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A trip through Denali on bicycle last weekend.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I was working up in Fairbanks all month so I decided to visit the big guy, Denali. I had a 30 mile peddle in and out of a clear mountain the whole time. Here is a few photos.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Lots of rivers to cross and bears were on each crossing digging roots. This is one I hiked into to crash over night.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

The bushes and willows were still hanging on to last falls color. No leaf eruption quite yet up there. Lots of snow left on the mountains.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Though some of the moss roses were out in splendor. Just starting to see sedums, lichen, and mosses everywhere. I actually got to be there on opening day of the park. Lots of Dahl sheep, Grizzlies, Wolves (few), Hares, Foxes, Cariboo, and of course Moose.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

This is a sow with her cub off the picture. Digging roots and not the least concerned about me and my bike.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

This guy just walked up to me when I was hiking on the tundra. Not the least bit concerned.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

More grizz along the river. This group was with 4 others not seen here on the picture.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

This is the best investment I have made in a long time. Garage sale when I arrived in Fairbanks for 10bucks and the helmet was 4dollars. I got to peddle all around Fairbanks and Denali. Quite nice. The animals along the road see lots of busses and bikes so they don't seem to care.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Blitzen during his time off from the christmas rush. Lots of cariboo in the park now. Misquitos were just starting and mostly off the road in the tundra. Some kind of big pesky fly that wanted to live in my lungs. It kept flying up my nose.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

This was blurry because I had to zoom in on the wolf that was making tracks to get away from me. This is only the 3rd wolf I have seen in millions of hours in the wild.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I was fortunate enough to go up above the artic circle 2 weekends ago and this is what the flora is like there. Very beautiful sedums, mosses, high bush cranberry, and labrador tea just starting to grow off the permafrost.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

The only crossing of the Yukon R with breakup still in progress. This is a beautiful river! I have to paddle this one.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

The artic circle is the lowest point on the globe where the sun does not set on June 21st. I had a hard time in Fairbanks because of the eternal sunshine even in May. It never got dim let alone dark. People up all night everywhere.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

One last one of Denali as I was leaving the last view of it. Two summiters died the day of and the day before I arrived. A total of 4, kind of a bad start to the climbing season.

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Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

There is so much growing on the tundra it is just beautiful. You don't want to step anywhere cause of all the beautiful plants. Permafrost is just about 1 " deep to the moss right now.

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KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Wow!! Gorgeous pictures!!! Glad you had fun peddling around up there. One of these days I may get lucky and get to visit Alaska.

Chandler, AZ(Zone 9b)

how neat! sounds like a wonderful trip! can't believe all the animals that you saw and how close some of them were to you. the wolf is something i would like to see. i once heard them howling while visiting the sawtooth wilderness in idaho, but never saw them. thanks for sharing all you neat pics. sounds like you had a great time.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I have heard many also but it is rare that you see them. I think because the park just opened they were still by the road system. The coyotes were out last night here in Montana so I went out and howled with them. They were quite excited to hear a strangers voice. They kept talking back while I howled. Oh so did the neighbor dogs. : () Hoooooooowwwwllll.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

LOL. I would have been either laughing my head off or howling along with you. I can't decide.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

Wow - great shots Steve. You are so lucky. I hope to get there one day. Thanks for sharing.

Weedville, PA(Zone 6a)

Breathtaking pics, thanks for sharing. When's the book coming out?

Menasha, WI(Zone 5a)

Looks fun Steve - cold? Like the fox pic.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

It is never cold in Alaska. Cold is Seattle enroute wet and 40F vs -37 in Anchorage this spring. Fairbanks in May is perfect. 70's and lows in 40's. Way too much sun though! I love the darkness since I have come home.

Chandler, AZ(Zone 9b)

yes, that would drive me nuts too, having the sun up almost all day. but think how much stuff you could get done in one day. on the other hand, the darkness in winter would probably drive me more nuts and i would just feel like hibernating, not getting anything done. i am sure it is something one up there would have to get use to.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I don't think they get used to it in the winter but rather sit and get cabin fever. When spring arrives they do go all night. I need to sleep and rest after the long days. This is sunset at 1am.

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Farmersburg, IN

Alaska is a beautiful place, I wish i lived there!

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Except you need to go to http://www.arcticcam.com:16080/cam/ to see it now. Dark and cold. But the aurora is quite spectacular.

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Farmersburg, IN

I wouldn't mind dealing with the darkness for a few months, the summers are worth every dark day.I would love to see aurora's in alaska. Ive only seen them twice but they were not anything like the ones in the arctic.

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

What a marvelous adventure, exploring alone with just those critters! What an experience, thanks for taking me along in the photos!

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I want to go to Fairbanks next winter to see the Aurora. It must be fantastic. I will be too far south this winter working in Juneau and Sitka. The extremely short days cause me to get "SADS" and I would need to get out after a few weeks of total darkness.
Thank you for your compliment. Yes it was a wonderful time visiting Denali.

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