Tag Archives: Wrangell St. Elias National Park

trail and stream

While reminiscing over pictures from Alaska I stumbled across these two images.  I think the similarities are pretty striking.  Most apparent is the S curve of the trail and the stream as they meet the vanishing point.  Also, in each image a dark mass fills the left of the frame.  As a further coincidence, the shots were taken in immediate succession of one another on the same day.  I love a good coincidence, so I thought I would share.


Everyone and their dogs

The toughest dog in Alaska (see earlier post for explanation), Tank the terrier, has remained vigilant all summer long.  Night and day the streets of McCarthy are safe under the watchful eye of this dog.  With the nearest law enforcement located hours away in Glen Allen, it’s important to have a local presence of order.  Here are some pictures of Tank on patrol.

See the criminal tresspassers run in fear.  Terriers are renowned for their incredible strength.  The log Tank is hauling weighs twice as much as he does.

Moments after this picture was taken, the daring and careless man suffered a broken arm.

Tank may be the toughest dog around, but the coolest dog is Gus.  Gus is a blue heeler owned by a couple from Arkansas.  Although Gus doesn’t look big, he weighs like 70 pounds.  He’s dense, like dark matter or certain kinds of brownies.  His dense status doesn’t stop him from performing astonishing acrobatic feats.  Here are two pictures of Gus in turbo frisbee anti-gravity mode.  Also pictured is Tazzy, the most beatific Zen border collie in existence.

Fall Season

“Time don’t fly, it bounds and leaps” John Prine

Fall in the Wrangells.  Nature performs another crescendo.  It gets dark again.  The stars are visible at night, along with your breath.  The soap berry bushes have withered, while the cranberries ripen into robust translucent orbs.  All the animals are fat.  Everyday is crisper.  The air tastes like it has fermented in the mountaintops.  The colors are starting to peak.  The change is perceptible in real time.  It’s fall.  Everyone is exultant, even stupefied.  Commenting on the season is required conversation.  It’s like standing beside the ocean.  It really can’t be ignored. Certain phenomenons are just like big cosmic turbines generating a profound amount of WOW voltage.  A clear night sky bursting with stars is like that, same with horizon events, sunsets and sunrises.  Seasons, no matter how many you’ve lived through, are like that too.  The whole landscape, the world as we know it, revolts, morphs, and revolutionizes  seemingly overnight.

Peavine Cabins

Greetings from Peavine cabin.  That’s me on the porch waving to you.  The camera is on a ten second self timer.  I produced this picture in one take, but nearly broke my ankle running from the tripod to the camera.  Actually, I didn’t hurt my ankle in any way.  I just had to run really fast through a dry creekbed, which presented the possibility of ankle injury.  Which is all a convoluted way to say, hey, look at this cool picture of me on the porch at a cabin.  Dig?

Here’s another view of the cabin with the alpine glow illuminating the ridgeline.  Whimsical, isn’t it?  This cabin is one of two free public use cabins maintained by the Park Service at the Peavine area.  In late August I spent a few nights by myself out at the cabin.

Well, maybe I wasn’t entirely by myself.  Here are some recent claw marks on the front of the door.  What could’ve done that?

This is the other cabin that sleeps eight people.  For a few days a bizarre rainbow storm ascended on the valley.

In the ridges behind the cabins there are a few waterfalls.  Here’s another self-timer shot, this time over dangerous slippery rocks.  Next equipment purchase: shutter remote.

Now that I’ve used captions throughout this post I feel committed to them.  Consistency!  Here are some mountains in Alaska.  Oooo . . . . Ahhhh . . . .

Looking down on the Chitistone River.

Hiking up a rock slide.  Interesting fact:  In the full-length Simpsons Movie, the family escapes to Alaska.  I know this because my co-worker is watching the movie on the other side of the room.

In case there’s any ambiguity, this is a picture of trees.  These are trees featured on a blog that’s grudgingly created by some guy out in Alaska for the purpose of sharing pictures of trees and mountains with his friends and family.  So, enjoy the trees for a moment.

The lighting at dusk in this picture is symbolic of the ending of the blog post.  The swirling ethereal clouds suggest the impermanence of natural beauty and, by extension, the importance of documentation through photography and blogging.  The dynamic play between light and shadow also speaks of the inherent nonsense that comes with providing captions for pictures online, especially on a blog created by someone in Alaska who takes a lot of pictures.  This picture is actually of the mountaintops up river from the Peavine area.  I took about a hundred similar shots while waiting for the plane to pick me up.  Conclusion: Good times!