Archive for ‘Philip/Ardis Trip Logs’ category

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 20

October 15th, 2013

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 by Ardis Hyde

(Pioneer landscape photographer Philip Hyde, his wife Ardis and son David in their Avion Camper on a 1968 GMC Utility Body Pickup. Continued from the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 19.”)

Part 20: Layover Denali National Park (Formerly McKinley National Park) Back to Riley Creek Campground, Denali National Park, Alaska, from Toklat Road Camp and Finally on to Savage River Campground. Monday, July 19, 1971:

Kittiwake Bird Rookery Near Whittier, Alaska, copyright 1971 Philip Hyde.

Kittiwake Bird Rookery Near Whittier, Alaska, copyright 1971 Philip Hyde. Flatbed scan of vintage silver gelatin print. See PhilipHyde.com for full sun photos of Mt. Denali and others of Alaska.

Philip woke up first again. We were back in the sunshine of Riley Creek Campground, where we also camped a few nights ago. Night before last we tried Toklat Road Camp, but crowds there drove us back here. Philip at the wheel, took us out of Riley Creek Campground, while we ate breakfast en route toward Denali National Park Headquarters. We made our first picture stop at Toklat Bridge for the view upstream at the Toklat River with the 4X5 View Camera. The wind was stiff and the sky again beautiful with scattered clouds; an utterly different type from yesterday. A short distance on we stopped for our first view of the day of Mt. Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley). This view was not visible yesterday afternoon. By 6:40 am the sky had become cloudless.

On the climb up the road toward Polychrome Pass a red fox trotted across the road. Philip stopped and pulled out his 35 mm camera. David and I remained in the camper cab. Next thing we knew, the fox was trotting toward us with a half consumed ground squirrel in his mouth. Philip pursued the fox. The fox, while indifferent to us, occasionally stopped and looked back at Philip. He said he thought he had made several good photographs of the fox. As we climbed Polychrome Mountain, we stopped again for a picture across the green valley with tawny lower slopes and snow and rock contrasting higher ridges. We made another stop at Mile 47 for a cold breakfast and another photograph of Mt. Denali in the full sun without a cloud. (See PhilipHyde.com for more photographs of Alaska.)

We proceeded to the next photo stop for the braided pattern of a partially dry stream to the North and another to the East of the braided water streams reflecting in the light. By Mile 46, Mt. Denali was beginning to haul in a few clouds. Just beyond Mile 46 and at the top of Polychrome Pass, Philip stopped again for photographs with the view camera and the 2 ¼ Hasselblad. The next stop at around 9:30 am was for a Hasselblad photograph of Caribou on the skyline of green bald hills climbing to Sable Pass, followed by a 35 mm photograph of a bill Caribou on a snow patch at the top of Sable Pass.

Flat tires had become somewhat routine and we had another one at Sanctuary River. We then drove on to the service station at Park Headquarters. After the tire repair, we went over to the train depot to pick up our mail. We met Celia Hunter of Camp Denali, who was there to pick up her group of guests. After lunch and business taken care of, we drove back to Denali Lakes to visit Ginny Wood and Celia Hunter. As we arrived at Denali Lakes, we heard the hiss of air escaping from the tire we just had fixed. We turned around and retraced our progress back to the service station to have it fixed again. We pulled over to the Train Station area for dinner in the Camper. Off again we went, this time to Savage River Campground. On arrival at Savage River, we heard the familiar hiss of air escaping again. On returning to the service station a third time, we found it closed. Thus ended what was fortunately an unusually clear and warm day in Denali National Park. “Big Muh,” as David called Mt. Denali, was in view the entire day.

(Continued in the next blog post in the series, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 21.”)

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 19

December 27th, 2012

 Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 by Ardis Hyde

(Pioneer landscape photographer Philip Hyde, his wife Ardis and son David in their Avion Camper on a 1968 GMC Utility Body Pickup. Continued from the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 18.”)

Part Nineteen: Riley Creek Campground, Denali National Park, Alaska (Formerly McKinley National Park) to Toklat Road Camp, Denali National Park, Alaska

Polychrome Pass, Alaska Range, Alaska, copyright 1971 Philip Hyde.

Polychrome Pass, Alaska Range, Alaska, copyright 1971 Philip Hyde.

Sunday, July 18, 1971:  At 4:00 a.m. Philip woke up and slipped outside for 2 ¼ Hasselblad photographs of the sunrise and sky full of pink, puffy clouds. He came back in to bed until 6:00 am when I got up for a shower. The sun was streaming in through the now more stretched out wind blown clouds. It promised to be a clear day. We got away from the campground by 7:30 a.m. Our first stop was on the pass between Denali Park Station and Savage River. It was glorious to watch Mount Denali come out from behind the brown slopes of Double Mountain in absolute clear and total white form. Rolling shrubbery covered the foreground interspersed with some spruce. As Philip took pictures toward the west of Mount Denali, clouds came across the mountain’s face. He had going both his 4X5 Baby Deardorff View Camera and the medium format Hasselblad with the 250 mm lens on it. More views and photographs to the east for the lovely clouds. As we left this spot, South Peak was cloud swathed. At the next stop, just past the Savage River Bridge, Philip pointed the view camera east again where zeppelin clouds sailed over the peaks.

