I scooted off to Alaska last week to hang out with my friend Melissa and her family (she is also a photographer). It’s always fun to watch another photographer working in their own back yard, and we did some shooting, and some touristing, and I generally had a great time. Mike (Melissa’s better half) was smoking the salmon he had caught a few days earlier. I wanted to do some fishing too, but once I compared the fantasy of fishing for salmon in Alaska with the reality, I wasn’t so sure:
The locals call this “combat fishing.” These are all tourists. Doesn’t look like much fun. Mike said that when the main fishing season is open, it is literally shoulder-to-shoulder with tourists. When the locals go fishing, they go to their secret spot. No, I don’t know where that is. But I do know that the filets that their neighbor who so kindly gave me were 18 inches long.
While we were driving to an fro I managed to get a few neat-o photos, despite the fact that the sun was visible for about 5 seconds in the entire week I was there. And the sun never even really sets this time of year, so I was double bitter. But I digress.
First off, waterfalls. If you spend any time at all looking through my blog, you’ll know that if there is a waterfall around, I’ll sniff it out. This one was easier than most to sniff, due to the huge sign on the side of the road that said “Thunderbird Falls” and the nicely groomed trail leading right to it. The way I tell it though, it was a battle.
See those friendly-looking maple-tree-like things on the lower right side? They are not friendly. They are thorny and if you get stung by one, it gets all red and rashy. The maple tree bush things in Alaska are tough.
We messed around in the mountains at bit too, at a spot called Hatcher Pass. In this one, you can see the little hillocks formed as the soil gradually slides down the side of the mountain (for scale, each one is about two feet across):
The geography major in me was fascinated by the U-shaped valley and cirques common of glacier erosion. The place is thick with glaciers BTW.
See that road? A few days later we drove from Talkeetna back to Wasilla along that road, during which we scared a moose:
Speaking of: Talkeetna!
This is the furthest north I have ever been BTW.
Most of the drive looked like a typical northern tundra scene:
The fireweed broke up all the greens:
It was a great trip! Thanks Mike for the hospitality and the salmon jerky! Thanks Ben and Bek for the full-contact Age of Empires matches! And thanks Melissa for shuttling me around for a week