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JULY  2000
On the first day of my trip I flew to Fairbanks, Alaska.
I left Indianapolis early in the morning and arrived in
Fairbanks at about 2:30 in the afternoon local time. I had
to change planes in Minneapolis and Seattle enroute.

The next morning I flew 550 miles northwest to the Arctic Circle.
The picture above shows us exiting the plane after landing in Barrow.

This is the Wiley Post-Will Rogers Memorial.

This is our first look at the breaking ice pack of the Arctic Ocean.

This is Beautiful downtown Barrow.
They can't pave the roads here due to the frozen tundra.

Looking out onto the Chukchi Sea through the bone arch of a bowhead whale.

It was a beautiful summer day.
Balmy temperatures near 40 degrees fahrenheit.
Not quite warm enough for swimming.
We did dip our toes in the Beaufort Sea.

Unfortunately we did not see any polar bears.

Barrow is the northernmost community in North America.
The sun does not set here between May 10 & Aug 2 each summer,
and does not rise between Nov 18 & Jan 24 each winter.

The ice was breaking up and would be floating out to sea in the days ahead.

None of the buildings can sit directly on the frozen tundra in Barrow.

11 minute video of my day trip to Barrow, Alaska.

I spent about eight hours in Barrow.
I flew back to Fairbanks late in the afternoon.
Above is the desolate Brooks Range in Northern Alaska.

This is Fairbanks just shortly before landing.

Golden Heart Plaza in downtown Fairbanks.

The Bridge of Flags bulit in 1984 celebrating 25 years of Alaska statehood.

The Alaska Pipeline just north of the city of Fairbanks.

10 minute video of Fairbanks, Alaska.

I spent an extremely enjoyable afternoon cruising the
Chena and Tanana Rivers aboard the Riverboat Discovery III.

The Old Chena Indian Village.

One of the cute native guides modeled a handmade Athabascan coat.

Four time Iditarod Champion Dave Monson shows off some of his dogs.

Fishing in Alaska is more than a pastime, it's a way of life.

The homes along the river are quite impressive,
complete with boats and airplanes.

11 minute video of my cruise down the Chena River on Discovery III.

Panning for gold at the El Dorado Goldmine.

11 minute video of my tour of the Eldorado Gold Mine.

After leaving Fairbanks I headed south on the Richardson Highway.
My first stop was in North Pole, Alaska.
This is one of Alaska's most unique communities.
It is best known as the home of Santa Claus House.
All the street lights in town look like giant candy canes.

2 minute video of the town of North Pole, Alaska.

Rika's Road House has been an Alaskan landmark since 1910.

Delta Junction is the true end of the famous Alaska Highway
which begins 1422 miles southeast in Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
The obelisk in the above photo marks Milepost 1422.

A very scenic drive heading south
down the Richardson Highway out of Delta Junction.

The Richardson was Alaska's first highway.
The Alaska Pipeline pretty much paralled my journey down the highway.
The route climbs to tundra meadows dotted with numerous
lakes and streams and watched over by sprawling glaciers.
Scenic views of the Chugach and Alaska mountain ranges are breathtaking.

Black Rapid Glacier is a retreating glacier and little ice is visible.

I spent the night in the small town of Glennallen, Alaska.

11 minute video of my journey from Fairbanks to Glennallen.

A beautiful Alaska sunrise near Copper Center, Alaska.

Beautiful wildflowers dot the landscape along the Copper River.

This is Liberty Falls,
my last stop before boarding my small plane in Chitna.

The Chitna Airport is nothing more than one small gravel landing strip.
I was the only living sole there waiting for my plane to pick me up.

Unless you want to travel the 60-mile-long gravel road,
which you can see in the above photo, you will opt to fly into
this remote area of southeast Alaska, as I did.

After the half hour flight to McCarthy, I switched to this plane
for a breathtaking 70-minute flight seeing trip above the spectacular
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Shortly after take-off we passed over Kennicott, Alaska.

