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Qing Yang - Fine Artist

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April 11th, 2014

Please check http://solotraveltoalaska.wordpress.com for more postings. As of 11/27/13, it is up to 138. :) Update: as of 4/11/14, there are 184 entrances. :) 

90. Magnificent Mendenhall Glacier

September 17th, 2013

Mendenhall Glacier is the main tourist attraction in Juneau. Every cruise offers tour to come to this site. Just a first glance, you will understand why it is such a popular place. The area is spectacular: rugged mountains, massive glacier, blue/gree... 

89. Natural Beauty around Juneau

September 17th, 2013

I bet Juneau is the one of the prettiest State Capitals. Ok, I don’t mean the downtown area. In fact, the downtown is very small, old and crowded. What I meant is the natural beauty in the area. I arrived Juneau in the middle of the night by Ferry ... 

If you think it is lucky to see a baby bear, you will be “jealous” of me – I saw a mother bear and a baby bear, together, just the next day! It is again in Chikoot Lake State Recreation Site (near Haines) where I saw a number of Bald Eagles (post #... 

87. Poor Little Bear

September 14th, 2013

I saw it again – a bear! I was walking along the Harbor in Haines. As I was taking a picture of the beach, I saw a bear walked into the viewfinder of my camera! Immediately, I turned. But, to my credit, this time, I didn’t run (read post #76). Inst... 

86. Haines, a Pretty Little Town

September 13th, 2013

Haines is a real small town. With tall mountains surrounded it and ocean by its side, it is a cute little town. However, I don’t have pictures to “prove” how beautiful it is. The weather wasn’t the best – it rained most of the time I was there. Yet, ... 

Chikoot Lake State Recreation Site is only ten miles northeast of Haines. The park is at the south end of Chilkoot Lake, near the outlet of the lake to the Chilkoot River. It is one of the best places for salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska. Additiona... 

Just want to share a few pictures of the scenery between Burwash Landing and Haines Junction in Yukon, Canada. Three months ago, I drove on this stretch of Alaska Highway when I came up to Alaska. Of course it looked much different. Most mountains we... 

83. Fishing, by Seagulls

September 8th, 2013

Just several days ago, I posted about I have seen so many seagulls (#80). When I said “many”, I meant several dozen. Well, I just saw many seagulls again, by the hundreds or even thousands this time! It was in Valdez where there were tons of salmons ... 

82. On my Way to Valdez

September 8th, 2013

I heard about Valdez from a coworker a couple of month ago. “The way to Valdez is gorgeous. You can see several glaciers.” he said. He is absolutely right. The scenery on the way to Valdez is gorgeous. Tall jugged mountains, waterfalls of all shape... 

81. Staying in Bates Motel

September 6th, 2013

I am on the road, again. My first stop is to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. “Bates Motel” is very close to the National Park, so I reserved it for two nights. Of course its real name isn’t “Bates Motel” (The fictional Bates Motel is the main set... 

80. So Many Seagulls

September 3rd, 2013

I have seen so many seagulls during this trip, hundreds of them, near a lake, on the sea shore or simply flying over! I have also posted some of them along the way. Here are more I have taken from Homer, Alaska. The Glaucous-winged Gull is a large,... 

79. Area around Cooper Landing

September 3rd, 2013

With the Kenai River rushing by one side and the Kenai Mountains towering over the other, area surrounding Cooper Landing is one of the most picturesque settings found in Alaska. Well, just post a few pictures to “show off” the area. :) PS. You ca... 

My general “rule of thumb” when I travel is not to take any tour. Most tours are very expensive. And there are already too many places for me to see, just by driving and hiking. Yet, I broke my rule a few days ago – I took a Cruise to Kenai Fjords na... 

Turnagain Arm Drive is a 50 mile stretch on Seward Highway from Anchorage to Portage Glacier. It is named as one of the world's greatest scenic drives. On the one side, the rugged 3,000 foot Chugach Mountains stand straight up above. One the other si... 

76. Facing a Bear, in the Wild

August 31st, 2013

Finally, I have seen a bear, face to face, in the wild! I have been so concerned and fearful about bear encounter in the wild ever since the beginning of my trip in April. Luckily, I have seen black bears 10 times in Yukon, on my way to Alaska, fro... 

McHugh Lake & Rabbit Lake trail is in Chugach State Park. It is only about 20 minutes away from down town Anchorage (40 min from Girdwood). Actually, for this reason, I didn’t really want to hike this trail. “Selfishly”, I don’t like to share a trail... 

