Prof. R i c h a r d D. L i t t l e invites you to join our 2013
"FANTASTIC LANDSCAPES of A L A S K A" tour
August 7 - 20, 2013, cost = $3950 estimated, per person double occupancy.
View of Mt. McKinley from our Talkeetna lodge.
Your tour leaders with Portage Lake and Glacier in view, near Anchorage. North Face Lodge, 90 miles IN Denali National Park
THIS TOUR INCLUDES A very special treat:3 nights at the unique North Face Lodge, 90 miles INSIDE Denali National Park, surrounded by wildlife, tundra wilderness and views of Mt. McKinley
It’s our 32nd year of Fantastic Landscapes Tours. Don’t spend days on a boat or train in Alaska!
Explore with us! We know the best places!
ABOUT THE TOUR.... “Scale and diversity foil all who try to simplify Alaska. Its immense and ceaseless grandeur numbs the mind, glazes the eye, and plagues the writer who would describe it.” (Anon.)
“If you are young, stay away until you grow older... (for) all other scenery becomes flat and insipid. It is not well to dull one’s capacity for such enjoyment by seeing the finest first.” (Henry Gannett, c. 1900.)
Are you ready to see the world’s highest mountain (from base to top) and explore what has been called America’s “Serengeti” -- the great expansive tundra environment with bears, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, eagles and moose while staying in a remote (but full service) wilderness lodge? Are you excited about seeing glaciers calving icebergs into the sea or creating moraines as they slowly move down U-shaped valleys? Have you ever wished you knew more about the fascinating stories that rocks and landscapes have to tell? Well, this is the trip for you!
Our small group will see and experience the wonders of the Earth as we explore the incredible Alaska landscape. This is indeed the best place in the world to see mountain building in action as well as active glaciers and rivers scraping and shaping their valleys. In the course of our two-week excursion, we’ll see the best cross section of what makes Alaska famous. Alaska is huge, but this tour minimizes travel time and maximizes “being there,” so you can get out and see this magnificent land. Because we use rental vans, not busses or trains, you have flexibility of travel that is not found with most other tours. You can, as much as possible, do what you want to do. With our small group you’ll get the “story behind the scenery” with your tour leader, Greenfield Community College geologist and author Richard Little, plus meet and enjoy people who have similar interests in the natural world. Optional excursions include rafting or fishing for salmon in meltwater streams, boat trips to iceberg-calving glaciers, small plane flight-seeing, plus the best nature walks and hikes in tundra, taiga, glacier, shoreline, and maritime rainforest environments. You can view, explore, shop, hike and/or fish in the wilderness, and, after a “hard” day of vacationing, feast on Alaska salmon, halibut, crab…..
In short, we have a lot of fun doing a great number of things in a landscape of exceptional beauty, as we learn about the diverse ecosystems and geologic processes that shape “Mother Earth.”.
Looking into a crevasse on Matanuska Glacier
The Itinerary...... Day 1. Arrival in Anchorage. 2 & 3. Anchorage: A fascinating city with time for explorations, plus a look at coastal fjords, mountains and glaciers including famed Portage Glacier with its world-class Visitors Center. We will travel along the spectacular glacier-eroded coast of Turnagain Arm and take some easy, short hikes along the shore of the moraine-dammed Portage Lake with a scenic cruise across the lake to the calving front of Portage Glacier. Then enjoy an easy walk up the adjacent valley, along a gushing meltwater stream, to Byron Glacier, with its many scenic landforms of ice and rock.
4, 5, 6. Super Scenic Seward & the Kenai Peninsula. Take a day-cruise into steep-sided, glacier carved fjords to see glaciers calve & multitudes of wildlife in Kenai Fjords National Park. See salmon spawning. Explore the town, the new museum, and safe, beautiful, well-maintained trails in the surrounding coast and mountains. We will walk around the terminus of one the most scenic blue-ice glaciers and perhaps take a scenic flight over the Harding Ice Cap, or run a dog sled team high on the ice
7, 8. Palmer and the Matanuska Glacier area. Here is one of the most incredible glacial experiences in the world. This great valley glacier lies exposed and easily accessible! Lots of amazing glacial landforms and processes! During our last visit, a major meltwater stream was emerging from a tunnel under the ice front as a massive fountaining spring! Lodging at the historic Colony Inn. Tour a gold mine and Musk Ox farm. 9. Depart for Denali National Park. Short walks & scenic stops along the way, including a picnic site with views of Mt McKinley and a personalized tour of an Iditarod race expert at Wolf Den Kennel. Overnight at the Denali Park entrance area.
10, 11, 12 Into Denali: 1pm departure for our spectacular, 90-mile, 6 hr trip along the National Park road to the unique North Face Lodge. Expect lots of wildlife and spectacular landscapes in the “shadow” of Mt. McKinley. We will explore the amazing tundra environment and its diverse wildlife with the Lodge’s naturalists (or on your own). A variety of hiking destinations from easy to challenging will be available. The most amazing big mountains and tiny tundra plants will surround us. Sublime!
[See the North Face Lodge section (below) for more information about this unique wilderness experience!]
