Alright, everyone!  I know you’ve all been anxious for bears, so I’m finally getting to processing pictures from Alaska!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

It was an exciting trip – really, two trips in one – and we had so many mini adventures.  I can’t wait to share them all with you.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

However, because I like to work chronologically, bears will still be several posts out.  I don’t want to disappoint you all, so I’m starting with a preview of the entire trip – a little bit of everything.


© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Our trip comprised of two major components: Denali and backpacking.  The first of these was pretty much like any standard vacation I’ve taken before.  We took a train out of Anchorage up to Denali National Park, idling away the time with photographing, napping, and endless rounds of Hearts.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Once there, we took a bus into the park and all the way to the end of the line, making brief stops along the way to take in the sights.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

We spent another day hiking the park at a slower pace before returning to Anchorage.


© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

The real fun came in the second half, where we packed away all our “vacation” gear and took only that which was necessary for survival – namely, 30 pounds of cameras, lenses, filters, and batteries.  We took a bush plane out to Chinitna Bay and hiked along the coast for the next five days.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

53.6 pounds over 25 miles was truly intense!

We camped on the beach and photographed countless wildlife nearby, including eagles, a fox, and – of course – bears.  For five days, we lived on freeze-dried meals, drank from rivers, felt the pain of a day full of miles, and grew closer to the awe-inspiring power of nature.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Spoiler: no one was mauled by bears, and we all made it out alive.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

It was one of the most amazing trips of my life, and I still can’t believe I almost turned away from the opportunity.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Stay tuned for in-depth stories of the entire trip, and follow my blog so you don’t miss a post!  More to come 🙂

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