Fairbanks, Alaska, the “last frontier”, the “land of the midnight sun”. The time of the day inthis 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 withwindows of 3 or 4 panes / layers. A private light aircraft is very common in Alaska (morethan in any other state), since most of the roads are blocked during the winter and the riversare frozen as well.
The huge Trans-Alaskan pipeline carries 20% of the US oil consumption. Since the freshlypumped oil is hot, major sections of the pipeline run above the surface to minimizeinterference with natural environment, where a bit deeper under the surface soil stays frozenyear round (“permafrost”).
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 ofhistoric 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 anarchipelago. Moving in between communities in this area is typically by water, and toursare typically by cruises running in between Juneau and Ketchikan. Here we boarded oursmall cruise ship.
Skagway, Alaska, our cruises first stop: A spectacular excursion on the White Pass & YukonRoute railroad built in the Alaska Gold Rush era 1898-1900 (and is a designated InternationalCivil Engineering Landmark).
The colorful town of Skagway. In the Gold Rush era, this small town sported noless 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 territoryto 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 herefast and tall which mayexplain in part the TotemPoles in the native culturehere and along the NorthWest Coast. As opposedto the other churches, theRussian Orthodoxmissionaries didn’t insistthat the nativescompletely abandon theirprior culture, includingTotem Poles.
Sitka: A monument in the form of a boat, painted with native art which, like in the case ofTotem 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 theice floats toward the Sawyer Glacier.
Eagles are very common to the area and so is obviously ice... but here is an eagle resting onthe tip of the tip of the iceberg… (In the original photo it is possible to zoom in for furtherdetails.)
Watching whales while cruising at Stephens Passage / Frederick Sound.
The thriving Norwegian fishing community of Petersburg, Alaska (the USA): Localchildren demonstrating Norwegian culture in costumes and folk dance.
The small isolated native marine community of Metlakatla is the only “native reservation” inAlaska. They are dedicated today to the revival and preservation of their own specific nativeculture after having to abandon it at the time as required by their own beloved Christianmissionary.
Metlakatla, Alaska: Native dance performance. Wooden masks are anotherprominent cultural element here and along the North West Coast.
Metlakatla, Alaska: Thenative regalia here carry abig native icon of anEagle, a Raven, a KillerWhale, or a Wolf -- thenames of the 4 clans(chamulas) of the tribe. Bytradition, marriage ispermitted only betweendifferent clans, whicheases a bit their concernabout intermarriageswithin their tinycommunity.
Ketchikan, Alaska: A typical traditional housing of the coastal native tribes of the NorthWest. The house consists of a single huge room that includes an open fire. It hosts acomplete clan (chamula) of many individual families (with no privacy).
Ketchikan, Alaska, has thevery highest annualprecipitation in NorthAmerica and it shows intheir collection of TotemPoles which is the richest,as well…
Ketchikan, Alaska: This colorful Creek Street was known in the Alaska Gold Rush era as thetown’s “red light” district. Salmon also come here up the stream back from their longocean journey to mate…