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Alaska

Alaska

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Fairbanks, Alaska, the “last frontier”, the “land of the midnight sun”. The time of the day in
this photo could be anything since when it was taken, daylight extended around the clock.
Due to the extra daylight hours many flowers here are gigantic, more than in tropical regions.
The Fairbanks area: A typical single family home on the local river, built of heavy logs with
windows of 3 or 4 panes / layers. A private light aircraft is very common in Alaska (more
than in any other state), since most of the roads are blocked during the winter and the rivers
are frozen as well.
The huge Trans-Alaskan pipeline carries 20% of the US oil consumption. Since the freshly
pumped oil is hot, major sections of the pipeline run above the surface to minimize
interference with natural environment, where a bit deeper under the surface soil stays frozen
year round (“permafrost”).
Denali National Park by the visitors’ village
A helicopter ride to the Yanert Glacier area within the vastness of Denali National Park.
Landing on the Yanert Glacier in Denali National Park
The blue color is produced by the ice crystal formed under heavy pressure of
historic upper layers over thousands of years.
On the luxury train running in between Denali and Anchorage
On the train: Denali viewed through the window
Juneau is in Southeast Alaska, where a beautiful fabric of waterways and land form an
archipelago. Moving in between communities in this area is typically by water, and tours
are typically by cruises running in between Juneau and Ketchikan. Here we boarded our
small cruise ship.
Skagway, Alaska, our cruise's first stop: A spectacular excursion on the White Pass & Yukon
Route railroad built in the Alaska Gold Rush era 1898-1900 (and is a designated International
Civil Engineering Landmark).
The colorful town of Skagway. In the Gold Rush era, this small town sported no
less than 60 brothels…
Admiring nature in silence while cruising slowly at Glacier Bay National Park
Sitka, Alaska: Native worshippers in a Sunday service at the Russian Orthodox Church.
Sitka was the colonial center of “Russian America” (Alaska) before Russia sold the territory
to the USA.
Sitka, Alaska: (This photo didn’t move here just by mistake from my tropical collections…)
The region has heavy annual precipitation, the highest in North America.
Sitka: Trees grow here
fast and tall which may
explain in part the Totem
Poles in the native culture
here and along the North
West Coast. As opposed
to the other churches, the
Russian Orthodox
missionaries didn’t insist
that the natives
completely abandon their
prior culture, including
Totem Poles.
Sitka: A monument in the form of a boat, painted with native art which, like in the case of
Totem Poles, includes icons of wild life common to the area: Eagle, Raven, Killer Whale, etc.
Fishing is both traditionally and currently the main part of the economy.
The Tracy Arm (Fjord like): Advancing slowly and cautiously in silence between the
ice floats toward the Sawyer Glacier.
Eagles are very common to the area and so is obviously ice... but here is an eagle resting on
the tip of the tip of the iceberg… (In the original photo it is possible to zoom in for further
details.)
Watching whales while cruising at Stephens Passage / Frederick Sound.
The thriving Norwegian fishing community of Petersburg, Alaska (the USA): Local
children demonstrating Norwegian culture in costumes and folk dance.
The small isolated native marine community of Metlakatla is the only “native reservation” in
Alaska. They are dedicated today to the revival and preservation of their own specific native
culture after having to abandon it at the time as required by their own beloved Christian
missionary.
Metlakatla, Alaska: Native dance performance. Wooden masks are another
prominent cultural element here and along the North West Coast.
Metlakatla, Alaska: The
native regalia here carry a
big native icon of an
Eagle, a Raven, a Killer
Whale, or a Wolf -- the
names of the 4 clans
(chamulas) of the tribe. By
tradition, marriage is
permitted only between
different clans, which
eases a bit their concern
about intermarriages
within their tiny
community.
Ketchikan, Alaska: A typical traditional housing of the coastal native tribes of the North
West. The house consists of a single huge room that includes an open fire. It hosts a
complete clan (chamula) of many individual families (with no privacy).
Ketchikan, Alaska, has the
very highest annual
precipitation in North
America and it shows in
their collection of Totem
Poles which is the richest,
as well…
Ketchikan, Alaska: This colorful Creek Street was known in the Alaska Gold Rush era as the
town’s “red light” district. Salmon also come here up the stream back from their long
ocean journey to mate…
E n d
T h e

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