Eagle River, Alaska

eagle river, alaska

After calling an end to our fishing, we continued to drive south into the small town of Eagle River, which has an awesome nature center and trail system that I explored during my desperate hunt for bears last year. It was also the last place in Alaska that I went with my friend Jessica before traveling home, so I was having a flood of memories as we drove up the winding road into the Chugach National Forest. A quick stop at a gas station put us on the right track (why do directions always stem from the local Wal-Mart in small towns?) and soon we were back out in the cool, clean air.

The sun was obviously losing its battle to the gray clouds, but like the rest of the trip, we were determined not to let weather dictate our adventure. We hit the almost over-groomed trails and soon had walked past the last locals just out for an exercise stroll. The scenery was awesome, with the mountains around us reflecting in still pools of freezing water, water made still by the busy beavers in the area. Like last year, the mozzies were always in close pursuit, and we were constantly waiving our arms like a frenzied orchestra conductor to keep them away.

dall sheep, eagle river, alaska

After an hour of walking, we came across the Eagle River, and stood for a long time watching the rocky peaks above the timberline around us for anything moving. After several moments, dad was the first to spot them through his binoculars: Dall sheep! These elusive, snow-white sheep live high above the timberline where no predators are dumb enough to follow and can climb straight up a mountain. We watched as five or more made their way across the brown landscape before the rain got heavy enough to make me hide my new $850 SLR lens. I did manage to get some zoomed in pictures of the sneaky bastards, but they were still so far out that they are hard to see.

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