Alaska is a truly beautiful state, that is unlike any other in the United States. This great state has recently gained popularity with The History Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers,” the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” and “Gold Rush,” and National Geographic Channel’s “Alaska State Troopers,” as well as the recent storm in the Bering Sea that all over the news! Here are some quick facts about the 49th State:
- Population: 698, 473 (as of 2009)
- Land mass: 663k square miles, over 4x that of California
- Capitol: Juneau
- Home-grown Brewery: Alaska Brewing Company
The first time I set foot in Alaska was for an expedition across the Chugach Mountain Range. Trekking across glaciers, scaling peaks, and melting snow for drinking water were everyday occurrences. Now that I’ve moved to the 49th state (16 months following the expedition) Josh has invited me to submit a few photos sharing my experiences so far. There are vast amounts of accessible wildlife, gorgeous mountain views, dangerous hikes, and delicious seafood to be had up here, and I’ve only begun to take advantage of what this place has to offer.
Juneau is by far the most scenic city I’ve ever been to. The glaciers that slowly creep between the mountain peaks and, in places like Glacier Bay, break-off (a process called “calving”) into the water, are awe-inspiring! The wildlife is surprising to the newcomer, but residence of such towns as Homer and Cordova have grown accustomed to seeing moose chew on the bark of a tree outside their front door.
The photos below capture only a glimpse of what Alaska offers the eager explorer:
An ice-climber’s view from inside a crevasse on the Nelchina glacier
M/V Columbia, a member of the Alaska Ferry fleet, and it’s community of campers on their way to Ketchikan, Wrangle, Juneau, and Skagway. Camping on deck was a more economic and adventurous way of travelling the Inside Passage than Princess Cruise Lines!
Juneau’s Mendenhall Glacier. This is one of only a few glaciers in the world that visitors and adventurer’s can drive up to! The bedrock seen on either side shows the previous width of the glacier, and is evidence of a shrinking giant. If you come to visit Juneau, this is a must-see!
Few people realize just how lush the forests of Southeast Alaska really are. With the most rainfall of any city in the United States, the temperate rainforest surrounding Ketchikan, AK will surprise visitors expecting to see igloos and penguins!
Ketchikan Coffee Company, on the corner of Creek Street and Stedman in Ketchikan, AK is frequented by both visitors and residence during all seasons. The friendly staff, delicious food, and refreshing beverages are sure to make you come back for a second visit! (or third, or fourth…)
A small herd of wild bison forage the tundra on Kodiak Island.
The coastline of Kodiak Island reminded me of the California Coast, especially when I saw this surfer coming up out of the water!