I didn’t plan to do a long or difficult hike today. The weather forecast was for 50% chance of rain. I have done too much hiking in the rain lately and really didn’t want to get in the rain again today. Well, in the morning, when I saw the sunligh... 

Whittier is a tiny little harbor town (about 300 residents) 60 miles south of Anchorage. It is the gateway to Prince William Sound. To reach Whittier, you have to drive the longest highway tunnel in North America (2.5 miles, one way traffic, combined... 

I have special feelings for mushrooms. When I was little, I used to pick them in the woods. My parents were professors in Wuhan University (China). We lived on campus on the outskirts of Wuhan which is a large city. There are hills, woods, fields a... 

Portage Valley of Chugach National Forest is truly an oudoory people’s idea play ground. Only 50 miles south of Anchorage, it offers almost everything one loves to see in nature: Two nice hiking trails - Trail of Blue Ice (5 miles) and Byron Glacie... 

I have seen so many wild animals since I came to Alaska. However, I didn’t see Bald Eagle until several days ago. Oh, believe me, I have been looking, but it is such an elusive bird to spot. Somehow I got lucky – twice in a day, I found them, by the ... 

69. Under the Red Umbrella

August 12th, 2013

She walked, Under a scarlet umbrella, On the muddy trail, Through the misty forest. The thick clouds blocked her view of the surrounding glacial mountain peaks, But she could still see the lush green leaves, The blooming wildflowers, The cheer... 

68. Endless Rain

August 9th, 2013

It has been more than a week since I arrived to Girdwood. Even though I am surrounded by beautiful mountains with glaciers, I haven’t been able to take any good picture. You see, it has been raining all most the whole time! According to weather forec... 

67. Picking Wild Raspberry

August 7th, 2013

I have picked wild blue berry before in North Carolina and Washington State. During a backpacking trip in Shining Rock Wilderness Area (Pisgah National Forest) in western North Carolina, I picked wild blue berry for the first time. It was about 10 ... 

I just said goodbye to Mt McKinley. However, on my way to Girdwood, I saw it again, prettier than ever. It didn’t start as a very nice day. There were too many clouds in the sky so I didn’t think I would see Mt McKinley. Yet I still decided to hike... 

65. Saying Goodbye to Denali

August 1st, 2013

I debated whether or not to write this blog. It is hard, if I write it, not to sound negative. I have shared mostly beautiful pictures and positive experiences. Should I write about the “other side” of the story as well? Well, you are reading it, ... 

I have never really cared about birthday that much. Yet, when I had a chance to go heli-hiking on my birthday, I felt especially lucky. It became one of the two most memorable birthdays I have ever had. The other one, just in case you are curious, ha... 

Statistically, only 20% of the people visiting Denali National Park are lucky enough to see Mt McKinley. Most of the time, 80% to be precise, the mountain is covered by clouds. Personally, I think the chance might be even lower. At least I felt it ... 

62. Flying, One more Time

July 30th, 2013

If you read Post #48, you knew I flew with “Denali Air” once a couple of months ago. After the flight, the owner told us that if space available, we were welcome to fly with him again. Well, I just got another chance, again, after trying to find a sp... 

Since Post #50, I have seen more wildlife, mainly from my trip to Kantishna. During one day (more than 90 miles one way from Denali National Park entrance to the end of the park road), we were very fortunate to see a Red Fox, a couple of Moose, sever... 

60. A Long Drive

July 24th, 2013

On my last day off, I took a drive from Denali to Paxson which is only 150 miles away. How could it be a long drive? Well, my original plan was to drive to Paxson, taking pictures along the way and then hiking at Summit Lake in Paxson. After I drove... 

59. Remarkable Fireweed

July 24th, 2013

Alaska's most well know and beloved wildflower is the fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium). It can be seen along the highway and sometimes, the roadside corridors are enflamed in pink with this abundant wildflower. It reaches its peak bloom by late Jul... 

58. Flying in a Helicopter

July 17th, 2013

I know I thought it wouldn’t get any better (Post #55). Well, it did – I got to land on a glacier again (Yanert Glacier), this time flying in a helicopter! I had never flown in a helicopter before this, so to me, it is even better than flying in a re... 

57. More Wildflowers

July 9th, 2013

I have got a few people expressed their interests of wildflowers after I posted some on Post #53. Since then I have taken more pictures of wildflowers (a cloudy day is actually pretty good for taking pictures of flowers). Although I still don’t know ... 