About Mile 18, we stopped for 35 mm photographs of cloud wrapped Mount Denali. He also made large format photographs of bar type zeppelin clouds to the east at the next stop near the Sanctuary River. We drove past the Teklanika River Campground to a small pond on the left with bent grass. The air was very cool with a stiff breeze blowing. We had lunch on the far side of Teklanika Bridge. After lunch we passed through the narrowing Igloo Canyon bounded by grassy slopes. The road narrowed and roughened as it climbed to Sable Pass. Before getting that far, we stopped behind a procession of cars looking at and photographing a young bull caribou. After we passed the caribou crowd, we drove on to the top of the pass and stopped for pictures of Tundra and flowers called Mertensia. Philip made a 35 mm photograph of a ground squirrel too. Just beyond David said, “There’s old Mount McKinley.” Sure enough, (now called) Mount Denali rises here above the colorful volcanic hills. Our next break from the road at 2:00 p.m. came at a road cut flower garden down from Sable Pass a little further. The road cut flower garden contained Arnica, Bush Cingul Foil, Spotted Saxifrage, Anenome, all captured with Philip’s 35 mm camera. Just before the East Fork Bridge we turned onto a service road for photographs of a braided stream flowing out of the colorful volcanic ridge gully. Once we crossed East Fork Bridge and climbed up the dug way that looks out over the alluvial fans of the Polychrome Hills, we stopped against the cliff. Philip walked on around the bend for view camera photographs. He also spotted the young caribou again, without the observing crowd and photographed him with the 35 mm.

At the top of Polychrome Pass we parked again while Philip took photographs of the view with the Hasselblad. The clouds had become almost solid and it looked like rain. We approached the Toklat River and halted by the bridge. With the binoculars I detected an animal on the distant side of the riverbed and a row of people at the road edge with cameras and binoculars. We moved on across the bridge where we could see it was a grizzly bear flaked out for a nap in the gravel. Shortly we saw there were also three caribou lying down, but with heads up watching the bear in the gravel beyond the grizzly. All three caribou were males, ranging from a young one with immature antlers to a bull with a very large full rack. For the next half hour we watched Philip photographing the bear with both small and medium format cameras. David was right along side his father with his “play” defunct camera. David looked over at me and said, “Mom, isn’t this fun?” The grizzly finally stood up, pawed around in the stream, then ambled into the brush in our direction. Philip made a few closer pictures, then into the camper to head on up onto the Toklat Campground slope. The campground turned out to be very small and congested. We had dinner and watched David’s “Eskimo Demonstration” igloo complete with a broom. David wore his nappy jacket and called himself a bear, then he became an Eskimo hunting in his skin boat and so on. Philip packaged up roll film while two Golden Eagles soared over the ridge top above the campground. During the night about 2:00 a.m. while it was still twilight, we heard a horn blowing and dogs barking. It turns out that the grizzly had come to visit the campground. A man from Quebec in a small car near us asked Philip as he stuck his head out the camper door, “Did you see the bear?” Philip shook his head “no” in surprise. “He was shaking my car,” the Canadian said. Just then, the Park Ranger came to the rescue and drove off the bear with a gun firing blanks.

Continued in the next blog post in the series, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 20.”

 What kind of bear encounter(s) have you had?

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 18

May 22nd, 2012

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 by Ardis Hyde

(Pioneer landscape photographer Philip Hyde, his wife Ardis and son David in their Avion Camper on a 1968 GMC Utility Body Pickup. Continued from the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 17.”)

Part Eighteen: Mile 65.5 Denali Highway, Alaska to Riley Creek Campground, Denali National Park, Alaska (Previously McKinley National Park)

Lake Near Susitna River, Denali National Park, Alaska, copyright 1971 Philip Hyde.

Saturday, July 17, 1971: We were happy to wake up to blue sky between the clouds. We ate breakfast and got away by 8:45 am. Our first stop along the Denali Highway was Susitna River Lodge in a classic outdoors setting for it’s type of tourist destination. Susitna River Lodge offered hunting, sightseeing, fishing; float planes, land planes, helicopters, boats. Philip made photographs. We were impressed by the Susitna River, one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. The Susitna River ran brim full and filled its grassy banks. We were filled as well, looking up river at a wall of snowy peaks. Spruce grew above horizontal tundra green and the sky sunny. Some lands of the middle ground were in dark cloud shadow. Philip made photographs at the bridge and then further on with the lake or backwater of the river in the foreground and pleated, close mountain in the background at mile 88.5. Philip also took a picture of the tundra, Monahan Flat and West Fork Glacier at the high point on the shoulder of the road above the river where we stopped for lunch. Philip walked back the way we came with his Hasselblad 2 ¼ medium format camera for pictures of flowers and the view upstream toward the source of the Nenana River. David found the shoulder blade bone of some animal, an oil can and other assorted junk. Driving on, the road dropped down to an overlook of the Nenana River where Philip made more photographs. At Mile 124, Philip made a 2 ¼ photo of cotton grass and a black stream on the left. At Mile 126, Philip stopped to make a 2 ¼ photo of the mountains across a small lake at the road edge. The mountain across the small lake was streaked with buff orange talus slopes. We turned off the highway toward Cantwell, Alaska and pulled over to buy a loaf of Wheatberry bread for $0.80, inquire about Denali Lakes and obtain directions. We headed out the section of new Route 3, Anchorage to Fairbanks road. Philip stopped several times for views from this road. It traverses the same broad open valley that the Alaska Railroad does. After we turned around at the FAA Housing site we saw the northbound Alaska Railroad train go by. Back on the Denali Highway, we again stopped along the Nenana River for pictures. I made honey cake while waiting. Then we looked for a dinner spot as we passed Carlo Creek. Not far beyond was a gravel track taking off from the main road and paralleling it. We pulled in and ate there. David and Philip went out after dinner and picked out numerous tracks they reported including moose, fox, a dog-type track, moose droppings, and a dead porcupine. David to bed. We drove in the Danali Lakes road a short distance beyond. We stopped and inquired of Mrs. Nancarrow for artist Bill Berry. “He is in the park sketching,” was all she said. We looked up photographer Charlie Ott when we got inside Denali National Park. He wasn’t home. We went to the Hotel and bought the new Washburn Guidebook, Nancarrow silkscreen notepaper, and a new copy of the Heller flower book to replace the one I ruined with water.

