1864503084 Want to bite the Big Apple? Strike it rich in Las Vegas? Get your kicks on Route 66? Let this jam-packed guide escort you through the land of plenty. From Disney World to Death Valley, the White House to Waikiki, Lonely Planet covers all four corners of all 50 states. 1740590910 Lonely Planet is at its guidebook best when it's covering isolated regions where those little details of shelter, food, and transportation are of more than passing concern. The sections on climate, geography, and ecology are very well done, as are the chapters on the Alaskan people and society. The transportation chapters are vital and comprehensive, and the rest of the guide follows suit, covering all of Alaska- no little task- with reliable acumen, information, and savvy want to add a link and banner on your website? Click here to see how. 1864500387 From the rain forests and glaciers of Southeast Alaska to the rugged mountains and tundra of the state's vast interior, this practical guide by Alaska specialist Jim DuFresne makes Alaska's pristine wilderness accessible to the novice and experienced hiker alike.


Alaska. The Last Frontier. Land of the midnight sun. Home of the Northern Lights, grizzly bears and North America's highest peak, the towering Mt. McKinley. I first learnt about Alaska in primary school; about the incredible 800 mile long pipeline built to carry oil from the Prudhoe Bay in the north of the state, to an ice free southern port. I remember learning about the challenges of designing such a structure in the 'permafrost'- permanently frozen ground. Coming from Queensland, that wasn't easy to imagine! Ever since then, I've been intrigued with this remote, frozen land. I almost made it to Alaska once. In a little blue Ford Festiva rental car from Las Vegas, I drove as far as Vancouver, before realizing that I had severely underestimated the distances involved. If memory serves, it would have been a couple of days solid driving just to reach Alaska, then do a U-turn and head back. The mission was promptly aborted, and I drove east to the Canadaian Rockies before returning to Vegas. Probably just as well, since the car wasn't supposed to leave Nevada! Oops.

Mt McKinley, the tallest peak in North America. By Phil and Suann Sauvey Northern lights at 'sunrise', on the way to Fairbanks. By Aaron Schiff Margerie Glacier with rippling water, taken from boat. By Georgeann Gaebe Caribou at dusk, near Big Game, Alaska. By Greg Post
Photos from collections at www.worldisround.com Click on any picture to view more examples of that photographer's work.

Whether you choose a complete fully guided six to twelve day Wildland Safari or combine shorter partially guided Wilderness Lodge and Adventure Packages, Alaska Wildland's commitment is the same: to provide you with a personal and high quality experience with Alaska's wild lands. A photographic website, with hundreds of thumbnailed photos from all over the world, categorized by region

Here's something different-LIVE ALASKA WEBCAMS!

a small, friendly, family run hostel in Fairbanks for all your underwear needs! Scheduled and Charter motor coach Service in Alaska & Yukon
Alaska, deriving its name from the Aluet word 'Alyeska'- meaning 'Great Land'- is an immense sprawling wilderness. Covering over 365 million acres, it's twice the size of Texas. With over three thousand rivers and three million lakes, and a population density of roughly one person per square mile... I calculate that Alaska has a ratio of six lakes to every human inhabitant. Oddly enough Alaska's capital, Juneau- with a population of thirty odd thousand- holds the title 'largest city in the US'. Jacksonville, Florida may boast that it's the largest city on the 'mainland', but Juneau city is almost four times the size, covering a whopping 3081 square miles- bigger than the state of Delaware! At its most western point, Alaska stretches to within fifty miles of America's old cold war enemy, Russia. When the US bought Alaska from Russia in 1867, the purchase price came to two cents an acre! This later proved to be an even greater bargain when some of the largest oil reserves in America's history were discovered in Prudhoe Bay, in the State's north.

International Friendship House, Bed & Breakfast and Gallery, where people can get in touch with nature, and art. Located near Tok.

