Alaska
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Alaska is a very large state, covering over 586,000 square miles. It is more than twice the size of Texas,
 four times the size of either Italy or Japan, and almost six times the size of New Zealand.
Alaska contains more than 3,000,000 lakes and more than half of the planet's glaciers.
The state name comes from the name given by the natives Alyeska The Great Land.

 This section includes Alaska (Denali National Park, Fairbanks, Anchorage,
 Alyeska, and Seward), the Inside Passage (College Fjord, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan).
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is on a separate page (here).

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

Map Overview of our Trip

This is an approximate overview of the compound trip that we took, 9 days on land and 7 days on a ship. As pictured, our itinerary included Fairbanks, Denali National Park, Anchorage, Alyeska, and Seward; then the cruise of the Inside Passage
(College Fjord, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan, and finally, several days
in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The Alaska Pipeline was one of the more controversial engineering projects of the last century. It was built to carry newly-found oil from Prudhoe Bay (formerly Deadhorse) to  a seaport in Valdez for transshipment. The pipeline is 800 miles long and is one of the longest in the world.
 Jerrold Patz
at the Alaska Pipeline "Jerrold Patz"

Alyeska Pipeline Commemorative Plaque   Jerrold Patz at The Alyeska Pipeline in Alaska

The Alyeska Pipeline in Alaska

On the Alaska Railroad   Jerrold Patz On the Alaska Railroad

Alaska Railroad Ticket

We rode on the famed Alaska Railroad from Fairbanks to Denali National Park. In many parts of Alaska there are no roads and the railroad is the only means of ground transportation.
 Jerrold Patz on the Alaska Rail Road "Jerrold Patz"  boarding pass  train ticket
Standing at the crossroads sign in Anchorage, Alaska.
 
"Jerrold Patz"  Jerrold Patz
Jerrold Patz at the Anchorage Alaska Crossroads
Susan Butcher and Her Dogs   Susan Butcher Running Her Dogs We had an opportunity to visit with Susan Butcher, the four-time winner of the Iditarod Race. She is here with her dogs, first, about the hitch them to a four-wheeled tractor, and then running with them. Sadly, Susan died in August, 2006.
The Iditarod Race is a big thing in Alaska. It commemorates an effort to rush life-saving serum to Nome Alaska. Its history can be found here. We visited the race headquarters in Wasilla, Alaska.
 Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria
at the Iditarod Race HQ "Jerrold Patz"
Headquarters of the Iditarod Race   Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria at the Commemorative Statue at the Headquarters of the Iditarod Race
Ketchikan Welcome Sign   Creek Street Plaque

Photo of the Beginning of Creek Street   Back Door Escape from the Brothels on Creek Street

Ketchikan was one of our favorite stops in Alaska. Here, we are greeted by a sign proclaiming it to be Alaska's 1st City, that is the first city one encountered when going north. During the gold rush, it was also the home to the infamous Creek Street, a collection of bars and brothels ("where fish and fishermen go up the creek to spawn"). And, a sign pointing to the back door trail for married men to leave the brothels unobserved.
  married man's trail sign   
We took a helicopter ride from Denali National Park to an outside glacier, the Yanert Glacier. We landed in a remote spot on a glacier that was over 800 feet (244 meters) thick. It was quite eerie here, the only noises being the ice cracking and groaning.
 Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria
 and Jerrold Patz standing on an Alaskan Glacier "helicopter landing on glacier" "Jerrold Patz"
Jerrold Patz at the Helicopter Landing on the Yanert Glacier   Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria Standing on the Yanert Glacier

Jerrold Patz Standing on the Yanert Glacier

An Alaska Glacier Calving This is the "money shot", the one that everyone wants to see: a glacier calving - that is to say, a piece of a glacier breaking off into the sea. This occurred at Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay. You can compare these glaciers (and those below) to the ones in Chile (here).
Juneau is the capital of Alaska, although it is totally inaccessible by road. To get there, one must fly or float in. Although sparse in population, Juneau is the 2nd largest borough in city in America. Juneau covers more than 3000 square miles, 3 times larger than the State of Rhode Island. Here are the Capitol Building, and the Governor's Mansion. Alaska State Capitol Building, Juneau   Alaska Governor's Mansion, Juneau

Alaska Governor's Mansion, Juneau

Alaska, Land of the Midnight Sun The midnight sun is not an illusion:  As the sign states, the sun rose at 3:02am and set at 12:42 am...delivering 21 hours and 38 minutes of sunshine.
Denali National Park is huge, over 6 million acres, or about 9400 square miles. It is larger than the states of Massachusetts and New Jersey. Denali is the home to America's highest mountain (Mt McKinley) and to abundant and varied wildlife. In a long, one-day wilderness tour we saw bears, a moose with new calves, long-horned sheep, and wolves. Denali Brown Bear   Denali Long-Horned Sheep

Denali Moose and Two Calves   Denali Wolves Greeting Each Other

Sam McGee Pub, Ketchikan Alaska   Opening Lines of the Poem, "The Cremation of Sam McGee"    Ketchikan was also the location for Sam McGee's Pub. A wall plaque displays the first lines of one of my favorite poems, "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Alaska-favorite, Robert W. Service (click here for more info on him).
If you look carefully at the red sign, you'll find an image of me taking the picture.
A photo of our Alaska tour group taken in Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. We are in the front row center, our tour guide Mitzi is on the far left, and the two in the blue/gray sweats on the far right were on their honeymoon.
 Jerrold Patz and Naimah Zakaria in  travel group picture
"Jerrold Patz"
Our Alaska Group Photo

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Here is a montage of additional pictures.

Mouse over any picture for a description. Click on any picture to expand it into a larger view.

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index: Jerrold Patz Naimah Zakaria glacier "black box" Ryndam helicopter "St Michael's" Sitka "College Fjord" "panning for gold" "Mount McKinley" "Mt McKinley" gnome Denali "Glacier Bay" "Jerrold Patz" patz.com Seward "Black Box" gold Yanert Glacier  "Alaska Pipeline"   "Sung Hong"  "Celia Hong"  caribou panning for gold   helicopter glacier  "Naimah in native dress"   "naimah in native dress"  "college fjord" fjord  jade