At times I am asked where is my favorite place.
Although typically I try to avoid giving a real answer by saying
something like “there are so many beautiful places I could never
pick”. But for fun, I decided to try to come up with my one favorite
location. To make it harder
I thought I would try to narrow it down as specific a possible, and not
just choose a particular state or national park.
First, I better
comment on my personal experiences, preferences and bias, since this
will likely have more to do with my final selection then physical
characteristics of the place itself. I
have to admit there are few experiences that match the awe felt the
first time you walk to the rim of the Grand
Bryce National Park, but that would be too easy of a choice.
And although I love the desert, I prefer the big trees and
mountains, glaciers and ocean found along the coast in
I also enjoy
watching wildlife, so my favorite
place would have to have abundant wildlife as well.
I think that is one reason I enjoy National Parks such as Denali,
and Manuel Antonio so much.
Defining my preferences for a favorite place helps to narrow
final selection. Of the
places I have been, only Glacier
Bay, Prince William Sound and Kenai
National Park have wildlife, ocean, big trees, mountains and glaciers.
The best of those has
to do more with personal experience then fact, but since that is what I’m going on, I will narrow my
favorite place down to being within Kenai
I did say I wanted to be more specific
than just a national park,
so where specifically would my favorite spot in Kenai Fjords be?
That's easy; Pedersen
Lagoon. Pedersen Lagoon
located in Aialik
is an amazing place. It is
surrounded by mountains rising in excess of 5,000 feet above sea level,
split by the dramatically dropping S shaped
Glacier feeds the upper part of the lagoon with a steady supply of
icebergs, the largest of which generally stay in the lagoon providing
haul outs for numerous seals.
The smaller icebergs manage to ride the low tide out into Aialik
How about the wildlife?
Pederson Lagoon’s beauty is exceeded only by its wildlife.
Dozens, if not hundreds, of Harbor Seals take refuge on the icebergs in the upper lagoon.
have seen many Sea Otters in the
lower lagoon, some with young. Black
bears are very numerous as they gather to feed on the local salmon
run. On a two day trip in
Pedersen Lagoon I
counted 13 separate Black bears.
Just outside the Lagoon in
I have seen Humpbacks,
Birds are also numerous, especially eagles,
some of which nest in the
nearby trees. Pedersen
also contains a large gull rookery.
so hard; now I have an honest answer the next time someone asks where is
my favorite place.
All of the photos
on this page
were taken from and around Pederson Lagoon. You can click on any
photo to see a larger version.