Whale on the Way to Hope

Ever wondered what a humpback whale looks like up close? I hadn’t till we were driving the Hope road and we saw a whale on the beach. It isn’t every day you get to see a beached humpback whale, especially one that isn’t completely rotted.

IMG_6581 We arrived as the scientists were finishing up taking samples for a necropsy and before all the other tourists descended on it.

IMG_6582

This was a rather small humpback whale but it was still quite the experience to stand next to such a giant animal and explore its features and textures.

IMG_6584

IMG_6586

IMG_6587

So that’s what a whale feels like

Atlee was a trooper despite the smell. After all, this was nothing compared to the smell of the dead walrus she experienced a month or so ago.

IMG_6578

After checking out the whale we headed to Palmer Creek Road for one of my favorite hikes in Alaska then ended the day with a Rueben in Hope, a combination that is always a highlight of my summer. On our way home we looked to see if we could spot the whale again but the tide had already swept it out into the Turnigan Arm. How’s that for timing!

This same whale also turned up on the beach near Kincaid Park in Anchorage. Read about it here.