10th September, 2008
Am cheating here - some of you will have read this in an email. Sorry! Time is limited. Hope I can get some pics posted soon from my Macbook Air.
We had 3 days kayaking in Prince William Sound, up in Backstone Bay, round Decision Point from the 'city' of Whittier. We got taken in by boat, dropped on the iceberg strewn beach of Willard Island, and set up camp, hefting the food up a tree out of the way of bears, before taking off for a paddle to and round glaciers quite a way up the sound. All awesome! I didn't want to go any closer than we did! but I think Neville would have. The new Lendal paddle worked wonderfully well, and I was so thankful to have it when I tried the one that Neville was using from Alaska SeaKayakers. The new one pulls apart into 4 pieces, and is just under 800grams. Love it! We didn't see any major glacier calving, but there were some pretty loud booms during the night. We paddled back towards Whittier the next day, staying at Squirrel Cove, and having huge fun watching the silver and pink salmon starting their run up a little creek. We even found a bear lair, where Mr Bear had been munching on his fishy loot. Lots of it. The air was ripe with bear scent, and we got out of there pretty quickly - after the requisite photo! Yes Darcy I got some otter pics but not sure how good they are.
Back through the Whittier train tunnel, Alaska Backpackers that night, to find the next day that we could pick up the camper (solid and good value; a camper unit on a 5.7 ltr ute) 2 days sooner than previously available. The plans got changed rapidly from going down to Seward, to coming north to Denali, and camping at the Savage River campsite for 2 nights. Yesterday we took the shuttle bus about 92 miles into the park, to Wonder Lake, stopping along the way to see amazing views - especially of Denali!!! Weren't we the lucky ones. The autumn colours are brilliant at present, and are amazing alongside the brilliant red of the fireweed and blueberry fall colours. Animals? Oh yes!! Several grizzlies, one Mum with baby, caribou, moose, various eagles and gyre falcon, wolf (only 98 in the park, we really got lucky there) ptarmigan. I completely drained a fresh battery in the Canon G9, and partly used the Leica battery, so lots of pics!