ALASKA/YUKON 2005/2008

Here follows some pictures we have taken during our trip to Alaska, mid-August to end September 2005. Part was a visit to our youngest daughter, who lived in Girdwood, AK and had a job as helicopter pilot/instructor at Alpine Air there.
Nowadays she lives in Anchorage, AK, but works for Air Logistics Alaska on the North Slope, bringing goods and persons to the drilling/production islands before the Arctic coast.
And we made a tour with a camper,  driving along near all paved (and some unpaved) roads of Alaska and part of Yukon (and a small part of British Columbia), till as far away places like Skagway, again in Alaska, but in the "panhandle", isolated from the rest of Alaska by high mountain ranges and glaciers...
We have seen incredible number of wildlife: bears, moose (in the middle of Anchorage!), caribou, trumpet goose, sea otter, beluga whales,...  And as autumn already was getting in at the interior and higher parts, we saw Alaska with very beautiful autumn colours.
Back again in Girdwood, we made a trip by helicopter, with our daughter as pilot over the Chugach mountains and glaciers in a completely cloudfree sky. Incredible flight and views. The pictures can't reflect what we have seen with our own eyes, but they give some impression of what nature looks there...
This is only a tiny part of some 1,500 pictures (and 2.5 hour films) we have taken in Alaska...

As extension of a trip to the Northern Rocky Mountains in the USA (Yellowstone NP, Glacier NP) in June/July 2008, we did fly to Alaska. Because daughter Ann just had bought a house, that were more workweeks than vacation... But again some extra pictures, thanks to a gift because of all the help provided to clean up the house: a ride with a dog sledge on a glacier...

Girdwood valley seen from the Alyeska ski resort mountain.
The village is on three sides surrounded by the Chugach mountains, the fourth side is the Turnagain sea arm

Salmon, salmon, salmon,...
Wildlife, wildlife, wildlife,... millions of salmon coming back to their origin...

Denali NP entrance
The entrance of the Denali national park.

polychrome mountains, Denali
The polychrome mountains in Denali.

some kind of chicken
Some ptarmigan...

Caribou, near loosing it's antles.

One of the many bear in Denali

Welcome to Fairbanks
Welcome to Fairbanks

Malemute saloon 
Malemute Saloon in Ester, near Fairbanks, an old gold mining camp, alive for the tourists...

Show in Ester
Show in Ester's Malemute Saloon

Santa Claus' house
Santa Claus' house in North Pole, a village some 30 km from Fairbanks

Top of the World highway
Near the Canadian border on the "Top of the World" highway

top of the world highway
Along the "Top of the World" highway

Dawson City
Dawson City (Yukon, Canada), still the old goldrush city...

Yukon river rapids
The Yukon Five Finger rapids.

Yukon river boat in Whitehorse
Old Yukon river boat in Whitehorse (Yukon, Canada).

The smallest desert in the world
The smallest desert of the world on the road from Whitehorse (Canada) to Skagway (Alaska, USA)

The moonlandscape near Skagway  
The moonlandscape on the road to Skagway

Skagway with large cruise ship
Skagway with large cruise ship.

Skagway tourist information
Skagway tourist information.

Skagway station
Skagway railway station for the White Pass - Yukon railroad

Fishing bear
Fishing bear near Haines...

with three cubs
...with three cubs.

on the way to Haines Junction
On the way from Haines to Haines Junction.

View of a glacier valley, Kluane NP
View of a glacier valley, Kluane national park (again Canada)

Alyeska (Trans Alaska) pipe line
Alyeska (Trans Alaska) pipe line (again Alaska).

Alaska range from the Denali highway
Alaska range, view from the Denali highway, the worst "official" road in Alaska:
160 km (100 miles) of potholed gravel...

The last trumpet swans before heading South
The last trumpet swans before heading South (the swans and us...)

morene lakes
Different morenes form lakes, and the right one is the base for the road.

Rainbow over the Denali highway
Rainbow over the Denali highway

The largest peak: Mount Mc Kinley
The largest peak of North America: Mount McKinley (near 7,000 m - 20,000 ft) at sunset.

North side Chigach mountains
North side view of the Chugach mountains, from the Glenn highway.

The Worthington glacier, near Valdez
The Worthington glacier, near Valdez.

Sunset at Valdez
Sunset at Valdez.

Mount Wrangler dominates Glennallen
Mount Drum dominates Glennallen

glacier in Chugach
Back in Anchorage/Girdwood, "flightseeing" during the helicopter flight with daughter Ann:
20 mile glacier in the Chugach mountains...

another glacier
...and Colony glacier...

another glacier
...and Colony glacier again...

Colony glacier overview
...and Colony glacier overview.

view of Prince William Sound
View of the Prince William Sound.

Sunset at Homer
Sunset at Homer

Russian church

The Russian influence still is visible (Kasilov).

seward 1
In Seward investigations about the quality of the salmon (Univ. of Alaska, Seward) are done.
In the background, a large cruiseship.

seward 2
Near Seward you can find Exit glacier in the Kenai National Park.

seward 3
On the glacier: in the middle a black bear walking to the other side.

Nathan (friend of Ann) stands on the summer weekend market of Anchorage with reindeer hot dogs and buffalo burgers...

house party 1
To celebrate the new house: house party for friends and neighbours.

house party 2
Everybody brings something in, that is distributed and eaten by everyone.

It may be that their house is on the old route of the reindeer from the mountains to the sea:
one evening, mother and child were walking through the garden.
A few weeks later, there was a black bear in the garden...

Even more life around the house: a nest of (a kind of) blackbirds...

...even the squirrel likes (some of the) bird seeds!

slee 1
As thanks for the painting and garden work, we received a free ride with the dog sledge.
First by helicopter to the glacier, where dogs and drivers wait for us.

slee 2
Every dog has its own cage and run around place. Each group on turn may pull the sledge.
In that way they are kept trained in summer for the thoughest sledge race of the world: de Iditatrod.

slee 3
Everybody may help to put the dogs on the thowing line.

slee 4
The first run gets off!

slee 5
We were in the last run, with a lot of speed we were shaken around!

The last days in the neighbourhood of Anchorage: mountain goats along the road adjacent to the Turnagain Arm.

Beluga whales

Beluga whale family in the Turnagain Arm.

Sunset on Turnagain Arm
Sunset over the Turnagain Arm on the road from Girdwood to Anchorage.

That was the end of a nice trip to Alaska. Incredible numbers of wildlife, beautiful nature!

A good starting point (and lots of documentation) for a trip to Alaska:

On the net: 1 October, 2005.
Last update: 2 november 2008.

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More info about our experiences in Alaska: