Sunset over the Bremner River Valley, Wrangell St. Elias National Park.

November 4th, 2007 by

A backpacker watching the sunset over the Bremner River Valley in the Chugach Mountains, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Tebay – to Bremner Trip, Part Deux

Hey Folks

Here’s another image from our jaunt around the Tebay Lakes area.

This is one of the few photos you’ll see posted here with me in them. To allay your concerns, no, I wasn’t fixin’ to jump. I was simply enjoying the sunset. This is from our second night on the trip. Camped right by this cliff, looking south towards the Bremner River, or west towards a Glacier. Definitely one of the all-time coolest campsites. We even had a mountain goat come wandering down towards our camp at dinner. I, of course, was unprepared, and way too slow, and so got no pictures of the mountain goat.

We camped here on our 2nd last night as well. Morning rolled in like a soup fog, and we had about 50 yards visibility at times. It was pretty cool being camped so close to a sheer drop-off like this, and seeing nothing over the edge but mist and fog.

While we had a little breakfast and a 2nd cup of coffee, I noticed a Merlin (bird of prey) come in, really close to us. Again, no photos – my coffee comes before photos, unfortunately. But, we did get to watch a simply AMAZING thing: there was by now a strong breeze coming in from this valley, and the wind would hit the cliff face, and shoot up. We could see the fog and mist rolling up from below. This merlin would venture out above the valley, turn, and come flying back towards the face. As it approached, the bird stopped flapping his wings, and soared. The updraft would catch the bird and shoot him skyward – sometimes as much as 200 feet. The bird would literally tumble up into the sky. He did this probably 7 or 8 times. It was one of the most clear examples of a bird playing, flying for the sheer exhilaration of it, that I’ve seen or heard about. Really, really cool.

For now, I need to go grab some more coffee.

Cheers

Carl

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