Continued in the next blog post in the series, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 19.”

Do you remember the most beautiful river or other outdoor setting you have ever seen? Did you make photographs of it?

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 17

January 19th, 2012

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 by Ardis Hyde

(Pioneer landscape photographer Philip Hyde, his wife Ardis and son David in their Avion Camper on a 1968 GMC Utility Body Pickup. Continued from the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 16.”)

Part Seventeen: Fairbanks, Alaska to Mile 65.5 Denali Highway, Alaska

Cotton Grass, McKinley River Trail, Alaska Range, Denali National Park, Alaska copyright 1972 by Philip Hyde.

Thursday, July 15, 1971: Fairbanks, Alaska to Donnelly Creek State Campground, Richardson Highway, Alaska

The day started sunny and progressed to clouds and rain. At 7:00 am the sun was brightest when Malcolm Lockwood left for work as site photographer at NASA’s Gilmore Creek Tracking Site. By 9:00 am when we left Malcolm Lockwood’s home, storm clouds were already gathering. After grocery shopping and gas pumping we drove out of Fairbanks a ways. We passed Alaskaland, then decided to turn around to take David through. Alaskaland combines an amusement park with museums, kids activities, restaurants, shops, educational shows and more. After eating lunch we ventured inside. David liked the paddlewheel river boat and the army helicopter most. At last he had a ferris wheel ride that he and Philip took together. When we got back onto the Richardson Highway and passed through Delta Junction. On leaving Delta Junction, the road became much more interesting than the flat country of the Alaska Highway. The terrain along the Richardson Highway, though also open, presented many wooded rolling hills with small lakes between. We had dinner at a turnout, then dropped down to the broad tree strewn Delta River bed at the base of the Alaska Range peaks. The fireweed and pea vine bloomed in mats out into the river flat. Philip took some photographs along here in the late light. We stopped to look at Black Rapids Glacier. We drove several miles beyond, then returned to Donnelly Creek State Campground. This way we could do that stretch again the next day. The air turned cold and the clouds were solid. We were out of the mosquitos. The temperatures dropped into the 50’s. We heard on the radio that it was 36 degrees in Anchorage.

Friday, July 16, 1971: Donnelly Creek Campground, Richardson Highway to Mile 65.5 Denali Highway, Alaska

We rose at 6:45 am. It had been raining hard in the earlier morning. When Philip looked out the back door of the camper he exclaimed, “Wow,” seeing the Alaska Range peaks visible through a lifting veil of clouds with fresh snow on the lower slopes. We left hurriedly to get down the road for pictures. First Philip made some 2 ¼ Hasselblad photographs before we pulled away, then a short way down the road he brought out the Baby Deardorff 4X5 camera. He drove on and stopped again near the Donnelly Inn Hunting Lodge log and sod cabins. He made more photographs at Darling Creek. At Black Rapids, he made photographs of Black Rapids Glacier upstream of the river flat. He also pulled over at Rainbow Mountain for more pictures. We drove off the main road into Fielding Lake. Fielding Lake was larger than other lakes along the way and surrounded by low brushy slopes and very wet meadows. Philip photographed the abundant wildflowers including Monkshood, Valerian, Mertensia, and Groundsel. On our way back out of Fielding Lake, the rain began again and soon increased to hail. We ate our lunch before reaching the main Denali Highway. Once back on the highway, we soon could see the Gulkana Glacier at a turnout. We also stopped shortly after at the Summit Lake Lodge for gas and propane. We watched a floatplane take off from Summit Lake. We did not stop again until Paxson, Alaska for more gas. We picked up two ladies who needed a ride about 20 miles with a repaired tire for their camper. The Denali Highway started and continued with attractive views of a beautiful alpine setting. The highway stayed high along the ridges, where we were above everything and could see in all directions. We saw rolling mid green tundra accented with darker spruce trees. Lakes and ponds lay in all the swales. The distant snow covered high mountain peaks with snow clouds and mist in veils crowned the scene. Philip made frequent picture stops. Showers continued. We stopped at Tangle Creek Campground to let our ladies put on their tire. We continued to McClaren Summit where it rained hard, but we could still see what a flower garden it was at the roadside. Beyond a short distance, after we looked down at the McClaren River Valley, we stopped for dinner and hoped for the rain to abate to enable photographs. The many ponds below were catching the light. The rain abates and the mosquitos become fierce. After we eat dinner, Philip and David go out on the Tundra for more pictures, both 4X5 and 35 mm. With David in bed we drove on along a moraine top, and stop abruptly for images of a cow moose browsing in the brush close to the road. We made it to Denali Highway Mile 43 by 7:30 pm. Our next stop was at a small pond on the roadside with grass growing in it. A Wilson’s Snipe sat on a post and “cheeped” continually. Driving along the road a few minutes later, Philip suddenly stopped and pointed out the high snowy peaks of the Alaska Range visible almost due west. He was sure we were looking at the slopes below Mount Denali. The light was just right to make Philip a show and having him hopeful that the clouds would part. More pictures at Mile 62 around 8:30 pm. We go on a short distance to Mile 65.5 where we pull off on a track dropping below the main road on the left side and still in view of the distant Alaska Range, which was less clear of clouds every minute. The mosquitos were terrible all night even though the low went down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Continued in the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 18.”

