Pictures of the Week – Friday, July 13th

We have spent the past week exploring Denali National Park & Preserve and the Kenai Peninsula. Alaska is breathtakingly beautiful and filled with wildlife that we don’t get to see down in Kentucky. Coming up to Alaska for the summer was definitely a good decision.

Unfortunately, there have been lots and lots of rainy, overcast days. Thus, our scenery snapshots just don’t capture the amazing landscapes quite the way we hoped. That means this week our favorite pictures are all animals.

The Birds – 2012

Since today is Friday the 13th, our first picture has a slightly freaky story appropriate for the freakiness of the day.

Have you seen the 1963 Hitchcock classic The Birds? If not, stop reading this post, go watch the movie, and then come back to finish reading.

We spent last Saturday morning taking a 10-12 mile hike along the road into Denali National Park & Preserve. Since Denali is known for wildlife like Grizzly bears and moose, we expected any wildlife encounters we had would involve large animals terrorizing us. Luckily, we escaped that fate, but instead had to deal with an evil, dive-bombing mew gull.

As we crossed the bridge over Savage River, this mew gull decided Knox looked a little too much like a fox and, wanting to protect a nearby nest, proceeded to buzz the tower over and over and over again for the whole length of the bridge. We had to duck a few times to avoid a mew gull to the forehead. Even the NPS employee manning the booth ran for cover.

Luckily, we survived and the mew gull didn’t call all its buddies to fully re-enact the Hitchcock film.

Competition for Knox

Denali National Park & Preserve is the only National Park with a dog kennel – and a working sled kennel at that! These adorable Alaskan huskies are one of the primary methods of patrolling the park during the harsh winter months. During the summer, however, the dogs become a magnet for attracting tourists.

We love animals. We love dogs. Scott especially loves huskies. Thus it was a no-brainer that we would go visit the sled dog kennel on our trip to Denali to pet the dogs and watch a sled dog demonstration.

A bonus? Puppies!!! Three adorable Alaskan husky pups had been born a few months earlier and were housed in a kennel where tourists could get a peek. We wandered by the kennel during lunchtime one day and were lucky enough to see these three adorable pups go out for a daily run. Cuteness overload!

Need Another Reason to Visit Alaska?

After leaving Denali, we headed south to the equally beautiful Kenai Peninsula, where the ocean meets the mountains and spectacular scenery is literally all around you. Our first stopping point was in the fishing village of Ninilchik, where fellow campers and avid fishermen hooked us up with fresh caught halibut and treated us to a meal of fried halibut and corn. Not a bad way to kick off our trip!

We spent our first full day wandering around the village and walking along the beach. The view from the beach was incredible (it might be hard to believe, but that mountain is about 70 miles away), but what really caught our attention were the eagles. That’s right – plural!

We’ve seen pictures of eagles and we had even seen eagles in zoos, but there is something amazing about seeing one in the wild. It is even more amazing to see 5 or 6 soaring in the sky above you and hanging out in the trees along the beach. Awestruck is a good way to describe us.