2/29/04 - Alaskan Winter Trip, Day 3

Sunday morning, we hopped on our flight from Fairbanks to Anchorage. We caught a fantastic glimpse of Mount McKinley.

We landed in Anchorage, missing our 9am connecting Delta flight. The next flight wasn't until 12:45am, so we had 15 hours. Though tired, we decided to try to make the most of it. We hired a plane from
Trail Ridge Air to take us around - with no real set flight plan.
First, we flew around the mountains near Anchorage.

The frozen glacial melt was impressive.

Then we caught the Knik Glacier in the mountains towards the southwest (across a very tall ridge from the Prince William sound).

The pictures make it look blue, but it doesn't do it justice.

Some of the crevasses appeared to be 100-200 feet deep.

As we headed up towards the Columbia Glacier, Jim, the pilot, pointed out a moose (bottom right of the shot). It got up and walked away after being rudely awoken by our plane. We ended up seeing 20 or so moose, but it was difficult taking a good shot of them.

With the lake frozen, the glacier calves onto the ice, though we didn't see any calving.
It wouldn't have been the same without being able to hear it, anyway.

Jim landed on a frozen river so we could rest our ears and get some fresh air. (It is a Piper floatplane, with its 'winter shoes' on.)

So we went back in a valley with 100'+ ice walls on one side and a mile-high rock wall on the other.

(Bad shot of Jill taking a picture of mountain goats.)

A heard of dall's sheep scamper up the mountainside to get away from de plane.

The city of Anchorage. All those back yards and no pools. Go figure!

The landing back on the frozen floatplane lake (Lake Cook, I believe) was the end of our journey...

...and the end of our photo album.