Injuries in Paradise

July 29, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Photos from Denali.

This summer in Denali has been flying by and I just wanted to drop a line and fill everyone in on what has been going on up here this summer. 

It is really cool/different to come back to a park for a second season. I know so much about the park already so it is like seeing an old friend. 

After the first backpacking trip of the season, a 25 miler in June, I suffered an achilles injury that put me on the DL for a little while. I wasn't able to hike for work or on personal time so I was going a little crazy. It's like starving and being forced to sit in the middle of a 4 star restaurant and watch everyone around you feasting. Everyday people kept coming back and telling me about all the sweet hikes they were doing. It was really torture... Fast forward, my ankle is still hurting slightly, but I am able to do some day hikes. I am on a stretch of hiking 8 out of the last 9 days and climbed 7 mountains in that time. I have had beers on the tops of all those mountains as well. It is an integral part of the hiking process for me. I still can't push it as hard as I would like but at least I can get back out in the resource. The weather this July was really nice. Last summer it was rainy and cloudy for the whole month and this year the mountain has been out for a considerable amount of time. Now that I am hiking again for work and back to giving programs life is as awesome as it can possibly be. I am really looking forward to this fall and the colors.

Cool wildlife sightings so far this year: 5 wolves on a caribou kill being chased off by a grizzly. Lots of bears with springer cubs. Cool skulls and antlers. Golden eagle hunting. I am also taking it upon myself to start birding and I have seen some pretty unique birds. I was kayaking on Wonder lake on a beautiful day and a common loon and some babies came right up to us for a little visit. I have had a couple of short eared owl sightings and have seen merlins, gyrfalcons, scaups, shovelers, horned grebes, and pintails all with chicks.

Wildflower Projects: Last summer I starting learning about the wildflowers in Denali and I thought it would be a cool project to start a running log of all the wildflowers that I can ID in one season. Currently I have positively ID'ed 180 species and there are a potential for 3-5 more depending on what I hear back from the park botanist. Check it out!

Media Projects: My bulletin boards that I designed for the park this past winter have gone up throughout the park and are receiving rave reviews. Here is a link to a few of them.

I will see if I can take some photos of the bulletin boards in the park for the few of you that have been asking to see them. 

As collateral duties this summer my skills as a photographer are starting to become more utilized here in Denali. In addition to adding my photos to park archives for publications, I am working to develop content for 4 virtual tours in the park. I will keep you in the loop more as that project develops. I am also in the works to potentially be a guest lecturer for a photography class being hosted be the Denali Education Center. It is a six day class which people have have payed $1500 for and I was asked to do a special piece on macro photography. It could be a pretty cool opportunity.

This Winter: I can't believe how fast the fall is approaching. On the job front I was not referred to the gs-11 park media job that I applied for here in Denali. I rated a 98/100 and was considered a best qualified candidate for the position but was not referred because I do not have veteran's preference points. So I have decided to come back to the lower 48 and take a break from the AK winter to visit friends and family. I will be in FL for the month of October and haven't figured much past that. So if you have any ideas of some cool stuff to do keep me in the loop. I hope to hear from everyone soon. If I have any big time news I will be sure to shoot everyone an email.

Photos from this year so far. Keep checking back as I upload more.


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