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 16

October 18th, 2011

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 by Ardis Hyde

(Ardis, David and Philip Hyde in Their Camper. Continued from the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 15.”)

Part Sixteen: The Alaska Highway, Mile 1337 to Fairbanks, Alaska

Fall Tundra Near Brushkana Creek, Denali Highway, Alaska Range In The Distance, Alaska, copyright 1976 Philip Hyde.

(See the photograph larger, “Fall Tundra Near Brushkana Creek, Denali Highway, Alaska Highway In Distance, Alaska.”)

Monday, July 12, 1971:  We awoke at 6:00 a.m. to rain showers, but the visibility improved and the sun even came out between showers. We spent the morning right at our camp while Philip photographed the swallows. We also did office chores, each took showers and I baked bread. We ate lunch also before leaving. The Alaska Range was clear of the clouds with sunshine on all the peaks. After leaving at 12:10 p.m., we made some picture stops for flowers with the 35 mm camera. We stopped at Mile 1377 for yellow poppies and wild aster. At Mile 1379 we stopped for Larkspur where a scenic turnout, several campers and two tour buses brought out a swarm of people. We also stopped at Johnson Road Bridge for Philip to make photographs upstream. Mile 1381 presented a roadside cut bank for a flower garden with poppies in white, yellow, coral, orange, pale and deep pinks. A stunning sight that Philip photographed in 35 mm and 4X5 view camera. Some wind, but not enough to spoil the picture show. I gathered seeds as plants had everything from flower buds to ripe and dry fruit pads on them. It grew cloudier now, almost solid overcast. At the Big Gerstle River Bridge, Mile 1392.8, we descended by gravel road out onto the gravel river bed for the view and a 4X5 photograph back at the Alaska Range, rising in height now and showing some glacier laden peaks. David played with the spread of stream pebbles. Philip was pleased with the photographs he made of the Alaska Range here. We stopped at Delta Junction for gas. We found an overlook of the Tanana River flats, but the mountains were cloud-veiled so we at dinner and waited. Philip exposed a 4X5 color transparency, but had to retreat before he could get a black and white negative because of rain. It was very humid. We have started seeing Arctic Larch trees. The Arctic Larch are about the same size as the Spruce here, but with lighter, feathery foliage. After dinner we continued North with David in bed. Soon we were coming into birch stands. It was wonderful to see a native forest of birch trees. We arrived at Harding Lake Campground and decided to spend the night as it was now raining harder. The fee was $2.00 for Harding Lake because it was a new state campground. We used the dumping facilities. Philip had to change the right front tire for the second time. It was one we had repaired in Juneau. The surroundings consisted of a mixed birch and spruce forest with a moss carpet. Douglas squirrels and snowshoe rabbits were common. It was a warm, though wet night, only getting down to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tuesday, July 13, 1971:  We woke up at 6:00 a.m. to rain and left Harding Lake Campground about 8:30 am. We drove through the big campground and along Harding Lake, then out to the Alaska Highway. Intermittent houses and businesses appeared along the highway all the way into Fairbanks. The dirt Alaska Highway would soon be replaced by a freeway that was under construction from Eielson Air Force Base into Fairbanks. We stopped along the runway to watch a B-52 Jet Bomber taxi out to the runway. We waited but they didn’t take off. We headed on into Fairbanks by 10:00 a.m. Our first destination was a service station to get the tire fixed. I shopped next door at Traveland. Then we drove on to the parking area next to the China River Restaurant where we ate lunch. We crossed the Eagle River over a bridge to the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce located in a sod roofed log house. Then we headed out to the College and the University of Alaska Museum, the Student Union, bookstore and so on. Drove over to Malcolm Lockwood’s home where we met Jean and her daughter Elisha. In the evening I went with Malcolm’s mother to look at Eskimo made objects. I bought a group for Christmas presents. Philip looked at prints of the University of Alaska’s Museum staff photographer Barry McWayne.

Wednesday, July 14, 1971:  We spent the overcast and partly rainy day mainly visiting with Malcolm Lockwood’s family. David and Elisha played very well together. Philip and Malcolm Lockwood were in conversations about photography or out on a short field trip in the afternoon to a birch grove with Barry McWayne. I wrote letters, baked cookies and baked bread. About dinnertime the sun began to come out, but most of the day had been grey with rain off and on.

Continued in the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 17.”

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 15

September 8th, 2011

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 by Ardis Hyde

(Ardis, David and Philip Hyde in Their Camper. Continued from the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 14.”)

