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We got out in the mountains this past week for a really pleasant hike. The air was cool and fresh. It wasn’t windy which was a mixed blessing. In some places, the mosquitoes were quite annoying but they thinned out after we got above the trees. Clark’s Nutcrackers were everywhere and Horned Larks were singing from lots of rocky perches. Ladybugs were emerging from the rocks and once again I wonder, what do they do all winter? Sky found a stick and she posed, on her own, in front of an old growth juniper, for a portrait. And the clouds were amazing! Fog filled the valleys to the north and east, eliminating half the views but it would pour up over the ridge line making outstanding aerial displays! We found big piles of black bear poop. I wonder what it was eating? The snow only recently melted so there were few flowers. We will have to return soon! With the warm weather, they will pop out in a hurry.

Earlier in the month, we enjoyed the deep powder snow and sparkling icicles.

The girl gang – Molly, Luna, Sky, Mary and me – went for a hike yesterday and I have lots of pretty pictures of flowers and trees and mountains. And I’ll post those later. But for now, here are three happy dogs celebrating snow in July!

What’s really remarkable about this is that just ten days earlier, Molly was bitten by a rattlesnake! It was a dangerous and scary situation. She went to the vet pretty quick and got the right antidote and other meds and before they knew it, she was back on her feet. This was her first big outing. She didn’t seem to be slowed down one bit. Amazing!

Our next stop was Denali National Park. We are ever so grateful to a friend who loaned us her family cabin just eight miles from the park entrance! It sits atop a bluff overlooking the Nenana River with the park’s mountains in the distance. All of the rivers in that region flow north into the Yukon drainage. It took us a while to get used to rivers flowing north. We thought we were seeing quite a bit of Alaska but when you consider just how big the Yukon watershed is and also there is still more Alaska north of that, you begin to realize just how little we actually did see.

The cabin was cozy and comfy and the views were sufficiently awesome that we probably could have stayed there and been perfectly comfortable. However, there was the national park and we did go see it, everyday we were there. The trees in the park are primarily spruce and birch with a few others. Much of the landscape seemed like barren tundra. We were there early in the season and it had not started to green up. The aspens and birches leafed out while we were there.

Wildflowers, vistas, butterflies, dogs, clean cool creeks. What more could I want?

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