Well, well, well .. times have indeed changed. I’m currently sitting in the plush surroundings of the Princess Cruise Line Copper Center Lodge. I’m sitting in the ‘Wrangell Room” appropriately enough, gazing out one of the 15 twelve foot-high windows, across the Copper River Basin, where I can see Mt Drum, Mt Sanford and Mt Wrangell. If for some reason I took it upon myself to stand up, out of my comfy swivel chair, I could also see Mt Blackburn to the south. An impressive view. Times have indeed changed – not too long ago I was sacked out in my small 2 person backpacking tent, laying on a sleeping pad about 1/2 an inch thick. So what, I’m sure you’re asking, brought about this marked change in lifestyle? No, I didn’t win the lottery. No, I didn’t just make some grand photo sale. No, my parents didn’t send me money. It’s all about the internet. The only place around here with internet service just happens to be this unbelievably large and somewhat gaudy lodge, perched on a ridge above the Richardson Highway. So here I am. I gotta have my wi-fi. 🙂
Earlier this morning, I was up at 3:15am, after having gone to bed around 1am. Sunrise comes early here, this time of year. I got up took a few photos, did a little hike, and then went back to bed. I got up later, had a nice breakfast, and then drove from Slana to Copper Center. I had to get some gas, food, make some calls, write emails, and then will head back up to the Nabesna Road to hopefully get a few more photos this evening. If the weather stays as it is right now, I might get some decent sunset/sunrise photos.
Last night I saw my first Great Horned Owl, but it was too dark to get any photos. I also saw a little muskrat swimming in a beaver pond that I hope to get some images of. Also, I saw a bull moose, then a cow and young calf. The moose were all in what is called “Game Unit Management Area 11”. I’m unsure if the moose know that’s what the area is called, but they seemed to have got the message that the area is open to hunting, because they didn’t hang around for photos at all. A quick, “hey man, what’s up”, and they scurried off into the woods. A bummer, cause the calf was SO cute.
Oh, this image .. This is Mt. Sanford, a 16 230′ high mountain on the north side of Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Just south and west of it is Mt Wrangell, a 14 160′ high volcanic mountain. The lake is Rock Lake, and it’s right alongside the Nabesna Road, making this one of the most accessible locations in the park for a nice photo. Within a few minutes of making this photo, the slightest little breeze came up, and the glassy surface of the lake was gone, and with it, the reflection.
I had a really hard time with this image on the computer. The alpen glow was beautiful this morning, but I can’t bring the color out just right on the computer. Maybe when I get settled and can work on the image with a calibrated monitor, and NOT a laptop, I’ll have a little better luck with it. The photo was taken this morning.