Part Fifteen: The Alaska Highway, Mile 1129 to Mile 1337, Alaska

Sunday, July 11, 1971: We awoke to an overcast sky and poor conditions for photographs. Philip wanted to make a Hasselblad picture of St. Elias Range, but decided on a close-up of the fireweed with the 4X5 Baby Deardorff instead. (Not the widely published and printed image, “Tundra, Fall Color, Willow, Dogwood, Fireweed, Denali National Park, Alaska.”) Then our route continued on uneventfully due to the poor and glary overcast lighting. The heat increased until we made a gas stop at Beaver Creek, Alaska Highway Mile 1202. At mile 1211 we stopped for pictures of a burned spruce forest carpeted with fireweed. The magenta tones of the fireweed, we could see from a distance. Up close the fireweed was quite beautiful accented with the black upright spruce snags. We stopped at the Alaska—Canada border to read signs. We stopped again not far away at the Border Station to mail some cards and letters. We made our lunch stop off the highway in a large cleared area, originally for an old mill. By then it was very warm and humid. Philip napped and I wrote more letters. We drove on without stopping as the sky continued grey and the photography possibilities were not good. We passed through a continuous dwarf spruce forest mixed with birch. We passed the Central Plateau of Alaska sign around Mile 1270. We stopped for pictures of roadside flowers, bladderwort in water and camus lily. I napped while Philip and David told me that they had jumped out at the scenic viewpoint at Mile 1272, but found the light too poor for photographs.

We had gained a total of two hours by crossing time zones. We crossed the Tanana River bridge and began looking for a dinner spot. We stopped short of the Tok River on a side road. We drove in and found a cemetery at the end of the road adjacent to a spruce and aspen forest teeming with mosquitos. Rain set in with a general sultriness. After dinner David opted for a ballet performance instead of a story. Earlier in the afternoon he and Philip had a long talk about the float plane they are going to build back at home. David was doing most of the talking. I napped in David’s “Studio” (above the cab). After dinner with David down for the night, we stopped at Tok Junction for water and high priced gas at 61.9 cents a gallon. We were glad to leave that tourist trap. Pressed on to the town of Tanacross, Alaska. We turned there at Mile 1324.5 and drove out on a rough gravel road to Tanana Ridge. The most interesting feature of the Indian settlement was one old log house with a sagging sod roof beside a pond with the Alaska Range in the background. Philip made photographs of the scene. We also noted some long narrow canoe like river craft that the Indians powered by outboard motor. We drove back out toward the road and looking more closely at the airport noticed that the numbers on the runway were 1324, matching the Alaska Highway mile markers. After one more stop for a photograph of Sanguisorba or Great Burnet Bloodwort, we turned into Moon Lake Campground, but left promptly as it was already too crowded. A short piece down the road we turned into a huge open area perhaps cleared in the past for road construction. We found a perfect camping spot behind a mound of gravel inhabited by nesting cliff swallows. It was all a clean openness around us. The woods was at a distance affording us a broad view of the nearby Alaska Range. The clouds were sometimes low on the mountains, sometimes rising above the peaks. The mosquitos were not a problem here. So with a total of 204 miles traveled for the day, we turned in at 9:30 pm while it was still 61 degrees Fahrenheit.

Continued in the next blog post in the series, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 16.”

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 14

July 28th, 2011

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 by Ardis Hyde

(Ardis, David and Philip Hyde in Their Camper. Continued from the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 13.”)

Part Fourteen: Haines Highway, Yukon, Canada to The Alaska Highway, Mile 1129, Alaska

Tundra, Fall Color, Willow, Dogwood, Fireweed, Denali National Park, Alaska, copyright 1971 by Philip Hyde.

(See the photograph large, “Tundra, Fall Color, Willow, Dogwood, Fireweed, Denali National Park, Alaska.”

Saturday, July 10, 1971: Up early to bake hot biscuits for breakfast. Philip also out photographing early. He saw moose tracks on the roadside and went in pursuit. The wet flats of the Chilkat River were the right habitat. This area was also a wildlife refuge, but we failed to see any moose. We did see numerous snowshoe hares with white hind feet before hitting the road at around 9:00 am. Soon we pulled off for pictures of a mother duck and eight ducklings. By the time Philip got out with his Hasselblad 2 ¼ camera the mother duck was hidden in the grasses. Back on the road we came into a beautiful open valley with a very flat and wet bottom. Soon we were into dense cottonwoods, willows and undergrowth again. Mixed in stunted spruce trees were growing high enough to cut out our view of the backside of Mount St. Elias. We drove into Kluskus Indian Village, situated on an attractive flat along a stream. In the stream, a spruce sapling trap was arranged to catch salmon. The Kluskus Indian Band had log cabins and log caches arranged around the flat. A friendly atmosphere prevailed with a tourist enterprise of hand made objects for sale. We bought a moose hide with beaded décor and a head band for my niece Kris for $3.00. Philip took some 2 ¼ pictures. Then we were on our way again with a stop for water at Dezadeash Lake Resort. We drove into Kathleen Lake Campground for lunch. The road allowed only private access further on, so no good for pictures. A bear appeared in the campground and David was quite excited to see it.

