Ketchikan

Ketchikan, Alaska is known as the salmon capital of the world. I saw a tumbling creek where the salmon spawned  I actually saw more salmon in Skagway than Ketchikan. July through August are the best times to watch the salmon jump. It’s also the time when bears, eagles, and other wildlife that love fish will come out into the sea.

Ketchikan is also known for its totem poles and native artwork. I found it funny that the tourist shop owners hustled to get their wares out when cruise ships approached the docks. As soon as the tourists board their ships, the store owners close shop. Every where you turn, there is a jewelry store. I avoided them and headed to the museums. Enjoy the pictures.

 

Glacier Bay

The water was a vivid blue with floating chunks of ice upon it. Seagulls cried as they circled above the huge glaciers. The sun peeked over the mountains and I could see the entire range capped with snow. The wind had a bite to it and I huddled deep inside my jacket. This was Alaska.

Great rivers of ice stretched over and between mountain ridges until they met the tidewater. There is nothing like hearing the sound of the glacier calving large chunks of ice with thunderous cracks into the sea. The Mendenhall Glacier is about 13.6 miles long and is not far from Juneau. The Margerie Glacier is bigger and is 21 miles long. There are other glaciers, but these are the popular ones.

A glacier forms when the snow pack doesn’t melt away, but is compressed by additional snow accumulation. Eventually, the compressed snow becomes ice. The force of gravity pulls the glacier downhill. As a glacier moves, it scrapes away soil and rock. This should be on your bucket list to see if you haven’t done so already.

Denali

I recently visited the Denali National Park and Reserve. Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America at 20,310 feet. It’s located in Alaska. The mountain was first named McKinley in 1896 for President W. McKinley, but the original Athabascan name was Denali. The Alaskan Board changed the name back to Denali, but it wasn’t until 2015 that the federal government adopted the change, thus you may hear it called by either name. Denali dominates the mountain range and is visible on a clear day. However, it is frequently swathed in clouds. I was lucky when I visited the area that the weather was good. I had expected rain or cold weather. The day I had arrived, it was 87 degrees. With the heat, it kept the wildlife from view.

Visitors can access the park by vehicle, bus tour, or by railroad. Lucky visitors can see grizzly bears, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep. I did see a caribou crouching in a dry riverbed, yet it was too far away to get a great picture. I did get pictures of the Alaskan state bird, Tarmagon. It’s nickname is chicken. It is similar to a grouse and is found in bushes and long grass. Another animal is the red tree squirrel. It’s small compared to the gray squirrel. They are fast-moving creatures. I tried several times to get a picture of the little buggars. They are cute and are about the size of a chipmunk. I found it fascinating that they collect mushrooms and place them on the branches of black spruce trees to dry, before storing them.

So if you visit Alaska, do visit Denali. The scenery is beautiful.

 

Mt. Rainier

Gallery

Interesting Yard

I found this person’s yard dĂ©cor unique and thought I would share it.