On Friday night we flew out of Anchorage, up Knik Arm and crossed over the Chugach range and Prince William Sound, flying over some of the same glacier we saw a little over a week earlier on the 26 Glacier … Continue reading Prince William Sound, and More, from Above.
The 26 Glacier Cruise is a staple of tourism in Prince William Sound. Although now it is not 26 glaciers. Some have retreated to the point where an arm of land has split them so there are more than 26. … Continue reading Prince William Sound at Sea Level
Anchorage is surrounded by mountains and Cook Inlet. Denali, the highest peak in North America is visible from many places in Anchorage. Continue reading Winter Anchorage
In January it is ice carving, February it’s snow sculptures. The Fur Rondy snow carving competition starts with huge blocks of concrete colored snow. As the sculptors work the snow seems to become whiter, although the emerging sunlight may help. My favorite was “Arctic Bowling” although I rather like the homey cabin. Minions seemed a favorite among some of the folks. KNBA has a radio, when you go around back you see tubes. More than one kid asked his parent “what are those things?” They all knew what the London Police Call Box meant. Continue reading Rondy Snow Sculptures, 2014
The Anchorage Fur Rendezvous (Rondy) is a festival designed to drive PETA mad. There is the running of the reindeer, safer than running with the bulls. There are horse drawn carriages. They’re bad, just ask New York’s new mayor. There is a fur auction, “Where it all began” according to the banner over the auction stage. Trappers, many of them kids, have their caches auctioned off. A red tagged fur was trapped by someone under 15 earning pocket money or funds for school. Along the street you can buy fur items, hats, coats, stoles, or pelts. The streets are lined … Continue reading They Put the Fur into Fur Rondy.
Suzi and I started going to sled dog races in the early ‘70s when we covered the All American Champion Sled Dog Race in Ely, MN for NPR. Alaska’s George Attla, the Husila Hustler, finished second. Other sprint race greats like Dr. Roland Lombard from Massachusetts met in Ely for that race. In the late ‘70s we covered the Northern Minnesota sled dog circuit for KAXE and I actually got to run George Hewitt’s team in a short race. But everyone in Minnesota tipped their hats to the granddaddy of all sprint races, the North American Championship Race, at the … Continue reading Anchorage Fur Rondy Sled Dog Races.
There is a new program offered by NOAA which predicts the aurora. It has a global projection and shows, based on colors, where the Aurora will be in 20 minutes. I sat in my hotel room watching the map … Continue reading Anchorage Aurora, 2014
When I lived in Sitka I grew to like Anchorage. OK, when I first moved to Southeast I made all the normal jokes about “Los Anchorage” or “the best thing about Anchorage was that it was 20 minutes from Alaska.” … Continue reading Anchorage, January 2014
Here is the final set of pictures from the Anchorage Town Square Crystal Gallery of Ice competition. Although they didn’t win you can see how they were put together from the initial sketches to the finishing by fire. I love the chess piece, it’s transparency and finish, and the angel fish. The ice sea turtles were a favorite for me. The artist played around with different colored gels on the lights. White, green or blue? What a joy! The Next posts are scheduled for January 13 and 14. Old New Year. By then I will be in the Yukon, still … Continue reading Gallery of Crystal Ice, 2014. Everyone Was a Winner
The Second Place award in the Anchorage Crystal Gallery of Ice carving completion went to a team of Chinese artists who carved a dragon. The dragon won first place in the artists own balloting. The third place went to “Embrace” … Continue reading Crystal Gallery of Ice 2014, the Carvers’ Choice and Runners Up.
One of the Anchorage’s delights is the Crystal Gallery of Ice. Ice artists carve blocks of clear ice in Town Square Park each winter for the delight of Alaskans and to be judged by both a panel of judges and by the artists themselves. This winter I was able to show up when there were blocks of ice and watched design sketching on ice, rough carving with chain saws and the final finish work. On some of the pieces blowtorches smoothed the surface. Ten teams competed in the contest, three form China. The next three posts will be from the … Continue reading Crystal Gallery of Ice, 2014 Frozen Window Pane
New Year’s Eve is not my holiday. I’ve attended New Year celebrations in lots of places, but mostly as an observer, not a celebrant. The forced gaiety makes me uncomfortable. This year I observed New Year’s celebrations in Anchorage. Each … Continue reading New Year’s Eve, Albania — Anchorage
Visitors to Anchorage who come by cruise ship dock in Whittier. Whittier was a secret port on Prince William Sound built during World War II. It was almost always covered with clouds so the Japanese planes could not see it most days. It worked. It was on no Japanese charts or maps. One of the town’s unofficial slogans is “It’s [email protected]#ier in Whittier.” Whittier is connected to Anchorage by rail through a long tunnel that goes from Whittier to Portage Lake where Portage near Portage Glacier. The tunnel is now open to cars and Whittier is where many people from … Continue reading College Fjord, Glaciers in Prince William Sound.
In 1991 I took my mother to visit the Portage Glacier an hour drive south of Anchorage. We went to a program at the visitors’ center, heard the lecture and saw the movie on glaciers. At the end of the performance the ranger opened the curtain behind her and there was a close up view of Portage Glacier including a lake filled with little ice burgs. By the time Kevin was married in 2007 and we brought the wedding party to Portage Glacier the glacier was no where to be seen in the vicinity of the visitors’ center. … Continue reading See Alaska before it melts! Portage Glacier
This year we are in a high Aurora cycle. These pictures were taken during the last high period in the winter of 2004. The first pictures are from near Glennallen. The later pictures are from Earthquake Park with the lights … Continue reading Aurora, 2004 (Glennallen and Anchorage.)
We have only driven the Alaska Highway in the winter and the autumn. In the summer there is dust, there are potholes and there are mosquitoes. In the winter the potholes are filled with water and frozen over, there is … Continue reading Alaska Highway, Autumn, 2004
These pictures are all taken within the Anchorage City Limits. The first two show Anchorage on Sunday, without “termination dust” (snow) on the near mountains, the second taken on Thursday shows the termination dust has taken hold. Both were taken … Continue reading Anchorage, Sept 2013
We got to spend two days driving with our friends Dave and Carol Lam, one through the Matanuska-Susitna valley (MatSu) and one down Turnagain Arm to Girdwood. We enjoyed the last days of summer and the first of fall in Anchorage and environs. The colors up on the mountains had turned and the mountainsides were red, rust, yellow and green. When we arrived the tops of the near mountains were clear of snow. When we left “termination dust” the first snow dusting the mountain peaks, had arrived. Alaska had a hard winter and a glorious summer. When I posted pics … Continue reading Mat Su Valley, Sept, 2013