Storm Approaching at Miles Canyon
Miles Canyon is a cool spot just south of the capital city of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. It has pretty cool geologic features and is a very narrow stretch of the Yukon River that has proved quite treacherous and deadly, especially during the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s. On this particular day, we did not stick around the canyon for very long because we could see stormy weather on the horizon. We were able to escape the storm for a short amount of time, but it eventually caught up with us while we were driving and gave us a bit of Yukon hail.
Mount Minsi, from Mount Tammany
If you have ever driven through the Delaware Water Gap going from New Jersey to Pennsylvania on I-80, then you have likely seen Mt. Minsi and it’s big rocky cliffs. Mt. Minsi is on the Pennsylvania side of the Gap, and this photo was taken atop Mt. Tammany, which is on the New Jersey side. It was quite a climb to get up to this point, but it was well worth the panoramic views!
Pelly Mountains in Black and White
One of my favorite mountainous views in the Yukon. Gotta love the Pelly Mountains!
During our 5-day family trip to Glacier National Park more than 10 years ago, I saw some great sunrises. Each morning, I quietly crept out of the cabin in which we were staying, wandered down to the edge of Lake McDonald, and enjoyed a Montana morning in all its glory while sitting on the shore. On the last morning of our stay, I think I was able to convince most everyone to get up and see the sunrise for themselves. That is how I got this shot of my sister staring off into the distance as the sun popped out from behind the mountains.
Taking in the View Above Butte Creek
Butte Creek…that’s Butte with an ‘e’ at the end…is a small mountain tributary that feeds into the larger Wheaton River in the southern Yukon Territory. Ken and I trekked along a snowmobile trail that paralleled the creek on a higher ledge, collecting snowpit data for my graduate research while continuously climbing toward the headwaters of the creek. After finishing our last snowpit and before turning around for the hike back, we dropped our gear and climbed up the mountainside quite a bit. The view of this little valley surrounded by snow-covered peaks was just outstanding.
Overlook Mountain Fire Tower
The 60-foot fire tower on the summit of Overlook Mountain (3,140 feet above sea level) is located at the eastern edge of the Catskills and was active until 1988. There are fantastic views all around, including the rest of the Catskills to the west (the direction of this photo) and the Hudson River far below to the east. I enjoyed this snowy jaunt up Overlook Mountain to the fire tower a couple years ago, but it would be neat to see the same views when there is a bit less white and a lot more green.
Ken Grows a Beard!
Today is my buddy Ken’s 30th birthday, and to celebrate, I thought I would share a photo of Ken in the Yukon with one of the best beards he has probably ever had! Plus, it is a bit Santa-like…or maybe more like Santa after a bad morning shave…
Anyway, Ken always knows how to bring a good laugh, and I hope he has a great birthday today. Happy 30th!!
Vibrant Yukon Sunset
On one of the last nights I spent in the town of Faro in the Yukon Territory, my buddy Ken and I were able to catch a spectacular sunset that cycled through some very vibrant reds/oranges/yellows. The surrounding mountains only added to the visual treat.
Onset of Dusk in the Wheaton River Valley
The onset of dusk near our cabin in the Yukon was always great to take in. Our cabin (it’s not really visible in this photo, but it is located pretty much in the center of the photo back in the trees) was situated in the Wheaton River Valley with mountain ridges on all sides, which meant the sun didn’t reach us until late morning and it left us by early evening. On this evening, I was out on the edge of the frozen Wheaton River (the snow-covered surface in the foreground), watching the sun set behind Red Ridge.
Deep in Thought with Karma
While enjoying a bit of midday relaxation outside our cabin on the Wheaton River in the Yukon Territory one day, my buddy Ken and I were joined by two of the cool dogs on the property, Karma and Tatra. Ken snapped this photo of Karma and I staring off into the distance…who knows what we were looking at, or what we may have been pondering. Although I’m guessing I was just checking out the fantastic scenery all around, since I found myself doing that quite often!
Choppy Lake George
On a cool fall day, a boat ride around Lake George can be a fun way to spend a couple hours. This southern section of the Adirondacks had some great foliage around the time we visited, and even though it got quite windy on the boat at times, we had a fun time cruisin’ around the lake.
Fair Weather Spring Day in the Yukon
Lots of snow, sun, blue skies, and thin clouds made for many gorgeous fair weather days in the Yukon during our early spring field season. This view from near our cabin never got old!
Thick Tennessee Fog
I’m pretty sure I’ve had more than a couple similar photos on here before, but the foggy Smokies in Tennessee still look pretty cool on a less-than-clear day. This view was outside our cabin in the woods one afternoon after a day of on and off rain, and watching the low fog crawl over the nearby hills had a fairly calming effect.
Snowy Mountains of British Columbia
We didn’t spend a great amount of time in British Columbia while conducting fieldwork in the Yukon, but on the few trips we did take, we saw some beautiful B.C. scenery. This photo was taken fairly close to the Canada/Alaska border and was actually the closest I got to Alaska. I have no clue how much snow is on those mountains, but I have a feeling it is pretty deep!
