A view from just an ordinary street corner in Anchorage on my first day in Alaska, while hanging around waiting for the bus to Seward.
Along the Seward Highway
View of Chugach Mountains. The weather was comfortable (on May 29th) but most higher elevations had some snow cover.
Rest stop at Gulch Creek
What it's about
Nice view at Gulch Creek
Seward Bus Lines
The old Alaska Railroad station building in Seward, by the waterfront. The tracks and much property was destroyed in the 1964 earthquake. The building now houses offices of the Alaska SeaLife Center.
Seward is the start of the famous Iditarod Trail... famous nowadays for the Iditarod dog sled race, but in times past the trail (traversed by dog sleds) was a transportation artery.
Iditarod Trail Mile 0
Founders Monument in Seward
The weathervane on top of the monument, depicting a steam locomotive and tender
4th Street, the main commercial street in Seward
The B&B where I stayed in Seward: Ballaine House, built 1905. The house is named after its original owner Frank L. Ballaine, who was the brother of John Ballaine, considered to be Seward’s Founding Father.
My room at Ballaine House
Another view of the room
St. Peter's Episcopal Church, built 1906
I attended at 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 30th.
Larry, Bonnie and Vince Hodge, the 3 friends I met in Seward, posing in front of their cruise ship. (Unlike about 60% of visitors to Alaska these days, my own itinerary did not involve a cruise... unless you count local cruises around coastal scenery... but these were interstate and not a way of getting to or from Alaska.)
The Holland America Line's SS Ryndam at the dock in Seward
Mt. Marathon as seen from Nash Highway, across Resurrection Bay from Seward. The town is visible along the opposite shore.
This time a Princess Lines ship is docked in the harbor
Close-up of Seaward from across the bay; the SeaLife Center is visible in the center.
The Alaska SeaLife Center
Closer view of SeaLife Center building
Some of the marine life on display in the SeaLife Center: a fish
This appears to be the King Crab or a close relative
Outdoors at SeaLife Center: sea lion
Birds on a log
Puffin in action
Sea Lion in big tank from lower level window
Railroad art across from the depot in Anchorage
The Earthquake Theater in Anchorage has films and exhibits about the 1964 quake.
Some of the material in the Earthquake Theater
The Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center has all sorts of exhibits on Alaskan history, art and culture, and an extensive library of books on these subjects.
Closer view of museum
A totem pole on display in the Anchorage Museum
Detail of lower part of totem pole
Info about the totem pole
Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage
Sculpture, "Raven the Creator" by John Hoover
This is a replica Atahabascan village site.
Interior of Athabascan dwelling
A Yup'ik dwelling site, partially subterranean
Tusks framing the scene at Lake Tiulana
Skeleton of a gray whale
Interior of Alutiiq dwelling
Totem poles representative of southeastern coastal peoples
Totem pole carvers at work
The Wings of Alaska airline's terminal at Gustavus. The town is the gateway to Glacier Bay for those visiting the area by land. One of many small Alaska communities that is not on the road system, so can only be reached from "outside" by plane or boat.
Wings of Alaska aircraft
A view of Douglas, a neighborhood across the Gastineau Channel from Juneau proper
The Alaska state capitol building
"Windfall Fisherman" sculpture in Juneau
Explanation of the sculpture
Corner of 3rd & Franklin in Juneau
Looking up 3rd Street
The Mount Roberts Tramway in Juneau... a good way to get great views of the city and its surroundings
A view from the top of the Mount Roberts tramway
The Gastineau Channel
View of Juneau taken while riding down on the tramway
The Mendenhall River flows from the glacier of the same name. Taken from a Juneau city bus crossing the river on the Mendenhall Loop Road. As I was only in town for a few hours I did not have time to get off the bus and hike to the glacier.
The airport in Valdez
Licence plate on the Ford Focus that I drove between Valdez and Copper Center along the Richardson Highway, with a side excursion on the Edgerton Highway to Chitina
Valdez boat harbor
Sockeye salmon street emblem in Valdez
At the Valdez Museum: this is a star of the type carried mainly by Alaska Natives who belong to the Russian Orthodox Church in "starring" processions at Christmas time. The star is twirled by its carrier.