At Haines Junction we made a brief stop for milk at 60 cents a quart and bananas at 37 cents a pound. We were dismayed by roadside clearing all through this part of Canada, at least 50 feet each side of the road. We made a short detour into Sulphur Lake to look. The sky had become quite cloudy over intermittent light showers. After we joined the Alaska Highway, the traffic became heavier and the road surface much more uneven. We could not go over 30 m.p.h. as holes suddenly appeared. The next 4X5 view camera stop was a view of the Kluane Range over the spruce forest in the flat below. Everywhere the aspen trees are dense among the spruce trees. Fireweed is profuse and a lovely magenta under the green Alaska cottonwood trees. We drove what seemed like a long distance following the shore of Kluane Lake. The rain showers were heavier as we stopped for dinner at Burwash Flats Campground, mile 1105. David went to bed and we were on our way again. We gained an hour through the time zone change. We stopped at Mountain View Lodge , mile 1128 to look through their “giant telescope” at Mount Logan. We could not tell which mountain was Mount Logan, but we could see some very high white mountain peaks and glaciers. The land was elevated there over the flat valley through which the Donjek River flows in multiple channels. We drove a short way further and found a gravel pit again on up the hillside overlooking the same view we had just seen of Mount Logan. The mountains are too grey now, but perhaps in the morning they will be good for photographs. It stayed dry the last few hours of daylight, but the sky filled with clouds.

Continued in the next blog post in the series, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 15.

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 13

June 29th, 2011

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 by Ardis Hyde

(Ardis, David and Philip Hyde in Their Camper. Continued from the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 12.”)

Part Thirteen: Juneau, Alaska To The Haines Highway, Canada

 

Mud Flats On Yukon River Near Beaver, Alaska, copyright 1972 by Philip Hyde.

Thursday, July 8, 1971: We woke up at 5:45 am, dressed and looked out to another clear, sunny day with the water of the Inland Passage glassy and smooth again. We drove back over the bridge to Juneau and out the south road as far as we could go. We stopped once to watch eagles: two adult, three immature and two crows around a fresh kill on the tidewater flat. David stayed asleep until we parked in the Alaska Ferry lot, checking in about 6:45 am. I cooked and we ate breakfast while waiting to leave. Philip took photographs of the Alaska Ferry “Taku” coming in at 8:00 am. Taku made a late departure at 10:00 am because there were many semi trailers to load and numerous cars on standby. This leg of the Inland Passage was the most beautiful so far with high, snowy peaks close on both sides of the Inland Passage and glaciers along the West. At last we saw a whale, a humpback whale, flapping his flukes and blowing as a continuous repeated exercise for about 5 minutes. We could clearly see the humpback whale without binoculars. Later a school of porpoises cavorted in sight of Taku. Most of the six hour passage we spent reading the Slickrock proofs. Philip took pictures from the deck with his Hasselblad 2 ¼. We ate a bag lunch while sitting in the quieter aft lounge. As we came into Haines, Alaska, a layer of mill smoke hung over town. Each sunny day, this being the warmest so far at 74 degrees Fahrenheit, seemed to bring more haziness in the towns. Our first objective on arriving in Haines was to find a garage that could lube the GMC Truck. We found Haines Automotive and left our Camper there at 5:00 pm to walk down to the port and back by 6:00 pm when we picked the finished truck up. Haines was a small town with the atmosphere of one out in the bush. Haines lies in a gorgeous setting in a valley sloping to the sea with high snow covered peaks ringing the valley. The town of Haines was ugly and seemingly oblivious to the surrounding beauty. Most of the streets of Haines were gravel, on which cars went too fast producing lots of dust. Temperatures were even warmer in the sun with no breeze. We were delighted to find a cleaner, fresher wooded place to go for our dinner and the night at Portage Cove Campground. We arrived in beautiful light. The black rock strewn beach provided a good foreground. One huge fan of rock thrust upright, veined with white quartz. Philip included this rock in several 4X5 photographs. He did the same with an ancient overturned snag complete with spreading roots. Earlier this snag had been David’s airplane. After a dinner of beans cooked earlier in Juneau, cabbage salad and a root beer float for dessert, we watched the sun set behind the mountains earlier than usual at 10:00 pm. We were at the end of the road, along which even as we were trying to go to sleep more campers and autos came in looking for a place to camp for the night. Soon the whole Portage Cove Campground was jammed. We missed the Chilkat Dancers as it was not their night to dance. We had the camper windows open all night. Lovely clouds frothed over Portage Cove.

