Monday, October 14, 2013

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

We are having another warm, long fall.  Unfortunately, when it's like this we can't enjoy it too much because it means rain.  Rain. RAIN.  Once the rain is finished and skies clear up, there's no fall foliage left to enjoy and snow is on its heels.  I've been watching the snow inching its way down the mountain behind my house and it's playing a game.  One day I wake up and the mountain is covered and so is my yard.  By the afternoon, no snow visible save but for a small amount on the mountain top.  Then again, it rains and clouds over.  Once the clouds clear, snow on the mountain down to about 1000'. The next day, gone again.  Temperatures are continuing to hover in the high 40's to 50 degrees and the ground is not freezing, so the snow is not sticking and the glaciers continue to melt instead of building up more ice.  I've been cheering myself up from the rain with a lovely little site called which features Katmai bear cams.  Some lovely people chat with me and I even got a lot of info from Ranger and biologist chats on the site.  I've always wanted to visit Katmai, but it's not easy to get to even if I am in Alaska.  A plane from Anchorage would take me to the town of King Salmon (permanent pop. around 350) in Bristol Bay.  From there, an air taxi would take me to my destination choice in Katmai.  Brooks Camp is the most popular.  Brooks falls and the camp offer some fantastic and safe viewing platforms and boardwalks.  Katmai has over 2000 bears.  The park is over 3 million acres, so there are plenty of places to see.  One of the spots I want to hike is the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.  There's a volcano within a volcano there.
I'll finish this with a picture of Rainbow Mountain off the Richardson Highway near Delta Junction.  Nickel, copper and cobalt sulfide produce rainbows of color in the rock and the fall foliage gives it an even better coloring.  A trip north on the Richardson Highway in September is beautiful and one of my favorite for late season camping.

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