Thus the construction in the 1970's of the Alaskan Pipeline, a monumental eight billion dollar engineering feat. Over most of its length, the pipeline is elevated above ground, to avoid melting the thermafrost and disturbing the fragile ecosystem. It crosses mountain ranges, hundreds of rivers and streams, and three earthquake zones. Every year over five thousand earthquakes rock the state. In fact, three of the ten most powerful earthquakes ever recorded in the world were in Alaska. Because of this, the Alaskan Pipeline is designed to move as much as 20 feet side to side and 5 feet up and down. The zig-zag pattern of the pipeline allows it to 'grow' and 'shrink' as metal of the pipe contracts and expands with the seasons. In 1997 this pipeline was delivering one fifth of the total US oil supply. It's capable of carrying two million barrels of oil a day!

What better way to enjoy Alaska than to experience a team of powerful huskies pulling you through the great back-country of a historic Gold Rush Site! or if it's more your speed, wind your way through one of Alaska's most breathtaking valleys just as the original stampeders did... on horseback!

I can only imagine that Alaska is more than a little different from the rest of the United States. From what I read, I get the distinct impression that Alaskans are proud to be different from their southern counterparts. They have a unique experience isolated from the rest of the country, battling the extremes and adapting to the endless summer days and the perpetual darkness of winter. Alaskan hospitality is legendary, to the point that just today I read that Hope, Alaska was named in the top ten friendliest towns in the US. Alaska seems a fitting place for this journey to begin. With it's northern lights, its glaciers and towering mountain peaks, its forests and wildlife; those crazy looking moose, and the Kodiak Bears- the largest land carnivore on the planet.

I've been doing some research on bear safety, and the general concensus seems to be that it's highly unlikely I will encounter a bear in the wild. 'If I do', they say, 'I should feel honoured'. Honoured? The only thing I'll be feeling is a warm heavy sensation in the back of my shorts, and I don't mean my wallet! I found a gem of advice in a guidebook; it goes something like this. 'If charged by a bear, drop down in the foetal position and play dead. This will usually put it off its attack. However, if it continues to bite you, you must fight back as hard as you can.' Fight back? Did you know these things weigh up to 1200 pounds? I'm curled up on the ground, and a half a ton of hot flesh is smothering me as it tears me to shreds with enormous claws and teeth...and don't forget to fight back! I must remember that. Seriously though, if you make a noise while you're hiking, it seems that old grizzly would rather get out of your way than have a confrontation. If you do happen to startle a bear, or you meet one who hasn't been told they're supposed to avoid humans, you can use this stuff.

Then I read this on a travellers messageboard:
'Alaska Wisdom:
Q: How do you know that you have found bear poop and not elk poop?
A: Bear poop is full of small bells, which were once worn by hikers to warn bears, but came to be considered dinner bells by the bears. Some bear poop also smells of pepper spray, once thought to discourage bears.

Besides spraying irritant in the eyes of huge carnivores, I've got big plans for Alaska. I want to kayak past icebergs and glaciers. I want to raft down a lazy old river, watching bears and moose on the banks as I drift noiselessly by. I want to climb Mt McKinley *I didn't say all the way to the top* and I want to put a foot across the Arctic Circle. I want to sit in a hot spring, surrounded by snow, with an icy cold bottle of Alaskan beer. I want to ride a train through Alaska's interior. I want to meet Alaskans, and come to understand what it must be like to live in such frozen isolation. Alyeska, here I come.....

Scheduled and Charter motor coach Service in Alaska & Yukon Come discover your personal gold rush with the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway as it steams through its second century of history. The National Parks Pass provides admission into any National Park in the country for a full year. Great value for fifty bucks!

After returning from his first visit to Alaska in 1899, geographer Henry Gannett cautioned, 'If you are old, go by all means, but if you are young, stay away.... The scenery of Alaska is so much grander than anything else of the kind in the world ... it is not well to dull one's capacity for such enjoyment by seeing the finest first.'

Here's a link to my journal entry dated 26th March, about the Bering Sea. It was the story of the sister cities of Nome, Alaska and Provideniya, Russia, and the challenges each faces by their virtual isolation from the rest of the world.

These photographs by John Russell, are the most spectacular selection I have seen of the Aurora Borealis. That was, until I clicked on 'links' at the bottom of his page. Wow! Almost makes me wish I was visiting during winter.

loads more great photos of Alaska at this site

Click on the banner to view a slide show of Alaska

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