Travels with the Bear: Denali National Park

If you’re ever in the town of Talkeetna, Alaska, for a few hundred bucks a pilot will take you on a scenic flight around Denali.  

It’s well-worth the cost.  You’ll soar over endless icefields,  and circle around towering spires of ice and rock that seem to pierce the very fabric of the sky…



They’ll even land you on a glacier, where you can get out and walk around in your shorts and T-Shirt.

Sure, it’s touristy, but so what?  Unless you’re a serious moutaineer, when else would you ever get to do something like this?  

This had to be one of the most beautiful days of my life. 

 The Bear tends to agree.

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15 Comments on “Travels with the Bear: Denali National Park”

  1. Kelly Says:


    Oh, wow o wow. What a lucky bear to see such sights. Two friends went and did the whole Alaska-plus-glacier thing last year, each came back with some great photos. I thought I was going to say, yeah, looks like all the photos I sat through last year, but my, you got some amazing shots. , That first one you have… unbelievable. Breathtaking. I don’t have good enough words. Sometimes nature is just heart-stopping.

    So I have to ask, did Bear get to see any real bears on the trip?



  2. Friar Says:

    Well, this time I can’t officially take 100% credit for the photos.

    My girlfriend (at the time) and I both had cameras. We both took similar shots, and we pooled our resources and printed duplicates of everything. So when digging these out of my photo album, there’s a 50-50 change some of the photos might be hers. (The bear one is mine, though).

    Dosen’t matter who took what, though. You get the idea…

    As for the Bear seeing REAL Bears. Yes!!! Actually, that DID happen. I have photos of that too.

    But that will have to be another Bear post!

  3. Whoa and wow. ..seriously fabulous stuff. What a ride that must have been, out of time, out of place except for just that moment ! Double wow. And bear seems to be loving it too.

  4. Friar Says:

    That ranks up there as one of my top five best experiences of my life. So the $250 cost was pretty cheap, when you think of the Big Picture.

    (Not to mention the huge number of photos I got out of that flight..which have provided me with years of painting material..! )

  5. Kelly Says:


    I have to admit, while I think you have a way with framing a shot, this time it’s nature blowing my mind, not the shots themselves. The incredible ripples of the snow like sand dunes in that first one are gorgeous. I need a thesaurus just to say it properly.

    Better you than me, though. I HATE heights. I don’t like climbing on a chair to reach a cobweb on the ceiling. Seriously. I get shaky. Planes of any size make me ill, and I wouldn’t have looked out that window if my life depended on it. So today I get to live vicariously through these fabulous photos. 🙂

    Until later,


  6. Friar Says:

    What the photos don’t show is the scale of how big everything was. We flew past some of these rock faces..they looks a few hundred feet high. Like I could almost touch them. The pilot told us they were 5000 vertical feet!

    We flew along a glacier…They were a mile wide, and 40-50 miles long. Unfreaking believable. Imagine something that big in Delaware.

    And during all of that, no signs of roads, mining, houses, or any human habitation.

    Nice to know that places like that still exist…

  7. This is the call of the wild…was it totally quiet too, except for the plane of course?

  8. Friar Says:

    Yeah, it was pretty noisy on plane. But I was too busy looking out the window to notice.

  9. excellent!!!!!!!

  10. Kelly Says:


    “Something that big in DE” LOL! That would take up a quarter of the state.

    I just can’t imagine the scale, or the solitude. Wow. Sounds like a very one-with-the universe experience. If I’d been there I’d be floating away to that memory every time my widget-masters had me tackling some particularly hideous text. Take my brain back there, smile for a minute, then figure out how to make the seventeenth edit worthwhile.

    Widget-masters can’t take that freedom away from a Friar.

    Until later,


  11. Friar Says:


    Oh, man, it’s like you’re psychic or something.

    First thing I did this morning at the Widget Factory was open up an email from a reviewer who requested the UMPTEENTH change to my document. This thing has been dragging on for months…it’s not even coffee break time Monday moring, and already I want to gouge my eyes out.

    I already have enough pictures of ski hills and nature scenes around my computer to cheer me up, but a few more couldn’t hurt. I think I’m going to follow your advice and print these Alaska pictures out and add it to my Wall of Hope.

    Sigh. Now, back to deal with the @#* document.

  12. Friar Says:


    Thanks for the compliment…but Mother Nature that was the real star here (All I had to do was point the camera anywhere..and I was guaranteed a good snap shot!)

  13. Kelly Says:


    Umpteen is some pretty heavy trouble. My crystal ball said seventeen, so you can see I’m not quite as fine a psychic as I’d like. I’m in training.

    It’s a childbirth technique. Get a mental picture ready so you can go there when attempting to do the near-impossible.

    Dealing with widget-masters is probably about as painful, so get your mental pictures ready. Umpteen plus one is right around the corner.




  14. Friar Says:


    Document was all ready to be formatted and sent off…but a reviewer had ONE more thing to add. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

    You can’t fight the Dark Side. You just can’t.

    We’re now counting how many managers can dance on the head of a pin, before this document goes out.

    No wonder the Widget Factory can’t get anything done on time!.

  15. Kelly Says:

    Breathe in good thoughts, breathe out the pain…

    New post: How childbirth classes saved my sanity at the Widget Factory. I think you could get something out of it! Ha!

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