Swans and bikers on the Richardson Highway

The Richardson Highway is 368 miles of pavement connecting Fairbanks, Alaska with Valdez to the south. The highway is typical of those found in Alaska: crossing mountain ranges and a very steep pass, with the occasional view of a glacier. Also common among many Alaskan roads, wildlife viewing. A trip down to Valdez earlier this summer brought multiple sightings and photo opportunities of swans.

Please click on the image to view full size.

The first group of the birds were farther off the road and didn’t allow me to get very close before taking flight, but offered me a nice action shot in the process.

The second group, much closer to the road, was far to concerned with eating to be spooked by my presence.

Then, after a few minutes of photographing, I got that unique shot photographers hope for. There in remote Isbabel Pass, more then 100 miles south of Fairbanks and with Gulkana Glacier in the background, a long-distance biker seemed to come out of nowhere, stopping to take a picture himself. Unfortunately without the preceding picture one easily looses the beauty of these large, graceful and powerful birds.

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