13. Early morning departure along Park road to entrance, then on to the scenic village of Talkeetna. Taking a scenic flight to Mt. McKinley is an option plus fishing, rafting, hiking, and wildlife viewing
14. Return to Anchorage for return flight home or continue your journey…… [note: Make your return flight time for the afternoon or later]
ABOUT THE UNIQUE NORTH FACE LODGE
Located 90 miles within Denali National Park in the shadow of Mt. McKinley, North Face Lodge is a unique wilderness retreat for those seeking an in depth experience in the sub-arctic. Note that Mt. McKinley is not visible from the entrance areas of the National Park. While other park visitors need to take the 6 hour National Park “wildlife” bus tours along the park road (3 hours in and 3 hours return -- no private vehicles allowed), we have a much more leisurely 6 hour bus trip bus trip (one-way) much deeper into the Park, to our lodge, with a gourmet picnic along the way. Our driver/naturalists are experts at finding wildlife and interpreting nature’s stories.
North Face Lodge provides accommodations in well appointed rooms with private bath. Delicious meals and fresh baked goods are featured in the dining room. Designed with the atmosphere of a comfortable north country guest house, the lodge features a spacious living room with stone fireplace, dining room, large patio and covered porch... all with incredible views of Mt. McKinley.
In keeping with their mission of helping guests enjoy the natural history and wilderness of Denali National Park, North Face Lodge provides daily, guided nature walks and hikes. The staff of knowledgeable naturalists assists guests in first hand exploration of the Alaska landscape; searching for wolves, moose and caribou as well as looking for nesting birds and wildflowers. Nightly programs focus on some aspect of Denali‘s natural and cultural history, including birds, mammals, wildflowers, tundra ecology, geology, mountaineering, land use and natural resource issues. In addition to guided activities, mountain bikes, canoes and fishing equipment are also available.
North Face Lodge may not be for everyone. But if you desire an experience away from the tempo of modern living and enjoy the camaraderie of kindred souls, you will not be disappointed.
If you go to Alaska without us, you must visit Denali. And in Denali, you need to try to obtain reservations at North Face Lodge. Give them a call at (907) 683-2290 or online at www.campdenali.com.
(Our group has reservations.)
OTHER QUESTIONS.......Who goes on these “Fantastic Landscapes” Tours? Everybody….teachers, families with older kids, to eighty-somethings. How strenuous is the “hiking”? If you like “nature walks” you’ll love our outings. Some people plan more strenuous activities than others, and our daily activities are geared to meet everyone’s goals, as much as possible. Where do we stay? We book high quality, medium to small lodgings, in scenic, convenient settings. Who does the driving? We use rental vans and full-size cars with volunteer drivers. We buy the maximum extra liability insurance and we have 2-way radios for communication. I don’t know any geology! Should I go on this tour? Yes! Come and learn how to read the “record in the rocks ....... the history in a grain of sand” and appreciate fantastic landscapes! Where do we eat? Except for North Face Lodge (where excellent, gourmet food is included), you are on your own for eating. For many lunches we will picnic in beautiful settings.
THIS IS THE BEST 2-WEEK ALASKA TOUR! HERE'S WHY: 1.Travel with a geologist to unlock the secrets of the rocks and landscapes. Your tour leader has decades of experience with geology and education. 2. Don’t take the bus, train, or boat! …especially in Alaska. You must get out into the environment to really appreciate the land and wildlife. With our tour, you will have flexibility to stop for that great view, smell the flowers, follow the moose... 3. Go with our small group and get away from the crowd, but still have a helpful group of friends to share with. 4. The cost is “LOW” for what you get! We pass the group savings on to you! Check out other tours, and see how much you’ll save (& they probably don’t have reservations at North Face Lodge).
5. Can’t remember what happened on day 3? You will get a video record of the tour, edited and with music and narration, free. Who is your tour leader? Richard Little is prof. emeritus of geology at Greenfield Community College, author of 2 books and 2 videos on Connecticut Valley geology, and has been inducted into the Mass. Science Educator Hall of Fame. He has been leading “Fantastic Landscapes” tours since 1981. Suzanne Little, now retired from the VA, has degrees in social work and biology and loves investigating plants. Want to see participants’ comments? No problem. You can even talk or email to past participants. Most of our travelers have been on several (if not all) of our itineraries!
TO JOIN US.................................................................................
Š Send $500 per person deposit (check to “Earth View LLC) to hold your space, fully refundable until October 31st (see below for details).
Š $1500 payments are due Jan. 15th & May 1st, balance due June 1st .
Š Cancellation fees: Please note that our Alaska trip involves charges at the unique North Face and other lodgings that are non-refundable unless that reserved space is resold. Our cancellation fees reflect this. You might consider buying travel insurance. The Fees: After October 31st: $150; after January 31st
$400; after March 20th: $2000. Fees will be refunded if your reserved space is resold. No refunds after July 1st.
1. March, 2013, Desert Landscapes and Flowers: Death Valley - Grand Canyon and more......
2. June 23 - July 4, 2013, ICELAND: Journey to the Mid Atlantic Ridge!
Come with us and "Get in touch with Mother Earth"
“The Alaska trip was superb…we have been singing you praises across the land since Alaska.” H&N S.
“Thanks for guiding us through the most memorable and grandest of vacations.” J&C B.
Richard D. Little, EARTHVIEW LLC, 6 Grandview Ln, Easthampton MA 01027
--- (413) 527-8536 ---
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