This year was another great summer in Alaska. It was so great to get to know all of the staff this year. Many of you have become lifetime friends. There were a lot of really great backpacking trips with some pretty scary adventures. My first trip out for the season to the East Fork of the Toklat with Sharri and Jake involved some pretty good river crossings. There is a statistic that says more people die by drowning than by bear attacks in the park. No one has ever died from a bear attack. Thanks to Jake I did not become a Denali statistic and drown in the Toklat. All of the rain and warm spring temperatures caused some extreme snowmelt in the mountains and all the rivers were running high this year.
A trip with Fiona, Chris and Anna allowed me to have my first Grizzly encounter in the park. Around a blind corner the bear stood no further than 30ft. from me. I am still here to tell the tale....
I finally got to Lake Minchumina this summer. Fiona, Shawnee, and I had a great little retreat at the lodge there. They treated us like family. The food was amazing and plentiful. We all had a great time meeting everyone there and just getting away for a couple of days.
Uncle Fred became part of the DBL family for a week in September. Despite what looked like some possible fierce weather, the sun came out and we had a great overnight trip to Geode Ridge. We also had some great bear sighting on the camper bus back to the lodge.
In the thick of it I know I often questioned what I was doing this summer. It only took a day to be away to realize what a truly amazing place DBL is and how wonderful all the people who work there are. It really is someplace special. I am very lucky to have spent two summer working in such a beautiful place with equally beautiful people. I miss you all!! Please keep in touch.