Footloosewanderers 2009 Alaska Bound
We started 2009 with an new addition to the family. Aaron Lee Rhodes was born on January 20th, 2009. At 9 lbs., 1 oz.
He was definitely ready to make his appearance! More pictures of this handsome young man can be seen on our
2009
photos page 1.
Click here to view Page 1 of our 2009 photos. Pics of Aaron and a few from Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife
Refuge.
Click here to view Page 2 of our 2009 photos. Photos of Wind Cave National Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota,
Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, Glacier National Park in Montana and more.
Click here to view Page 3 of our 2009 photos. Photos of our travel through Canada. Some good scenery and a few
critter photos. Also some from our entry to Alaska.
Click here to view Page 4 of our 2009 photos. More from Alaska including Denali National Park with Mt. McKinley,
and of course, more scenery and critters!
More photos added on 6/16/09
Click here to view Page 5 of our 2009 photos from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula and more. Updated 6/16/09.
Click here to view Page 6 of our 2009 photos. Photos are from the Dalton Highway to Prudhoe Bay, the Valdez area
with a few others thrown in.
Updated 9/11/09.
Click here to view Page 7 of our 2009 photos. More photos from Denali National Park and Preserve in the fall along
with some photos from our time at Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge.
Updated 9/11/09.
Click here to view Page 8 of our 2009 photos. Photos from southeast Alaska and the Cassiar Highway. Also some
photos from North Cascade National Park, Olympic National Park, Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens and the Oregon coast.
Updated on 02/18/10.
Just a few days after Aaron was born, a major ice storm hit northwest Arkansas. Not very favorable winter weather. The
photo on the right is a much more appropriate way to spend winter days!
As I am typing this, it is approaching mid May. Next week we will begin our trek to Alaska for the summer. We hope to
cross the border into Alaska sometime in early June and we will start heading south sometime in late September or early
October if the weather will cooperate. No real itinerary other than to be north of the Arctic Circle for the summer solstice
and a six week volunteer experience at the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge from mid July to late August. I will try to keep
this site updated as much as internet access will allow as we make our way north. We look forward to sharing some
great photos from Canada and Alaska's scenery and wildlife.
It is now approaching the end of May (29th) and we are approaching the Alaska/Canada border! The trip has been
interesting so far having covered 4700 miles since leaving south Texas in mid April with 3700 of those miles covered in
the last three weeks. We have had very few mishaps so far with the only major one being a big crack in the right hand
windshield while coming out of Dawson Creek, B.C. That one will have to wait until we return to the lower 48 for repair. It
may see more over the next 6-7 thousand miles. Most of our days of driving across Canada have been with at least a
few hours of rain and today the first hour or so of driving was in the snow. Fortunately the air temperature was enough
to keep the roads clear. Overall temps have been good with highs in the 60's and lows in the 30's or 40's. Today wasn't
quite so nice but we did end the day with some sunshine and temps in the 50's. Check out the photos pages below to
see where we have been and a little of what we have seen. Hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoy sharing them.
Update as of 5/29/09
Our campsite by Kluane Lake. This
was taken at about 10:30 in the
evening. Notice the sun still high in the
sky!
And we finally make it to the border after about 150 miles of the roughest road
yet.
June 4 in Fairbanks. Notice the
sunrise and sunset times, both in the
A.M.!!!
At North Pole, Alaska. Will the real
Santa PLEASE step forward.
Found him, just dressed in his summer
attire.
Update as of 6/04/09
Update as of 6/10/09
One of our first stops in Alaska was Denali National Park and Preserve. Above is our campsite at Denali's Riley Creek
Campground. That photo was taken at 11:00 PM. The one shows a moose and her calf that shared our site. While at
Denali, we had the chase to observe a sled dog demonstration. Sled dogs are still used for back country patrols in
winter.
Mt. McKinley from south of the park and while inside the park. Mt. McKinley (Denali) is North America's tallest mountain
at 20, 320 feet. Since it's base is only slightly above sea level, it's actual rise from it's base is greater than Mt. Everest.
Only about one third of the visitors to the park actually get to see the mountain since it is usually wrapped in clouds. We
were very fortunate to actually see it while in the park and a day later when going south to Anchorage. And of course a
little park wildlife. See pages 4 and 5 of the photos below for more from Denali and the Fairbanks area.
Update as of 9/11/09
We are now getting ready to start heading south. Since the last update in June,
we have travelled from Seward over to Homer, then up through Fairbanks and
past the Arctic Circle up to Deadhorse  at Prudhoe Bay. That's as far north as
we could drive! That's us at the Arctic Ocean on the right.
From Deadhorse, we followed the Alaska pipeline all the way down to it's terminus at Valdez. The drive into Valdez is one
of the most beautiful in the state. It was at Valdez that we saw the small brown bear in the photo above. We also took a
boat tour of Prince William Sound. Lots of eagles, sea lions, sea otters and a few whales were spotted during the cruise.
From Valdez, we went back to Tok and volunteered at the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge for six weeks. It was a great way
to slow down from the vacation mode and get to know the area and people. The staff at Tetlin made this a very enjoyable
experience. The last couple of weeks have been a quick round trip of the highways to Valdez again, over to the Palmer
area for the state fair, back to Denali National Park for some great fall days and now back to Tok for the trip out. I have
added pages 6 and 7 to the photos page. Hope you enjoy them.
New update as of 02/18/10
I guess it is time to get another update done and finish up the Alaska trip. After leaving Tok, we made a quick trip to
Haines, then down the Cassiar Highway to Hyder. We were hoping to see a few bears at Hyder but I guess we were to
late in the season. We did run across a few black bears but no browns. From Hyder, we made our way south and
crossed into the lower 48 in Washington. This was our first time into Washington and we really enjoyed it. We managed
to visit North Cascades National Park, Olympic NP, Mt. Rainier NP, and Mt. St. Helens. From Washington, we made our
way south along the Oregon coast then into California and Nevada for family visits before heading back to Arkansas for
Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now we are back in south Texas until the end of March. I have added another page (8) of
photos for 2009. Hope you enjoy them.
Between Haines Junction, B.C. and
Haines, Ak.
Traveling down the Cassiar Highway in B.C.
Mt. St. Helens almost 30 years after.
Mt. Rainier in central Washington.
Sunset on the Oregon coast.
And of course I have to add just a few family photos and some from Aaron's first Christmas.
Happy Birthday Aaron!!