Saturday, July 21, 2012

Vacation - Alaska Day 1

Hello!  Whoever said summer was relaxing and full of long, lazy days with spur of the moment exciting adventures - did not live in my house!  We are finally done with Swim Team (hear the sigh of relief mixed with slight sadness because they did have fun) and are cramming our days with other activities before school begins again.

But we have enjoyed planned adventures.  The biggest so far being our long awaited trip to Alaska/Yukon Territory - via RV and Cruise ship.  Whoo Hoo!  We went with another family dear to our heart - it's because of this couple that Bart and I met so we love them for that.  Two separate RV's.  We love them but an RV for just one family is enough cuddly closeness if you know what I mean. 

We flew together into Anchorage where the Polar bears await:

OK - I had a little frustration on this trip.  Due to camera issues.  Now, I went and bought myself a new camera.  A little upgrade from my last and I was very excited to use it.  One thing I forgot with the new "fancy schmancy" camera is that the file size is about twice that of my old and so my impatient self is very impatient with certain programs downloading (Shutterfly wanted 24 hrs to download 300 original files and I said " I don't think so, we'll take the "photobook" acceptable size instead).  So I am learning that only if I truly want enlarged original prints do I need to transfer original files to outside resources.

I digress.  The real source of my frustration and most of you who take pic's will understand:  my favorite, everyday, I-use-all-the-time lens pooped out on me.  In the RV.  The first night.  "Error 99" and "cannot communicate with lens-check and clean lens contacts."  The lens has it's own electronic parts and has already been sent to Canon for a fix.  Now, I had brought my wide angle (10-20mm) and my small telephoto (80-200mm) as well but that regular, nice lens (17-85mm) did not work.  The lens I use for approx. 97% of all pictures I take - I had nothing between 20 - 80mm range - Aaack!  Yeah, don't ask why I bother with other lenses in the first place.  But I was really glad to have them in their limited nature for this trip!  And the new camera made my old telephoto lens seem like new.
So the H's were in front of us most of the trip - made for some fun pictures.  One of the things I was looking forward to was the light.  We arrived in AK on June 24th - just 2 days after the summer solstice and until we traveled further south later in the week, we never saw the light disappear, the sun just rolled around the horizon.  It was fantastic.  Albeit a bit hard for sleeping - Rachel wore eye shades all week and I slept with a pillow over my head.  Kendra is in the bunk of the RV with curtains and Bart - he just seems to sleep if he needs to sleep, light or no.  We flew into Anchorage around 5pm and by time we picked up the RV's, got groceries and headed out for Denali - our evening destination, it was 7pm - ish.  And Denali was a good 4 -5 hr drive away (yes, a long first day!).  Here we are at 11:34pm (check clock on dash!) as we were getting close to the park - the light was incredible.
Here we are! Our first 'real' day after a night of sleep and headed into Denali National Park.
I can't quite describe the width and breadth of the country we saw. It was like so many of the beautiful, natural places I've been but on a bigger scale and definitely less inhabited and wild. Breathtaking and beautiful.
We saw Caribou!!!!:

And a big Moose!!!!:

And here are the caribou and the moose together - dark specs in the river bed! Look at the backdrop - that is Alaska big! You know how Texas brag's about being big - and it is. Alaska is almost 2 1/2 times the size of Texas - Alaska is bigger.
What a beautiful place and I hope you will be more impressed by the slight distortion that comes with a wide angle lens vs distracted by it. :) At least I got a lot of scenery into the pic's. And with the telephoto was able to get "close" to the caribou and moose.
Day 1 is not over but I just didn't have patience for the rest of the pictures! :) Until next post...


Susan said...

I just sat down here to check google reader, before taking Lucky out and getting my day going. BINGO! I hit the jackpot when I saw you there!!

To say that I love these photos would be an understatement. I adore them. SO glad you saw a MOOSE! my fav. I have always said that Alaska is beautiful like Switzerland but BIG and broad and more awesome. And I think you know what I mean :-)

Can't wait for the next bit. (sorry about the camera issues, BTW).


Judy said...

Awesome you could take this trip. We had some good friends that did an RV trip in Alaska about the same time you were there. Looking forward to seeing more pictures.

Katherine said...

Amazing we went to Alaska the same summer! We only did the cruise ship bit, though, with both sets of grandparents. Jason only had one week off his summer internship and came with us. I think Switzerland is as pretty as Alaska, but Alaska is wilder (and a tiny bit bigger, yes).