Example of an Alaskan miner's cabin circa 1898-1920
Explanation of cabin display
Some historic signs from the Richardson Highway
I can recall this brand of beer and ale being popular and common in the Northeast years ago and was surprised that it may have been available in Alaska as well. (The original Ballantine brewery closed in 1972; the brand still exists but is owned by Pabst.)
The pride of Valdez ... or not?
Keystone Canyon of the Lowe River, along the Richardson Highway
Bridal Veil Falls (seems to be a common name for falls)
Base of Bridal Veil
Upper part of Bridal Veil
Rock formation across from Bridal Veil Falls
Road to Blueberry Lake recreation area still blocked by snow on June 7th
Ducks near Blueberry Lake
Scenery around Blueberry Lake area
Thompson Pass on the Richardson Highway is reputedly the snowiest place in Alaska
Well, it's June 7th and there's lots of snow around
Downtown Chitina, a small town that is the gateway to the McCarthy Highway into the vast Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Liberty Falls campground and picnic area along the Edgerton Highway
Bridge and view of Liberty Falls
Some wildflowers in the Liberty Falls area
Hiking up the Liberty Falls Trail
Well above the falls now, barely visible through the trees
View of Chugach Mountains from trail summit
Raven in flight
Flowers along the trail
Lobby of the Princess Wilderness Lodge in Copper Center
Mt. Drum in the Wrangells is visible form the Princess Wilderness Lodge lobby
The B&B where I planned to stay in Valdez for a very short night (had to catch the ferry at 5 a.m. for Whittier). But, the proprietor had overbooked and accommodated me at a place around the corner. Nice looking building, though.
Alaska Marine Highway ferry terminal in Valdez
Heading out of Valdez on the SS Aurora
Ship's itinerary in the purser's office
In the Valdez Arm of Prince William Sound
Glacier Islands (continued)
Aurora's forward lounge
View of Whittier from the sound
SS Aurora docked at Whittier
Another view of the Aurora
The Harbor Triangle, downtown Whittier
The Begich Towers condominium, home to about 90% of Whittier's population
Pedestrian tunnel under Alaska Railroad in Whittier
A long view toward the head house of the Whittier Tunnel
The town of Whittier was built in the early 1940's as an ice-free port to support the military in World War II. Its only land access was via the railway tunnel toward Anchorage, completed in 1943.
In June of 2000, work was completed to allow the tunnel to be used alternately by road vehicles and by trains. Traffic via either mode is one way at a time as it is a one-lane highway with a single railroad track. The tunnel is now known as the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel in honor of its construction manager.
Superman would be proud ... an actual telephone booth still exists in 2010.
The Nenana River at Denali National Park village (which is outside the park)
The village of Denali National Park 99755
The Salmon Bake restaurant and cabins, a/k/a "The Bake" to locals
Cabins at "the Bake"
Interior of my cabin
Bettles Lodge. Bettles is located about 35 miles / 56 km north of the Arctic Circle. During the days I was there the sun did not set.
It's a bird ... it's a plane ... it's right outside Bettles Lodge.
Bettles Field sign
The original Bettles Lodge was built and operated by Wien Alaska Airlines. This sign now graces the screened porch of the present lodge.
Lobby of Bettles Lodge
The bunk house where I stayed in Bettles
Road from Bettles town to the float plane docks
At the float plane docks
Float plane parking sign
Float plane taking off
The Koyukuk River at Evansville, Native community adjacent to Bettles
The only "named" street in Bettles. Homes of employees of one of the aviation companies.
Fireweed just beginning to blossom
Brooks Lodge's sled dogs
Dog days of summer
About to take off to visit the two National Parks that are north of the Arctic Circle
Flying over the Alatna River
Nice flying weather
Shadow of float plane
Picking up the Kobuk River
Kettle ponds in the tundra
A cow moose from the air
A bull moose in a pond
Zooming in on the moose
Braiding in the Kobuk River
Flying over river and hills
Some structures just east of the city of Kobuk
Kobuk, on its namesake river ... one of the many rural communities having no road access. Note airstrip across center of photo.
