Thursday, June 2, 2011

Safari Rides Again!

view from the beach at Kenai Backcountry Lodge

For the first time in my three years at Alaska Wildland Adventures, I was able to participate in a full guide training.  If our guests thought they were exhausted at the end of a journey, we put that to shame.  Running all over the state and trying to absorb as much natural history as possible, we hit all three AWA lodges and then some. It began with a 6-hour raft down the Kenai to our backcountry lodge, a three mile hike to the tundra the next day and back to camp for a dance party.  

saw-whet owl, 2nd smallest and CUTE!
Pausing only briefly between the Kenai and north training, we danced our safari hats off and headed to Anchorage the next day, seeing the Portage Visitor's Center, Girdwood, and pointing out the all-important R.E.I.  On the way to Talkeetna, we were treated to a visit from the Alaska Wild Bird Rehab Center.   They give great talks to our guests about the rescue and rehabilitation of the raptors and other winged friends that are brought in.
7 sisters flying around Denali

Made it North and flew up to the Ruth Glacier, what a GREAT day!

one of the best Dall sheep pictures I've taken
Denali Park stole my heart as usual. We were able to fly around the mountain, land on the Ruth glacier, enjoy the nightlife of Talkeetna, and share delicious food and priceless stories with friend while camping in the park.  The weather was glorious, the mountain was out the entire time, (that must put us in the .001% club) and animals were all over.  As a fellow guide put it, "It was just pissing nature!"