Friday, July 9, 1971:  Clouds filled the sky, but not across the sun. Rain showers darkened some areas while the sun illuminated others. The day began warm while we spent another hour in town getting gas, headlight protectors, propane and groceries. David still ruminated over death presumably reflecting on Grandmother Oliver’s passing. “I’ll bury you when you die mommy,” He said in his most solicitous voice. “I’ll bury you when you die too, Daddy. ‘Cause I was born after you.” Meanwhile, Philip had his 4X5 Baby Deardorff view camera ready for action while the stops for pictures started soon out of Haines. The Chilkat River ran broad and flat here. At mile 13, we made stops for lily blooms in a pond with mountains as a backdrop. We made it to Kluckwan, Alaska by about noon. We took the bypass road through the small Indian village and stopped as we entered town where we saw a cemetery. We looked in vain for carved tomb markers such as we heard talked about in the Haines grocery store. As we came into Kluckwan proper we stopped again for Philip to get architectural details of an old frame house on film. Then on through the village to another cemetery where we again looked for carved tomb markers with similar results. We ate lunch situated on a gravel flat of the Chilkat River that was overgrown with cottonwoods, wild rose, Queen Anne’s lace and some spruce. It was 76 degrees outside and 85 in the camper. We drove out to the main road the way we came in, admiring the grandeur of the scenery all the way. The high mountain peaks were heavy with snow making them extra impressive. We stopped at the Canadian border to put on our headlight guards. The gravel road, from here on called the Haines Highway, began and proved more even than the beat up paved road on the US side in Alaska on which we could not exceed 30 mph. Soon we were climbing out of the Chilkat Valley. Near Guardsman Summit at Mile 55 we stopped for pictures of flowers. Here we were out of the forest and rolling across a low cover of alder across Chilkat Pass, Philip making view camera photographs on the north side. We made a dinner stop on a little further. Rain slid down the sky to the north while the wind blew hard. The rain swept across, over us, past quickly and it cleared again. David found a rusty chain outside and pretended he was mountain climbing on a low bank formed by a bulldozer blade. Later Philip found the other side of the low ridge was a very steep slope straight down to Nadahini Creek. After dinner and another blow and rain squall we pulled back onto the road for a little more driving. We continued to about mile 108 where we found a borrow pit to park in for the night. I baked bread. Though it was unleavened I let it sit overnight and it did rise a little.

Continued in the next blog post in the series, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 14.”

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 12

May 24th, 2011

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 by Ardis Hyde

(Ardis, David and Philip Hyde in Their Camper. Continued from the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 11.”)

Part Twelve: Layover Juneau, Alaska At the Mendenhall Campground

Mt. Brooks, Cotton Grass, Shore Of Wonder Lake, Alaska Range, Denali National Park, Alaska, copyright 1971 by Philip Hyde.

Tuesday, July 6, 1971: We showered and cleaned up our gear after breakfast. The Slickrock text proofs arrived in the mail when we picked it up at the Juneau post office. Philip packaged film for mailing. Later he unloaded and reloaded film in the afternoon while David and I explored the Alaska State Museum again. Docent Bonnie Koenig, an Eskimo and Athabaskan Native American explained the displays. We also saw the flower slide shows. Then we walked up town to buy the Heller Alaska flower book. We stopped in at Skip Wallen’s Kayak Gallery to admire his lithographs. Painter Rie Munoz was also there. He’s an artist who works for the museum as well as making bright yarn belts and water color paintings of Eskimo scenes. Next we rejoined Philip in the camper where he had finished his film loading chore. We walked over to the dock area for dinner. Afterward Philip emptied the septic tank. We drove out to Glacier Village and the laundromat for a big wash while Philip put David to bed. We finished other errands and correspondence. Then we drove out to the same Mendenhall Glacier campground for the night.

Wednesday, July 7, 1971:  We visited Sandy Beach on Douglas Island after breakfast. We traveled directly north on the Mendenhall Loop Road and then on to the main road to the end at mile 33. It was a beautiful, clear, sunny day—the second in a row. Philip made frequent stops for photographs. We also stopped at the Auke Bay post office to get more mail out.  We drove around the Lena Loop Road and were impressed with the lovely view from the Lena Beach picnic area overlooking Lena Cove. What a spot to have spent the night if we had known. We turned out at various viewpoints as the Chilkat Mountains were showing up impressively in a long snow façade. We drove down to St. Terese road, walked out across the causeway to the connected island Church hardly visible amongst trees. We became absorbed in the beautiful tilted rock base of the island, much exposed at low tide and surrounded by bird life: gulls, harlequin ducks and the noisiest crows. The din from them continued constantly as the parents were still feeding many of the young. Philip made many 2 ¼ photographs of the rocks and lichen. David had the old kaput Hasselblad body that Philip gave him. He also had his defunct reflex camera turned with the viewer out so it looked like a long lens. He was very busy “taking pictures” of the birds, us, wildflower gardens and so on.  Heading back out the road looking for a lunch spot, we came to some boggy areas that were covered with carpets of Alaska Cotton Grass. We pulled into a side dirt track and parked. Interspersed on the carpet of Alaska Cotton Grass were Rein Orchis, various small blue flowers and lupine. Also growing out of the Cotton Grass carpet, were young spruce trees heavily festooned with moss. While Philip unpacked the 4X5 view camera for this occasion, we all put on our rubber boots to walk around in the wet bog. I cut a bouquet of the Cotton Grass to take home. After lunch we forged on to the road end. Queen Anne’s Lace and Goat’s Beard beautified the roadsides. On the way back we stopped briefly for photographs of fireweed growing on a rock ledge and a short look at the Eagle Beach picnic area. Philip photographed gulls with his 35 mm camera. We didn’t make it to the prettier part of the area, but continued on to Fritz Cove Road completing the loop around it. We hurried into Juneau to send mail from the post office for the last time. We parked where we could walk up to the little Russian church and shops on Seward Street after closing time. We tried to have the GMC lubed, but the hoist was not big enough to raise the truck along with the camper. We rambled on out to the Sandy Beach Recreation Area for the night. Philip tried to send a wire to John Mitchell in New York, but found there was a five week old Western Union strike under way. We learned yesterday that Grandmother Oliver died in her sleep. I told David today. His first reaction was to say sadly, “She gave me some candy.” Later he said, “I’m sure glad I got to see great grandmother Oliver.” Still later he asked, “Are they going to burn her?”

Continued in the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 13.”

