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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

North to Alaska

September 29th, 2013 · No Comments

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A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. This is the usual translation of the words of Lao Tsu in the Tao Te Ching. My journey from home in Boulder, Colorado, to Alaska began on June 15 this year with a 382-mile drive to the town Buffalo, Wyoming, and ended nine weeks later after I had driven 8,720 miles. I took seven airline flights for another 2,300 miles and five trips by ship and boat for 2,000 more miles. The total journey of at least 13,000 miles was the longest and best trip of my life.

En route to and from Alaska, I traveled through Wyoming, Montana, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon Territory, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah and have now driven almost all the paved roads in the state of Alaska. I took uncounted photos of birds, animals, flowers, and landscapes. I am thankful for the gracious hospitality of my dear friends Marveen and Wayne Coggins in Nikiski, Alaska, where I stayed for five weeks, and to Martha and Tom Schulte in Redmond, Washington, where I stayed overnight. I made many other new friends along the way. I had a great time.

My health and that of my trusty SUV remained fine throughout. No major mishaps marred the journey and the only thing that I left behind was one sock that Marveen found and mailed to me. I am a lucky man.

The most plentiful wildlife on Wyoming’s rolling hills were pronghorn. I saw at least 60 of them between Casper and Buffalo. After settling in to my motel room, I went out to see what I could find nearby. The name Klondike Road attracted me, probably because I was headed off to Alaska. There I found more pronghorn and a herd of about 20 horses.

A Pronghorn Climbs a Ridge Near Buffalo

A Pronghorn Climbs a Ridge Near Buffalo

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I don’t know if the horses are wild mustangs, but they weren’t fenced in and were roaming freely down the road past a sign where it told me to proceed at my own risk (as if I would blame someone else for my problems). I stayed with the horses until the sun began to go down, all the time photographing them in the beautiful light of the late afternoon in an attractive area of rolling hills.

This Handsome Stallion Is the Leader of the Pack

This Handsome Stallion Is the Leader of the Pack

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Soon, Some of His Friends Followed

Soon, Some of His Friends Followed

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My long journey was off to a splendid start.

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