56. Over the Rainbow

July 9th, 2013

The weather has been cold, cloudy and rainy lately. Even though I have done a lot, including hiking and spending a weekend at a lodge deep inside of Denali National Park, I don’t have too many good pictures to share. However, being in a rainy day, th... 

55. Landed on a Glacier

July 1st, 2013

This actually happened a couple of weeks ago. I took so many pictures that it was hard to pick and choose what to post so I delayed and delayed until today. It is my day off but it is raining so I have no excuse to put this off any more. When I too... 

54. Smoky

July 1st, 2013

We didn’t have any internet connection for a few days. The reason is because we had a severe thunderstorm which destroyed a number of things around here. It was last Wednesday (6/26/13). After I finished my shift (which is from 5:30am to 2pm), I wen... 

53. Wildflowers in Denali

June 25th, 2013

I have been taking picture of wildflowers ever since I got here, but there were not as many until recently, especially today when I hiked the Triple Lakes trail. It is a 9.3 miles trail going through boreal forest and three small lakes. Along the way... 

Just in case you wonder why I didn’t write much lately, not only I was busy working, but also I have been sick for more than a week. Just cold, nothing serious, but it did take my “spirit” away, for a few days. Nevertheless, I still managed to hike a... 

51. Hidden Treasure

June 15th, 2013

When people come to visit Denali, of course they come to visit Denali National Park. Yet, there are areas outside of the National Park that is as beautiful as inside of the park. One particular area I love a lot is a stretch of the old Denali Highway... 

Not only the scenery in Denali National Park is breathtaking, but also it is a place to see animals. As I wrote before, I am not a big fan of animals, yet, whenever I see one in the wild, I can’t help but to take pictures. They are not smelly, nor da... 

I don’t want to make anyone jealous, but I don’t have a way around it. :) I have got two flights, in one day, both for free, and much more! Yesterday is my first day off. I got a chance to take a tour going all the way deep inside of the Denali Nat... 

I knew there are perks working for a travel company, but I didn’t know that we get to go on tours that are operated by other local tour companies as well! One of our “neighboring” tour companies is “Denali Air” which offers flights that will take pas... 

47. Hiking in the Rain

June 2nd, 2013

I got the first day off (half day) for my summer job so I didn’t waste any time and went hiking (5/31/2013). I heard thunders when I left. Well, if it started to rain hard, then I was just going to take a drive. I have been here for five days. It i... 

The company I am working for the summer isn’t very big, with several dozen of cabins. As seasonal employees, we stay on site in the back of the property. Although my room is tiny with only a twin size bed and a small desk, I am very happy to have a r... 

“Winding in and winding out Fills my mind with serious doubt As to whether the lout Who built this route Was going to hell or coming out” I didn’t write this. It is from a magnate I bought, but it sure sums up well what I want to say about Alask... 

I have heard that mosquitoes are terrible in Alaska and I was prepared for it by bring several insect sprays, some for me and others for my clothes. Yet, it was ironic to get my very first mosquito bite right at the moment I took the picture of the “... 

43. Goodbye Yukon

May 26th, 2013

Have to say goodbye to Yukon today! It has been such a privilege and pleasure to visit this remarkable land! I would love to write more, but this is a common computer for the guests staying in the Inn so I would better be quick. Goodbye Yukon! Se... 

42. Too Long, Too Tired

May 25th, 2013

Kluane Lake is the largest lake in Yukon Territory, covering more than 150 square miles. It is about 50 miles in length! It was about 6 in the afternoon when I first saw it from the southeast point. The sun light was so strong that it was still too... 

A dramatic landscape of broad valleys and monumental mountain ranges, Kluane National Park and Reserve is the largest internationally protected area in the world (shared by Canada and US) and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features Canada’s high... 

One pair of eyes really isn’t enough when you are in Yukon, Canada. I wish I had half a dozen of them. One set to keep eye on the road since the road condition can be bad at times. One pair to check the wildlife on the right and another for the l... 

There are several lakes in Watson Lake area. I was told that they are good for bird watching. Although I can’t call myself a bird-watcher yet, if you read my previous posts about my experience in Idaho, you know I started to pay more attention to bir... 

If you are a fan of wildlife, driving on Alaska Highway is what you would love to do. You can see so many wildlife just by driving on the highway. For example, just yesterday, I have seen 3 Squirrels, 3 Stone Sheep, 3 Black Bears (making total 9); 4 ... 