Flying back to Fairbanks on Wright's Air Service
2nd Avenue in Fairbanks
An interesting tree
The Alaska Siberia World War II Memorial. Commemorates the people who were part of the cooperative effort between the United States and the Soviet Union to deliver American planes to the USSR under the lend-lease program.
Flower baskets hang over the Cushman Street bridge over the Chena River in Fairbanks
Sculpture, "Unknown First Family" by Malcolm Alexander in Golden Heart Plaza, Fairbanks. Dedicated to Alaska's Inuit peoples.
Pioneer Park's Airport Way gate
Gold Rush Town in Pioneer Park, Fairbanks
Several historic buildings from around Fairbanks have been relocated to Pioneer Park
Totem pole in retail area of Pioneer Park
This is the railway car in which President Warren Harding rode to the ceremony driving in the golden spike marking completion of the Alaska Railroad, at Nenana, in 1923.
The SS Nenana, a sidewheeler that plied the rivers of interior Alaska between 1933 and 1954, now on display at Pioneer Park.
Gangway onto the Nenana
Diorama of Nenana ca. 1930 in its namesake ship
Diorama of Tanana, 1910-20
Sculpture outside the arts center at Pioneer Park
Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts
entrance to Mining Valley
Pioneer Air Museum
Aviation history: Pacific Alaska Airlines
Aviation history: Pan Am
Aviation history: Wien Air Alaska
Historic aircraft on display
Tanana Valley Railroad
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church - "little log church" - built in 1948 replacing a structure which had burned. (Parish founded 1904.)
The Midnight Sun Festival in downtown Fairbanks, June 20, 2010. (Fairbanks is still south of the Circle so the sun does set even on the summer solstice, but only for a couple of hours and it doesn't get dark.)
"Cold Steel" - a Caribbean-style steel pan band in Fairbanks, of all places!
Close-up of band, performing at Midnight Sun Festival
Yes it's in Fairbanks
Clock tower in Golden Heart Plaza
Fire apparatus entertains kids at the festival
The Museum of the North at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks ('UAF')
Yet another angle
Wide view of museum
Sculpture "Totem" by Bernard Hosey at UAF museum
View toward Fairbanks and the Alaska Range from the museum site
Replica of the check that the US wrote to Russia in 1867 for the purchase of Alaska. Alaska Natives are still trying to figure out what made Russia think the place was theirs to sell.
Image of a painting of the Alaska Purhase in the Museum of the North.
Traditional Native clothing
Blue Babe, a mummified step bison that lived about 36,000 years ago
Stuffed polar bear. (I did not venture far enough north to see live polar bears.)
Plane used by Alaska's Flying Bishop, Bill Gordon, 1948-74
Close-up of plane
The Chena River at downtown Fairbanks
The original end of the line of the Alaska Railroad in Fairbanks before the passenger station was relocated in 2005.
So, this is the location where I boarded the Alaska Railroad on my previous trip to Alaska, in 1976.
A Fairbanks tradition is the Midnight Sun baseball game played on the date of the June solstice (June 21 in 2010). Game begins at 10:30 p.m. and is played entirely in natural light... although the field has lights, they are not turned on.
Fans arrive at Growden Park wearing varying amounts of clothing; the temperature was shirt-sleeve comfortable at starting time but did get chilly by the time the sun had more or less set.
The home-team Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks, in red, lines up for the National Anthem. It's an amateur team and plays in a league, but the Midnight Sun game is an exhibition. The 2010 opponent was the "Heroes of the Diamond," made up of military personnel form all branches.
Game in progress. The "Heroes" team members wore names on the backs of their jerseys, but the names were pseudonyms which, along with the numbers, usually had some kind of military or defense connotation. The 3rd-base coach wore the name "GROUND" and the number 0.
The game was interrupted at midnight for a ceremony and the singing of the Alaska state song. Here, Alaska's first governor under statehood, Mike Stepovich, is acknowledged.
I happened to attend the longest Midnight Sun game ever. The "Panners" finally won, 4-3, in 15 innings; the game ended at 3 a.m. on June 22nd.