Created 25-Mar-09
Modified 29-Sep-14
29 photos
Scroll to the bottom for the photos! ~ Double-Click for a larger image

September 16th, 2014:

A trip to Busch Gardens offers a chance to practice photography on the big cats. You can learn some behavior clues - just in case you decide to spend your time and lots of money to go there!

Big cats means big lenses for big distance between you and the big cats!!! you don't feed them!

September 14th, 2014:

The vast majority of recently edited photos were up to the mid- point of our visit to Alaska. The pictures are "filed" under the Alaska Folder for your enjoyment.

The local stuff and this weekends "test run" photo trip of the big cats at Busch Gardens will take precedence for a week or so ... to diversify the new content.

Thank you for all the comments regarding the grizzly adventures! NOTE: Careful Warning must be added! Some of the photos show close proximity to the bears which is facilitated by safe procedures.

I strongly recommend that anyone planning a "Bear or Wildlife" Photo Trip to Alaska study the bear behavior long before you need to.... I would "suggest" you get a really good bear or wildlife guide to cover "one's ventures" { and butt!}

"White knuckle rides are fun, as long as the planning, is well done ...and it's not a roller coaster!"

Enjoy! and I'll see you on the trails ..somewhere!!!


August 29th, 2014:

Wow! Still editing Alaska, with local trips, interspersed during the remarkable heat of the Summer.

The Road to Seward leaves Anchorage with a stop at Walmart for supplies { gotta remember the Anchorage Amber~ It's special!! }.

you leave Seattle and you are still 1500 miles from Anchorage! The cost of the extra mileage that the "stuff" all comes to the consumer in Alaska - makes shopping less than a pleasure in Alaska. My favorite: Watermelons "On Sale $9.99! The scenery makes up for it!!

Twenty miles South of Anchorage begins the Turnagain Arm. The road and the Alaskan Railroad follow the shores of Cook's Inlet. The road offers many places to pull off and enjoy the scenery. Gasoline is reasonably available! { It's there, but the price, may not also be reasonable! }

The road splits into the the highway West SR 1 and South SR9 at Tern Lake. The Arctic Terns are very evident over the lake. The area is a bird watchers' delight.

The little town of Moose Pass offers a water wheel turning a grinding stone - for all those with an axe to grind - you might as well sharpen it here! I don't think I could count to ten buildings in Moose Pass but the bar was friendly! The Kenai Lake is a remarkable scenic event - further South.

Seward s a changed place after the Tsunami of 1964.

The town sits in a u-shaped harbor very exposed to the high-speed waters that destroyed it. Since the rebuild, of the city, they have constructed significant rock structures to deflect and absorb a repeat of 1964 event.

Seward is a host to the RV and marine site-see'ers of the world. Several Tour lines provide marine animal, glacier based tours, and everything in between. The tour we chose had a reasonably priced steak and salmon buffet that was devoured by all!

Photographers beware!! The boat we choose said the Coast Guard would not let them allow tripods on board. Bring a big lens and prepare for the workout of your life!

Part of the selection process was to pick a big boat. Little boats become large corks as they approach the open waters at the South of the bay.

The 6oomm lens with a 1.4x tele-converter is a good piece of equipment for the job at hand. Put it on a monopod in a rolling sea and you would sell your soul for a 300mm f2.8 with a selection of tele's.

Remember: Once you commit , one hand for the boat - so you stay on board, you are one hand short of handling the camera!

The Canon 100-400mm or a Nikon 80-400mm is the mainstay of the wildlife and nature photographer. Couple it with a full frame -high pixel count DSLR to preserve resolution of the image or go bigger! { and do the 3 axis boat dance!! }

Saw nothing for miles, .... and then everything as we got further down the inlet. Stellar sea lions, seabirds, and finally dolphins and orcas!! Glaciers and mountain goats along the way!

The regret was we didn't spend a few extra days in and touring the Seward waters. The campsite outside town was one of the very best we stayed at - but next time!!!

The Western Segment is the next topic! 32 Gigabytes of bear photos! Photo experience of my lifetime!!

Enjoy the trails!

August 20th, 2014

Just an update! The volume and special character of the Alaskan Pictures made sense to create a separate group for the picture.

The photos will first go to "Latest Additions" and then move to the Alaska Folder after a couple of weeks. Provides one place to check for the latest stuff and a natural archive later.

August 8th, 2014

Wow! five weeks later and not even halfway through the Alaska Pictures! It was a trip to remember but 8400 RAW pictures to sort through........

The grandchildren visited, so that brought us to the local spots, seeking memories for them to take back to the wilds of North Jersey. Mission accomplished!

A young man from Elizabeth is in a tough environment - but nine foot gators don't walk past you there! I think it made a "lasting impression!"

Not much luck with Ol' Suwanee and the Sturgeon for the second year. The high water is probably to blame for the poor "jumping season."

I've been out there four times so far and nil nuthin nada. They go back to the ocean around the first part of September so ... one more try!~

Alaska is too big to explore - claim some writers! I offer that two areas to start with are the Central Region and the Southeastern Areas.

The Central Region provides a one stop fly-in From Tampa to Anchorage. Beware of "Cheap Flights!" The special deal of $575.00 round trip took one day from the vacation -- each way! The $775.00 fare was a 10 hour flight. { plus four hours on time zones. }

The trip North includes Denali as a focal point and several side trips worth exploring. Oh! I forgot to mention "roads." Beautiful,wide and modern paved roads ...just like our four lane divided highway SR441!

The road goes North to Denali, South to Seward and has a Western option to Homer! There are a few minor roads but that's your road map! Road so it's a driving area.

We looked at the hotels and motels available and given the pricing and an additional layer of "fixed" scheduling opted for a rental RV. Hey! have not done that ! Add "yet!"

The RV rental includes a review of daily cost, mileage fees, and hidden creative charges like "generator fees." Add-ons like a pair of lawn chairs are often higher than picking up a pair at Walmart! Same for fishing gear.

Insurance not covered in the rental can often be included in your personal auto insurance - with a call to your agent. The $2500.00 deductible was reduced by my insurer to a maximum exposure of $500.00.

We enjoyed most of the RV experience. The 29 foot long vehicle offered all of the amenities. Throne room, separate shower, refrigerator, and a spacious "salon" with "pop-out" to increase the space available. Oh Yeah! Heater!!!

Watch your gasoline consumption and plan your fill ups. We used 1/2 tank as a fill up time - except for the Denali area where they prey on the tourista. Fill at Willow, Ak, buy five gallons from the crooks and top off again in Willow - on the way back!

Denali restricts cars to the first 33 miles of the park. The vehicle of choice is the tour bus { read school bus. } Neat experience! with everybody knowing everybody by the end of the voyage!

You can find hotels at the entrance to Denali or choose a camp in the park. RV's can use the "park" at the entrance of Denali, Savage River Camp 13 miles inside the park, or venture to the "TEK Campsite" and deal with the special restrictions and advantage of being "really inside!." We choose Savage river as a first timer's compromise and loved it - carefully!

The first morning at Savage River - I rose to get warm, turn on the heater, { 42F ) and make the coffee! Setting at the wide window - I enjoyed the quiet and coffee before she got up ...and the bull moose that ran past our RV! Man!, they are BIG!!

The bus trip to Wonder Lake was the, most photos taken in one day, in 11 years of wildlife photography far! The hopes for the trip were exceeded! Grizzly bear, dall sheep, caribou, moose (s,) and Mountain Goats.

Gotta go there!

I'll cover the trip South to Seward in the next "Trail Report." T
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