Muncho Lake Provincial Park in northern British Columbia contains lots of spectacular folded mountains and a 12 km long jade-colored lake. The park is on Alaska Highway between Toad River and Liard River. One can view the impressive geological form... 

36. True Color

May 18th, 2013

The words I would use to describe the scenery I have seen so far on Alaska Highway are rough, tough, rugged, strong, powerful, cold… Not only the mountains are rocky and jagged, the dominant color of the environment is relative dark and not so cheerf... 

Alaska Highway is the major reason I am here. Driving Alaska Highway is, or at least used to be, an adventurous thing to do. This highway starts Dawson Creek, Canada and ends Delta Junction, Alaska. Since it connects Canada and Alaska, it is also c... 

This stretch of Canada is relative boring compared to what I have been to so far. So I am not going to talk much other than post a few pictures. I did see another Black Bear again today, making total of 5 bears so far. By the time I finish the trip... 

33. Two Bears in One Day

May 14th, 2013

This is not the first time I have seen bears during this trip. Certainly it won’t be the last time. I was lucky that so far I have only seen them when I was in the car. The first two times I saw them a few days ago, they fled away before I could ev... 

Mount Robson Provincial Park, in my opinion, is a five star park. Its beauty can be compared to the nearby National Parks (Jasper, Banff, Yoho, and Kooteney NP). In fact, at 3954 meters, Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, tower... 

I have such mixed emotions about writing this blog. On the one hand, I would love to write about my mom and to celebrate her life. On the other hand, I am afraid that I won’t do a work job writing about her. Just thinking about her brought sad memori... 

30. Hello BC, Canada

May 13th, 2013

I left Blanchard, Idaho at 8 in the morning, yet I didn’t get to Kelowna, Canada until 6 in the afternoon. There is actually only less than 300 miles, but I wasn’t in any hurry and stopped from time to time along the way. British Columbia is a plac... 

29. Goodbye USA

May 13th, 2013

I am leaving the United States and entering Canada tomorrow. It looks like, I know, that Canada is part of the US. Legally, it is a different country. For one thing, you can bring fruits into the country. I learned it before, luckily not in a hard... 

OK, the neighbor I am talking about here is Washington State. Since I am staying in northwest Idaho, I decided to venture further west to the neighboring state - Washington. One of the top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies is International S... 

27. Empty Handed

May 7th, 2013

I didn’t get any picture of the animals I intended to catch. Cougar Bay Preserve is an area I heard from a receptionist at the resort I am staying in. She highly recommended the place for wildlife viewing. So I thought it would be great to go ther... 

26. Lake after Lake

May 6th, 2013

The theme is lake for today and probably for the next three days as well. There are so many lakes around the area. The first lake I went to in the morning is Spirit Lake. Legend has it that an Indian chief daughter and her beloved boy jumped into t... 

25. Wrong Sides

May 5th, 2013

I must e got out the wrong side of the bed today (5/5/13). I went to the "wrong" side of the lake, and more. Priest Lake has been called the Idaho Crown Jewel. It is a long, narrow shaped lake tucked in the mountainous region of northwest Idaho. I... 

My heart was sing when I stepped into the sunlight in the morning. The air was still a little chilly but it was so fresh and crisp clear. The sky was blue with pure white clouds. Birds were chirping, happily. More importantly to me, after a good nigh... 

23. A Long Drive

May 3rd, 2013

Yes, it was a long drive and I am glad it is over! Actually, it is only 600 miles, from southeast Idaho to northwest Idaho. In a normal day, I wouldn feel too bad and probably would stop in the middle for a short side trip. But not today. Although ... 

22. On Holiday Again

May 2nd, 2013

Yesterday was really too cold. I woke up in the morning with running and stuffy nose (5/2/13). That scared me – I am going to drive long distance (600 miles) again tomorrow. It is surely not a good time to feel sick! So, I did what I have done a we... 

21. On Top of the World

May 1st, 2013

Ok, you know I am exaggerating. The summit of Bonneville Peak, the highest peak in Pebble Creek Ski Area, is only 9271 feet above sea level. But when I drove up and hiked in Pebble Creek Ski Area, I felt like I was on top of the world. The ski seas... 

20. Bird Chasing

April 30th, 2013

One of the maps I obtained from the Visitor Center is for bird watching in Southeast Idaho. So I decided to be a “bird watcher” for the day. There are a lot of lakes, reservoirs and rivers in the area. Just today, I went to Blackfoot Reservoir, Gra... 

