"An Artist's View"

September 2001  

Press Release

In September 2001, Ron Kleiber, accompanied by four other artist friends traveled to Alaska on an excursion of a lifetime. "Basing ourselves at the home of a friend and guide in Anchorage, our first journey took us to the port village of Seward. Once there, we sailed into the bay where we observed various species of whales, dolphins, sea lions, eagles, puffins and sea otters. All the while moving toward one of Alaska's phenomenal glaciers.

The explorers: Ron Kleiber, Len Rusin, Cole Johnson, Steve Oliver & George LaVanish
  "Our next excursion found us on a four day canoe trip down the Moose River in the Kenai Peninsula, complete with 8 to 10 portages (sorry, but I lost count). These portages all but tested one's endurance. Thankfully we lost no one! We would end up covering 40 miles on a river that started out as narrow as the width of a small car and eventually opened up wide enough for a small plane to use as an air strip.

"Every turn of our canoe brought more intense beauty and pure solitude. At times it gave us the feeling that we were completely alone. It was there we witnessed moose, loons, ravens, eagles and more in their natural habitat. What an incredible sight! After having seen such beauty, we were able to do some fly fishing and enjoy our efforts over an open fire.  

"The last, but most definitely not least adventure of our two weeks was off to the breathtaking exploration of Denali. It was incredible right down to the 'log cabin'-type hostel we had rented for what little sleep and rest we allowed ourselves to have.

  "There were several excruciatingly painful, but incredible climbs to the upper ridges and mountain meadows where we found ourselves surrounded by inquisitive Dahl Sheep and an equally interested Hori Marmot. What we saw were landscapes only God could have created. They left us all breathless and in awe of what we were seeing.

"We were truly blessed by Mother Nature having 3 of the 4 days filled with sunshine which is something we had learned not many get to enjoy. Every day was filled with grizzlys, lynx, moose, dahl sheep, ptarmigan, marmots, ground squirrels, red fox, and for me, a much too close introduction to a bull caribou and his mate (I never thought I could run that fast!)."

Look for overwhelming impressions this trip left on this artist in current and future works.