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 11

March 28th, 2011

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 by Ardis Hyde

(Ardis, David and Philip Hyde in Their Camper. Continued from the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 10.”)

Part Eleven: Bartlett Cove, Glacier Bay National Monument to Juneau, Alaska

Party Ashore, Boats Moored, Teacup Harbor, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, 1971 by Philip Hyde.

Monday, July 5, 1971: Sunny today. We will take a cruise to Plateau Glacier. We are up at 7 am and in a mad hurry to get packed and to the tour boat by 8:15 am. The tour boat had 29 aboard including crew of three plus National Park Service personnel of two. The surface of Glacier Bay is glassy and smooth. The Fairweather Range was out of the clouds. There was some low fog in the southern bay burning away fast. First point of interest was the marble islands, small rounded glaciated domes mid channel with low shrubby growth. Heavy concentration of nesting birds, gulls, pigeons, guillamats, Pelagic Cormorants, Tufted Puffin, Common Murre, Murrelets, Arctic Terns. We could see the cormorant nests in the rock crevice. We proceed into Muir Inlet but were turned back by the density of ice floating. We turned up Wachusetts Inlet. Wachusetts Inlet had much ice in it too but we proceeded thru with ice bergs bumping against the side occasionally.

The day continued dazzlingly clear and bright. The ice bergs were beautiful pastel shades of blue against the sparkling milky blue water. We saw some Eiderducks, showy black and white. We made it all the way to Plateau Glacier by lunch time. We ate the lunch provided by the cruise company for $3.00 plus the $25.00 cruise fare for each of us. Ice bergs as big as houses appear to be grounded underwater somewhere. The sunny side of the house sized ice bergs is pitted revealing the clear blue ice base. Arctic Terns are abundant, flying and feeding along the base of the glacier. I looked over the rail of the boat and saw the water teeming with tiny shrimp (krill?) Arctic Terns were also riding on small ice bergs around Wachusetts Inlet.

The cruise captain cut the motor and we floated in front of the glacier and up to the Arctic Terns. With the sunny and warm day, it was noticeably colder in proximity to the glacier. On our way out of Wachusetts Inlet we passed a patch of larger house sized ice bergs. One huge ice berg had a Golden Eagle perched on top. The cruise boat pulled near shore opposite Goose Cove to let Chuck Cox and his wife off in a rowboat. They would row ashore to be picked up by their Park Ranger friend who would take them to their tent raft in Goose Cove. Nearby we saw a cluster of Harlequin Ducks. More breeze on return trip but still a very mild day. David napped and was totally absorbed sitting in the pilot house across from the captain. He had a wooden microphone, wore the binoculars and made announcements to all. We passed close to an Eagle’s Nest in a cottonwood. An Adult Golden Eagle was visible on the nest.

As Mount Fairweather came into view again it was still absolutely clear, no cirrus that day, a few cumulous clouds over the Chilkat Range was all. Turned out to be the most perfect day possible for the cruise. As we approached the Marble Islands again a small rock was sticking out of the water because of low tide. The rock, covered with rock weed, also hosted at least eight seals basking in the sun. As we approached, they slid into the water. A whale had been sighted earlier but I didn’t get to see it. We all did see several porpoises however. On Marble Island we saw numerous birds. If only we could stick around…

I couldn’t identify bird species quickly enough. So I took the word of the Park Ranger, which was sometimes incomplete. A few of the bird species we saw for sure were:

+ Pelagic Cormorant

+ Canada Goose

+ Tufted Puffin

+ Common Murre

+ Murrelets

+ Arctic Terns

+ Harlequin Ducks

+ Glaucous Gulls

While chasing a whale that we never found, the choppy water and wind combined to make us late getting back to Bartlett Cove. Before we landed we found there were five others who wanted to have dinner at The Gustavus Inn. One of them was a friend of Sally and Jack Lesh who run Gustavus Inn. Sally Lesh said she would call for all of us from the Glacier Bay Lodge. This she did. Sally arranged everything including transportation to Gustavus Inn.  Jack Lesh appeared in a short while with his Volkswagen Bus. We all piled in leaving Bartlett Cove. The Gustavus Inn more than lived up to its advance recommendations. The Leshs were very hospitable and their table was bountiful in a truly home cooked family style dinner with Roast Beef, Halibut, potatoes, white radishes, spinach and lettuce salad from their garden, plus string beans and hollandaise, homemade bread, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. For dessert they served berry Danish , grasshopper pie and Governor Miller Pie. I had a small piece of each pie. Delish! The atmosphere of a country ranch house and friendliness of the Leshes all added up to a delightful experience, more than just a dinner for $6.00 a piece.

The only flaw in our trip to Gustavus Inn was our need to hurry to catch the plane, which we did. This time we traveled on a Grumman Goose. Though it is a sea plane, we took off and landed on wheels. This made our third type of plane we had traveled in during our visit to Glacier Bay. Philip, David and I returned to Juneau feeling we had a wonderful experience. We were glad we did it regardless of cost, which was plenty. Our return flight to Juneau was over a land route more than over water as had been the Twin Otter. We flew very close to the mountains. Close enough to see goats and the three glaciers to the north of Juneau. We landed about 8:20 pm and drove right to the Mendenhall Glacier campground. We sorted all of our stuff and tidied up before going to bed. Philip took a shower. It was a nice campground with private parking slots in dense foliage.

Continued in the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 12.”