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Posts Tagged ‘Denali’

Denali Sunset

Sunsetting behind Denali from Lake Byers, Alaska

Sunsetting behind Denali from Lake Byers, Alaska

The sunsets are incredible.

The Light?


Ummmmm, did I mention the Light?  Yeah, the light was good…

McLaren Summit


McLaren Summit at 4086 feet is not the highest mountain pass I have ever driven up (short by almost 10 thousand feet) but the view, well it speaks for itself.  Only Atigan Pass in Alaska is higher.  The valley below McLaren is absolutely beautiful, the lazy Susitna River in the evening light makes a slivery highway running towards the distant Alaska Range peaks. The rain was out on this late evening, but really, it it only served up the drama instead of damping the mood.

Mr. Porky


We were cruising down the Denali Highway and came around a corner and this guy was in a fire ring rooting around for leftovers.  They are quite endearing actually and you really want to get out and pet them.  That would be disastrous of course.  They don’t move very fast and they tend to have great facial expressions so they are fun.  They pretty much know that they can hurt you far more than you can hurt them (unless you have a gun.  See last years Alaska Experiment.)  We gave the old boy some room and he waddled on past in no particular hurry.  I think no particular hurry is a good way to waddle.



Then the little bear cub spotted her brother!  Momma got up and saw him and was visibly relieved.  He was more than a half mile away on the side of the next mountain anxiously pacing back and forth.  The separation was weighing on them all.  The little tike decided to take matters into his own hands and went back across the open valley and up the boulders on the back side of the mountain.  Joining up with his sister and Mother meant swinging low on the ridge that the big boar was eyeing them from.  We all watched with bated breath as the cub picked his way across the rocks just yards from the male bear who had been sleeping but now was up and calculating his chances.  Could he swatch that cub and send it over the cliff and retreat before Momma bear did the same to him?

At last it was over.  The cubs and Momma were reunited and the boar was beaten by Momma bear’s preparation, fierceness, and excellent defensive site selection.  The big boar laid down again just to make things hard but everyone knew the real danger had passed.  Momma could sleep while the cubs watched the old man and then they would move out after he did.  No way he was coming up that mountain.  It was almost midnight when this photo was taken, what a day.

Ursus Horriblious


This Bad Boy Boar got within about 20 meters of the sow and cubs while they were grazing and laz’n.  They perked up to catch sight of this guy just in time and took off!  The boar chased them for about 2 miles up the river and around the bend and up the side of this mountain.  Momma turned on the old man about a quarter of the way up and laid into him and had the upper hand as she was on the uphill side.  Those cubs were running for their lives!  The dark brown cub went up and over the top and kept on running and running while the blonde cub stopped and waited on Momma bear.  The sow backed slowly up the hill with the boar swinging his head and menacing his way up the hill in full on attack mode; he wanted that cub.   Not good times.

Ursus At Play


These two cubs duked it out for about two hours one late evening.  They wrastled and rolled and bit and chewed enough to make us tired.  They were some crazy bears and a ton of fun to watch.  Got in a few clicks of course.  Momma was over to the right taking a nap so these two squared off to kill some time.  Good thing they were in shape too;  the nasty business of life as a cub bear was soon to brought to full bore.