After a rather long stop in Fairbanks, staying at Chena Lakes Rec. Area except for 2 nights at Walmart I went down the Parks Hwy. to the Anderson Riverside campground. We were literally on the riverside and it was a nice change from Fairbanks. This is the Zenana River. I stayed there 3 nights, several friends with Casitas joined me and left before I did.
Next stop is just south of Cantwell. As I was heading south to one of the state parks that claim views of Denali I passed a huge gravel turnout next to a river. That looked very good to me so I turned around and headed back to it. What a great spot! I can look out the rear window of the trailer to a
beaver dam and mountains. Mountains on all sides, really, but I also have very fast cell signal so I can stay in touch with folks, etc. Good area for walking the dogs and playing fetch with Concho.
I’ve been spending time watching the beavers when they come around to work on the dam. Yesterday morning there were two of them. This morning only one. They travel upstream when they leave so they may have a lodge or another dam up there.
This morning was a really good one. Not long after the beaver left I saw something coming upstream from below the dam, by the the time I got back to the camera (on tripod) I realized it was an otter. It saw me and went under and continued upstream. Oh well, this is an ideal area for otters, too, so I’ll pay more attention.
Went back to the trailer for a bit and noticed something pass by the side window then Concho started looking out the rear window and growling. Had to check it out and it was a fox! I grabbed the camera and got a few shots off through the window. It moved up in front of the truck so I stepped out and stayed by the trailer to get some more images. The fox seemed a bit curious about me and didn’t immediately run off so I was able to get several images. What a thrill. It was so dark I looked it up online. Turns out the Red Fox in AK can have several coat colors including a very dark one called Cross Fox. Its head is extremely dark and this one has a beautiful coat, a bit wet after crossing some water, though.
Turns out I also have a good view of Denali right here.
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Arriving late afternoon from Glacier NP I got the last campsite at Yellowstone NP Mammoth Hot Springs cg. This makes a good base for exploring the northern end of the park and Lamar Valley. Right now there are fires in
Smoke from the many fires makes for an interesting backdrop.
the park (the south entrance is closed due to fire) and the smoke is everywhere. I don’t mind the smell, it doesn’t affect me adversely but it can be annoying for some photographs, in others it makes for unique background.
I’ve been to Lamar Valley several times, there is a bison carcass across the river that many are watching. Those who are there at sunrise report seeing a grizzly and some wolves (taking their turns). I was lucky to see a black wolf the other evening and lighter one yesterday morning for a few minutes. Even with the lens I have the critters are too small to get decent photos of.
On the plus side the Pronghorn Antelope are not terribly shy and pose nicely.
The other evening I came upon a Red Fox out hunting and got a couple images of it. Note the body size and shape, they can fit into some amazingly small places. It did jump down, capture and eat something right after I got this image.
Tetons visit ended on a very good note. I didn’t see any moose, but saw a fox with 2 prairie dogs, and 2 otters swimming in the Gros Ventre River. They were too far away to photograph, though. Later in the evening I took a drive in hopes of capturing a good sunset and was really rewarded.
Tuesday afternoon I found the local (to the campground) bull moose and got a good variety of photographs of him. That night was very clear (though very cold) so I went out to take some night shots. The Tetons by starlight are impressive and when I looked to the east there was the Milky Way. I sure don’t see that at home in FL so I was thrilled to capture it.
Drove up to Yellowstone today, to Madison campground. Saw quite a bit of snow in the woods and on the side of the road, a reminder of a harsh winter. Can’t get any signal at all at the campground so will have to drive 14-16 miles to get online. I was assigned a site in the first loop, where all the workers are so it should be pretty quiet. Site is a paved pull through that is really nice and level. It will take the dogs a bit of time to realize that there is no point in bursting out the door to catch a prairie dog (our last campsite had a resident PD who wasn’t at all upset that we had moved in temporarily).
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