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Eli grew up in Anchorage Alaska, spending most of the summers with her family salmon fishing on the Kenai Peninsula. 

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The constant 3 hour drive to the river was filled with whale sightings, caribou, dall sheep and mountain goats. We would get out of the car to take photos and get a closer look at these roadside beauties.

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Grizzly bears watched us camp and fish on the Kenai River surrounded by mountains and wildflowers while loons were calling and wolves were howling at night. 

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Sometimes we camped near lakes where we fished for trout and cooked it on the fire with butter and potatoes. Wild blueberries that we picked made the best dessert. 

Eli Halpin painting a Humpback Whale pai
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On special occasions we would go out on the ocean and fish for halibut. We would enter the water out of Homer Alaska, a great place to see 100s of eagles sitting together while they waited to eat yummy fish guts covering the big boats. On the ocean water sea otter families would swim past our boat. Coves were filled with 1000s of giant red starfish and whole beaches were built of mussel shells. Clam digging was one of my favorite things. One time a bright orange octopus got into the boat and my dad gently put it back in the water.

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In Anchorage moose wandered around the small city and would often walk right up to my bedroom window. They were eating the tree branches and breathing on the window while flashing their long eyelashes and soft noses.

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The Alaska Sealife Center in Seward Alaska rehabilitates marine wildlife that has been abandoned, stranded, or injured throughout Alaska. They play a critical role in responding to oil spills and other unusual events. 

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