19. Beauty and Beast

April 29th, 2013

If you read my blog so far, you know I love rocks and rock formations. I am sorry to say, though, that Massacre Rocks State Park (in Idaho) I went to today isn’t one of my favorites. :( There are plenty of rocks in the park, big boulders spread all ... 

Wow! What a day I had, totally unexpected and unplanned. If you read my last blog, you know I sounded a little bored by the ordinary scenery in the area. After I posted the blog in the morning, I decided to take a walk in the small town, hoping the... 

17. Enjoy Ordinary Beauty

April 28th, 2013

I have to admit that I had trouble posting the blog yesterday. I have been so eager to write my blog for the past week or so. There were always some kinds of stories or extraordinary places to share. But yesterday (probably for the next week while I ... 

16. On My Way

April 26th, 2013

I am on my way, again. It didn’t take me long – only 12 hours to leave Colorado and Utah behind. :) I am now in south east of Idaho and will be here for another week before continuing my journey. The hardest part of today’s drive is passing Moab in... 

15. Travel Needs a Holiday

April 25th, 2013

I had several plans for today (4/25/13): I could go hiking with the local hikers in South Fork (which is a couple of hours drive on mountainous road); I could hike up the Chimney Rock (which is not open, but one could hike 3 miles one way up the moun... 

One of the reasons I chose to stay in the south west Colorado is because of San Juan National Forest. I had never been here before, but from what I have learned, there are hundreds of miles of trails in the forest. No doubt, some of them would be rea... 

13. Enchanted Badland

April 24th, 2013

I know, “enchanted” and “badland” doesn’t seem to fit too well. However, it was how I felt, exactly, when I was in Bisti Wilderness Area in New Mexico. Just in case anyone is wondering why I am “back tracking” to NM, you don’t have to worry. I am... 

Since it rained and snowed two days ago when I went to Rio Grande National Forest, I decided to re-visit it again today (4/22/13). After all, it is only a couple of hours away. At 8:30am, I drove up to the South Fork’s Visitor Center, hoping to g... 

Honestly speaking, I debated whether to go to Mesa Verde National Park. I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute, if it is any other National Park. However, from what I have learned, Mesa Verde is a National Park focusing on archeological sites, culture and ... 

10. A Day of Crazy Weather

April 20th, 2013

I am in Colorado right now and will stay here for a few days (4/20/13). Since I have been driving a lot in the past few days, I was going to take it easy and just to hike around the area. Well, when I went to the Activity Center where I was told to a... 

I had a long day (4/19/13) yesterday, not only drove over 600 miles (from TX, through NM to CO), but also visited Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rock National Monument in New Mexico. “Unbelievable, incredible, stunning, unique, spectacular, wonderful, stunni... 

8. Rain, Rain, Go Away

April 20th, 2013

I woke up in the middle of the night by loud noises. It was pouring! The terrifying thunder, bright lightening and heavy downpour kept me from falling asleep again. I lay on bed, worrying about how long would it take me to drive to my next destinatio... 

Day 2 (4/17/13) was a little more fun than just driving. I went to Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas. Petit Jean Mountain is a special place. It was known for the legend of Petit Jean, a French girl who disguised herself as a boy and secretly acc... 

Today is the day – my very first step of the long journey! I didn’t sleep well last night, too excited and a little nervous. A friend of mine asked whether I like driving and my negative answer seemed to shock her. “You don’t like driving? And you ar... 

5. My history of Solo Travel

April 15th, 2013

Ever since I decided to travel to Alaska all by myself, I have heard lots of worries from my family and friends. I understand their concerns and I do appreciate the kindness very much! After all, it is a long journey, and needless to say, I am, besid... 

4. The Idea of Travel Solo

April 14th, 2013

Traveling solo seemed to be such a terrifying idea, to most people especially females. The world is filled with all kinds of dangers as we hear them from the media everyday! Yes, there are dangers all around us, especially for a female traveler. But ... 

3. Passion for Travel

April 14th, 2013

I have always loved travel, even when I was little. I was born and raised in China where “travel” was not a clear concept at the time and very few truly cared about “travel” since there were so much more pressing issues to worry about such as bas... 

I don’t know who said it nor where I read it from, but I do remember and agree with the concept – over prepare and then go with the flow. Especially for a long trip like the one I am going to take in a few days, one must prepare as much as possib... 

I am going to Alaska and I am going to drive there from the east coast all by myself! I have always wanted to go to the west of US ever since I saw pictures of red rock formations in UT and snow capped mountains in WY about twenty some ye...