Did I mention we saw the required bear? A grizzly, blissfully chowing down on the abundant blueberries in preparation for winter. The best kind of bear sighting, from a distance of about 200 yards and it was oblivious to us. We watched it stuff its face with our binoculars for awhile, and then had to get going. Since my regular camera crapped out (the delicate machinery that makes the lens go in and out always seems to break on these trips) I only have a bad cellphone pic but trust me, the bear is there:
Weather in Alaska is never dull. Last time I said that within 2 hours everything can change, and here are the photos to prove it!
As we went over the final pass, we noticed that a bear had come over going the opposite way and left cute footprints, complete with intervals of sliding in the snow.
Probably a young bear since the prints are small.
The view from the top of the University Range made the hike worthwhile. Mother Nature may want to kill you but she sure is pretty!
We arrived in Allie's Valley just before we lost the light for the day. Perfect timing. The next morning I got up early and we collected the plant samples for 2014. I had forgotten to take a digging implement so we improvised with a sharp rock and duct tape :-) And plenty of plastic bags.
Samples collected that were especially pretty, starting with tundra.