Words can't describe the magestic beauty of this unspoiled area.

The country's largest national park embraces an area larger than
Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut combined.

Weather conditions changed often but the scenery was always impressive.

Mt. Wrangell rising over 14,163 feet high. Nine of the county's sixteen
highest peaks are found here, some towering over 16,000 feet high.

We would literally fly just feet over mountain after mountain.

One of many glaciers in the park, some five times larger than Manhattan.

Above we are aproaching the McCarthy Airport at the end of our flight.
The courteous & knowledgeable pilots of Wrangell Mountain Air were great.

10 minute video of my scenic flight over Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

I had a couple of hours to spend in McCarthy & Kennicott.
Not exactly Times Square, this is the village of McCarthy,
the larger of the two communities.

The Kennicott Lodge is the ultimate rural get-away.

The abandoned Kennicott Mill is located just a few feet from the lodge.

This area of Alaska is not easy to reach
but it is well worth the effort to get here!

I had lunch at the lodge before regretfully leaving the area.
This is the view from the front porch of the lodge
looking out across the Kennicott Glacier.

3 minute video of the remote Alaskan towns of McCarthy & Kennicott.

I flew back to Chitna.
I continued my trek south on the Richardson Highway.
This is Mt. Billy Mitchell.

The Richardson has to be one of the most scenic roads in the country,
here I pass Worthington Glacier.

This is Bridal Veil Falls in beautiful Keystone Canyon.

9 minute video of my journey from Glennallen to Valdez.

I arrived in Valdez, Alaska in late afternoon for a two night stay.

The beautiful Valdez harbor.

7 minute video of Valdez, Alaska.

I took an all-day cruise on Prince William Sound.
Above are a couple otters at play at the start of my cruise.

Weather was perfect for the cruise, a fairly rare occurance for the area.

Waterfalls cascading down the mountains along the sound are numerous.

We passed many fishing boats during our journey.

Here you can see a tour boat coming in for a close look at the sea lions.

Here we approach beautiful Columbia Glacier.

We cruised through the ice for an up close look at Columbia Glacier.

Some seals relaxing on an iceberg.

I got so many beautiful images from the area it was hard
to decide which ones not to include on this web site.

A beautiful cove on our journey back to Valdez.

Here you can see a large snow-capped mountain
looming behind the small ones in the foreground.

We passed this vessel just as they
reeled in the net on a large catch of fish.

Even though the cruise lasted most of the day,
the scenery never let you get bored.

Coming into Valdez harbor at the end of the cruise.

Here you can see the captain piloting the boat into its slip.

11 minute video of my Prince William Sound cruise to Columbia Glacier.

The next morning I cruised back across Prince William Sound.
This time it was on the Alaska Marine Ferry.
Above we pass the pipeline terminal as we pull out of Valdez harbor.

Above is the small community of Whittier where I got off the ferry.
It had been a nearly flawless vacation up until this point.
Unfortunately the bad weather would ruin the rest of the trip.

11 minute video of my Alaksa Marine Highway crossing to Whittier.

I spent one night in Anchorage after my plans to explore
Homer and the Kenai Peninsula were washed out.

Anchorage International Airport as I wait for my flight to Juneau.

Mount Robert's Tramway in Juneau, Alaska.

The only picture I got from the tramway, becuase you were in
the clouds once you got ten inches off the ground.

The rainy streets of Juneau, Alaska.

This is flying back home after a several hour delay leaving Juneau.
The weather was so bad they weren't letting planes land and the
plane I was supposed to fly out on was diverted to another airport.

This was my second trip to Alaska.
Click HERE to take a look at my 1994 trip.

Click on the banner below for my latest trip to Alaska in June 2007.

Click the arrow above for my next adventure, Christmas in Las Vegas.

I took this trip before using a digital camera.
The images above were made by scanning my color slides.

I used a Nikon Super CoolScan 5000 ED Film Scanner to scan the slides.

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