August 2018September 2018 October 2018

09/30 - Hurricane Hill Reopened

Hurricane Hill has finally been reopened, at least for three days a week until the road is closed by snow. The trail is one of the most popular in the park, and it has shown a lot of wear. It is being rebuilt, widened, repaved and restored. For now, the Hurricane Hill road only runs to the second picnic area. The parking area at the usual trailhead is full of building materials for the trail work.

We got an early start. This was a good idea since just about every parking space was taken when we returned from our hike around noon. The hike was as beautiful as ever. One day we expect to see Mount Olympus itself covered in construction scaffolding, but, for now, the mountains are being left to their own devices. We took in some amazing views, admired a few late blooming flowers and the golden grasses and checked out the sap covered pine cones.

Check the park web site before you go. The trail is only open three days a week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), but it is well worth the effort.

A common sight in 2018 - road closed

Hurricane Hill Trail widened

The new trail with have a lot of stone work to encourage people to stay on the trail.

The Olympic Mountains seen from Hurricane Hill Trail

Autumn color

More autumn color

Even more autumn color

Good grief, even more autumn color

Fields of gold

Fields of gold with distant mountains

More fields of gold, more mountains

Variation on a theme

One of the late harebells

Pine cones

More pine cones

Autumn color by the trail

Autumn color and more stones for the trail work

Keywords: hurricane hill, trails

09/26 - Dungeness Spit to the Lighthouse

We are getting into the autumn tides which make it hard to get out to the Dungeness Spit. The walk takes from three to four hours, and when the tide is above three feet, it can be rough going. We managed to catch a good tide in late September and, much to our surprise, made it all the way out to the lighthouse for a ten mile round trip walk.

As usual, the spit was hypnotic. It's a long narrow strip of beach that just heads out to sea. On one side of the path is Strait of San Juan de Fuca and on the other side there is a low rise decorated with driftwood and beach shrubs. The best walking is down towards the water. Above there is sand, rocks and pebbles.

An overview of Dungeness Spit

A hypnotic walk

More of the spit

Beach life

The bay protected by the spit

The lighthouse in the distance

The lighthouse as we approached

The spit on our return walk

Ribsy - one of our landmarks, about a mile out

Keywords: autumn, dungeness spit, tides

09/15 - Anchorage to Seattle

We had great seats on the flight from Anchorage to Seattle. Here are some photos, including some of the glaciers in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, some mountains and coastline and then our approach to Seattle.

Far north

Glaciers below

Another great glacier

Another view



More of the same, yawn

More mountains, closer to home

Much closer to home


Mount Rainier

Keywords: alaska, seattle

09/14 - Anchorage Sunset

The evening light in Anchorage was beautiful for our last evening in town.

Sunset in Anchorage

Keywords: alaska

09/13 - Byron Glacier

To be honest, we never got that close to the Byron Glacier. We followed the trail to the clutter of rocks that the glacier left in its track. We made our way along the rocks. Then, we came to a wall of rocks, perhaps 15-20 feet high, and we decided that we had seen plenty of glaciers and that it just wasn't worth climbing that many rocks to see yet another one. Maybe we were getting jaded. More likely, we realized that this was a bit more climbing than we were good for.

The trail to Byron Glacier

Some snow en route

A field of rocks, then a wall of rocks, kind of rough going

Still, a pretty hike

A lovely river

Keywords: alaska

09/12 - Kenai Fjords - Part 2

There were other glaciers to stare at in amazement, and there were sea birds - puffins, cormorants and others. Our route back took us to some of the little islands full of birds and sea lions and mystery.

It was a perfect day to be on the water.

The seals on ice, again


More scenery, mountains, ice and clouds

There's a little glacier peeking out there.

A tiny, little baby glacier

Mountains and ice

There was a bit more haze in the afternoon.

There was also a bit of cloud.

Even more scenery

Near and far

Birds on the rocks

A dramatic cliff

Sunning Steller sea lions

More sea lions

Another view

Yet another look

Yet another glacier

A closer look

Keywords: alaska

09/11 - Kenai Fjords - Part 1

Having spent some time on ice and some time on land, we spent the next day on the water. We took a Major Marine tour, and while we had an indoor table available to us, we spent almost the entire trip out on the deck.

The scenery was spectacular. The harbor itself was beautiful, blue water surrounded by mountains and glaciers. We headed south towards more spectacular scenery. We took a detour to visit an orca, then headed into the next fjord over and made our way to a spectacular glacier.

The ice was covered with seals, and we lucked out and saw a few chunks of ice break off of the glacier and plunge into the icy water.

Seward harbor

A mountain with a minor glacier

More mountains, more snow and ice

A major ice field

More water, mountains and ice

Rock formations

Another bit of water

An orca, exhaling

Approaching the big glacier

More scenic islands

More scenery; Alaska has no shortage of scenery

Rock formations

The big glacier

Seals on the ice

The glacier and sea ice

Blue ice

Caves to explore another time

The glacier again

Another view of the seals

Keywords: alaska

09/10 - Exit Glacier and the Seward Aquarium

Our first day in Seward we hiked towards the Exit Glacier. We followed the trail along the river bed up towards the glacier melt line. We walked out on the river bed a bit and enjoyed the bright day and wonderful views.

Then we started climbing the trail that leads up the valley and, if one can climb the necessary 3,000 feet, offers more views of the glacier. We didn't get all that far, but we did enjoy the forest and the streams and the occasional glimpses through the trees.

We returned to the ranger station and marveled at some of the reported wildlife sightings.

Back in Seward, we visited the aquarium and checked out the sea lions, fish, puffins and other sea birds. It was feeding time for the animals, and then it was feeding time for us. We ate dinner across the street from the Best Western at the Cookery which is a seriously good restaurant.

The river flowing from the glacier

Our first peek at the glacier

The river bed

Another view across the river bed

Another view of the glacier

And yet another

A view on our way up

The forest and sunlight

Trees, sunlight, variation on a theme

More trees and sunlight

The trail climbing through trees and sunlight

Wildlife sightings - Click the image for a better view.

A sea otter

Feeding time for the birds

One of the puffins

One of the enclosures at the aquarium

More feeding time

Keywords: alaska

09/09 - On to Seward

The view from our luxury lodge was lovely, but despite our love of luxury, it wasn't for us. We left and made our way to Seward where we checked into a Best Western, and a very nice one at that.

The view from our luxury lodge

The view from Seward

Along the Seward waterfront

Another view of Kenai Fjord

The marina at Seward

Keywords: alaska

09/08 - Alaskan Glacier Adventure

We couldn't take the smoke from the forest fires in BC anymore, so we headed up north to Alaska. Our trip started with a bit of a misadventure, but we also got to walk on a glacier well past anywhere, somewhere north and east of Anchorage. It was one of those Alaska adventures with an airplane flight across miles of flat land and mountains and then another flight in a helicopter onto a glacier. There air was fresh and clear, and the scenery was spectacular.

We wonder who lives here and how they get here.

Power lines across the rolling flatlands

Mountains and the glacier

Looking across the gray ice

A crevasse

View of the glacier

The first flower we saw

Another view

And yet another as we cross the rubble field and climbed

Life among the stones

The big picture

Fractured rock, like an ancient wall

More life

More stone works

More life as we descended away from the glacier

One of the corn lilies, our first corn lily picture of the year

The fallen castle

Lupines of Alaska doing well

Ice in the water

Keywords: alaska

August 2018September 2018 October 2018