This was our first trip in Alaska. September was definitely end of season when things were shutting down, but we got to hit most attracions before they shut down, sometimes by a mere day or two, but in return they were less busy. The cruise we took from Whittier on Sept 14th was the last cruise of the season leaving towards north america|
I'll use this page to post some best of pictures that I bought from National Geographics while in Glacier Bay National Park.
While we got 3 days that were clearly impacted by rain, out of 17, it wasn't too bad, and we didn't miss out on any major attractions. This year was the warmest year on record for Alaska. This caused the salmon run to be shifted and allowed us to see some Salmon catching in Katmai
We didn't see bald eagles fishing though:
didn't see wild ones that close either :)
or this cutie
In Denali, we got reasonable weather considering. The bus ride all the way deep into the park is questionable time-wise (12H or more), but close to the entrance of the park, we saw some good life. We just wen't equipped for seeing mountain goats super far away:
we didn't get that lucky, but close to it :)
this would have been awesome too, but likely pretty rare
we did see a stellar jay
Going through the glaciers was quite nice, we didn't get to go inside, which isn't safe most of the time, or see huge bits of ice calving, but we saw some:
but none of those pretty harlequin ducks, even if we saw cool ones in denali
that's farther than we went :)
On the ice, usually you'd see seals, but apparently bald eagles can be found there too:
we actually saw more seals on the ice than sea lions
In Juneau, the whales have learned to hunt together with bubbles and pushing fish up to the surface. Sadly, we didn't get to see that the day we went:
rafts of sea otters are so cute :)
would have been really cool to see this
At least for Orcas, we saw them reasonably well on one trip, even if not as well as this:
I'll end with some random nice pictures I found:
All in all, our trip was reasonably successful, and despite how bad it is that weather is getting warmer and is nice longer into september with very little rain compared to what is expected and needed by the echosystems, it worked out for us (we did have several days of rain, though, but thankfully not on the most crutial days).
I'm very glad that we got to see an Aurora so early in the season, even if it was faint, and probably the only thing we missed out on wsa not having high power binoculars and high zoom cameras (mine was only 20X when 100X or more would have been useful on multiple occasions).