Gates of the Arctic National Park
Okomilaga (Chandler) River
Ancient Caribou Hunting Blinds
To get a closer view of the caribou, I climbed the hill above a terrace along the river, formed by the lateral moraines of long vanished glaciers. While I hid behind conveniently situated boulder piles, I realized there was nothing accidental about their location. I had picked exactly the same spot to view the caribou as did Native hunters thousands of years before me. My painting "Safe Passage" was inspired by this experience.
Wolf and Bear Prints
We camped on a gravel bar in the Okomilaga (Chandler) River that had recently been exposed by falling water. When we woke in the morning, we discovered foot prints of both brown bear and wolf in the mud just beyond our campsite. The fact that we'd set up a battery-operated electric fence around our tents helped me to sleep better the following night. The caribou were skittish, but we saw neither wolf or bear.
Wild blueberries are always a welcome treat.