View from Apgar Lookout
Apgar Mountain is located at the southern end of Glacier National Park, overlooking Apgar Village and Lake McDonald along with a series of mountain peaks in the distance. My brother, sister and I enjoyed a tough hike and the views from atop this mountain about 10 years ago on our family vacation. As I looked out across the mountainous landscape all around, I was pretty thrilled to share a name with this awesome mountain!
Driveway with a View
After a full day of snowpit excavations and other fun fieldwork in the Wheaton River valley of the Yukon Territory, our crew made our way back to the cabin in the woods where we were staying for a couple weeks. The surroundings and view from the cabin were outstanding, but even the views from the driveway leading to the cabin were excellent…just imagine rolling down your driveway and having a mountain like this looming over you!
Yukon Walking Stick on Poet’s Ledge
My trusty walking stick that I picked up in the Yukon Territory along the banks of the Pelly River has been great to have along on many hikes. This particular hike was in the Catskills along the Long Path as it climbs toward Kaaterskill High Peak, and with the amount of elevation gain along the trail, my knees were likely appreciative of the ever-so-slight help of the walking stick. My lunch stop was at this rock outcrop called Poet’s Ledge, which offered a great view of the Kaaterskill Clove and the nearly 4,000-foot-high Black Dome and Blackhead mountain summits looming in the distance (just right of center in the photo).
Where will my Yukon walking stick travel to next?!?
First Summit Above Fish Lake
Fish Lake was a really cool location in the southern Yukon Territory that I was able to check out on a couple different trips. On this particular trip, Ken and I parked at the end of the frozen lake (around Ken’s foot in the photo above), hiked up to this first false summit, and then continued up to a higher summit with even more outstanding views of mountains everywhere we looked. Along the way, we did some snowpits and snow depth measurements, slid down a mountain, and also made sure to snap some photos of the snowy scenery. We also snapped some photos of each other taking photos…like the photo above!
Along the Klondike Highway
Roadside pulloffs in the Yukon are often a great place to soak in the scenery, and this spot along the Klondike Highway in southern Yukon Territory was no exception. These cool mountains rose up from a lake called Windy Arm (it’s not too far behind the trees near the car) and made for a nice stop on a trip into British Columbia.
Above the Delaware River on Mount Tammany
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area encompasses many diverse landscapes, from secluded ravines to wide open mountain tops (well, mountain tops by New Jersey standards, which are still pretty great!). This particular mountain top is Mount Tammany, and it overlooks the Delaware River as it winds through the Delaware Water Gap. It also overlooks Interstate 80 before it crosses from New Jersey into Pennsylvania. Even with the traffic, though, there are some fantastic views all around, so it was definitely worth the climb from down below!
Late Afternoon on the Frozen Wheaton
From our location deep in the Wheaton River Valley, the sun disappeared from our view by late afternoon. But luckily, it stayed bright for a while after that, due in no small part to the snow-covered mountains that were still lit up for a while as the sun continued to fall. This particular day ended with some fluffy clouds, a beautiful blue sky, and a small patch of the frozen Wheaton River that appeared to be opening up ever so slightly as daytime temperatures slowly increased. This vantage point was one of my favorite places to view the dynamic and expansive landscape of the Yukon wilderness.
Iced Coffee Lake
No, I don’t believe this lake is filled with iced coffee…but then again, it was frozen over, so I cannot be certain of what was below. But this lake, named Coffee Lake, was definitely frozen over as we enjoyed a scenic lunch break along the Robert Campbell Highway in the Yukon. The mountains in the distance looked magnificent against a brilliant blue sky.
North Carolina Mountains from Clingman’s Dome
On our visit to the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we did not have the best weather for enjoying far-reaching views of the surrounding mountain landscape. But then again, the Smokies have their name for a reason! Even with the low cloud cover, the vistas from near Clingman’s Dome in the center of the park were fantastic. This particular view is looking at the North Carolina side of the park, with Clingman’s Dome and the Tennessee side of the park directly behind.
Green Aurora in the Yukon Territory
This is admittedly a poor photo, but even if it had been an outstanding photo, it would still fall very short in describing the awe-inspiring display of aurora I saw one night in the Yukon. These streaks of electric green were criss-crossing the sky when my fieldwork partner noticed them on a trip to the outhouse (thank goodness for that outhouse!). The snowy mountains were already lit up from a nearly-full moon as we watched the show from the frozen river in front of our cabin. This is one of a few photos I took when it first started…but then I forgot about the camera as I became fully immersed in the lights overhead. The green soon turned to shades of pink and white, and flittering ribbons of light transformed into rapidly pulsating sheets of light. The peak lasted about 10 minutess, during which I was looking straight up at a display of energy that is not possible to describe. As this perfect Yukon night came to an end, all I can remember thinking over and over is, “Wow”.
If you are reading this on March 7th or 8th, be on the lookout for aurora in the northern sky! The impact from a large solar flare is due to produce some sort of auroral activity starting in the early hours of the 8th (and possibly through to the 9th), and while folks in the northernmost states will likely have the best chance to see aurora, there’s no telling how far south the lights might extend. Check out Spaceweather.com for more details, and hope for clear skies!