A couple of weeks ago, I spent a week in New Mexico. I flew by way of Dallas. Thanks to the pandemic, it was my first time on a plane in over a year. The flights were terrible—two were delayed, the flight from DFW to ABQ was diverted to El Paso for the night, and the final return leg to Austin was cancelled entirely. I don’t think that everything in the airline industry is ready for our return.
I’ve been to New Mexico many times in the past. In winter, I’m usually visiting the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, but I love summertime, too, for hiking, for opera, for shopping, for food. I still have several places in New Mexico I’ve wanted to visit and photograph. One of them is the Valles Caldera.
(Click on any image to enlarge.)
The rain continued off and on through day 12 in Kantishna, but that didn’t stop us from hiking a bit. In the morning, we went to Blueberry Hill, near Wonder Lake. We tasted wild blueberries and low-bush cranberries along the way
View of Wonder Lake (and behind the clouds, Mount McKinley) from Blueberry Hill
As you can see, it was overcast. We hiked in mist and the occasional rainshower. The cloud ceiling was only a few hundred feet.
In the afternoon, we hiked to the cabin of Fannie Quigley, a woman and local legend who lived in Kantishna from 1906 (before the park) until her death in 1944.
We also hiked a couple hundred extra yards to get to the official end of the road at the air strip. Here’s proof…
Next up, a long day of travel from Kantishna back to Anchorage. More to come.
I’m catching up after being off the grid in the Denali backcountry.
After the great weather in Talkeetna, the rain came again.
Storm approaching Eielson Visitor Center
We took a bus to the Denali Backcountry Lodge, at the end of the park road, 92 miles from the entrance. It was a six-hour bus ride, which included stops when we saw wildlife. Our driver/guide pretty much talked non-stop for that six hours, describing scenery, animal behavior, park history, and anything else relevant for our trip.
Along the way, we saw Dall Sheep, Moose, Caribou, Grizzly Bear, Gyrfalcons, and WIllow Ptarmigan, to name a few.
More to come tomorrow, as I continue catching up.