2006 Alaska - Preview photos
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The following are a few photos from my recent trip to Alaska (3/3 - 3/10/2006). There'll be many more photos to come, please be patient while I organize them all. I didn't go by myself but instead joined a tour whose members came from New York. Thanks to the tour guides Jack and Dan, and the driver Bill for making the trip a most enjoyable one. The weather cooperated for the most part and we did indeed see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) on two separate nights, both around the town of Fairbanks. The second night was most spectacular, with the lights sticking around for about 3 hours, starting around 2 am. -paul


0094: The Iditarod race starts in Anchorage (ceremonial start, actual start is in Wasilla) and ends in Nome, some 1,100 miles away.


0107: Everybody is taking pictures as the dogs leave the starting line.


0116: One of the Iditarod race team's lead dogs.


0126: One of the Iditarod race team - there were something like 46+ teams this year, the human racers are called mushers.


0141: This Iditarod race team has 12 dogs, the limit is 16 dogs.


0154: The Iditarod race starts on 4th Ave in Anchorage.


0202: No captions needed here.


0290: The only Igloo en route from Anchorage to Fairbanks. Originally meant to have 48 pie-shaped rooms, with a 90-person dining room, it was never finished due to lack of funding.


0377: The first sighting of the Aurora, as seen from Aurora Cabin, in Fairbanks.


0403: Again, from Aurora Cabin in Fairbanks, we can see a bit of red along with the green.


0468: A reindeer at the Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska.


0744: The 2006 World Ice Art championships.


0657: One of the winners of the 2006 World Ice Art championships. This single-block scuplture is called the Fiddler.


0660: Celebrating the human body in the 2006 World Ice Art championships.


0689: Another single-block scuplture in the 2006 World Ice Art championships.


0695: The 2006 World Ice Art championships. These ice masks were about 7 foot high each.


0711: The top winner of the 2006 World Ice Art championships -The crab.


0755: This is how much I wore to keep warm. Not too bad actually: a tee-shirt, 2 long-sleeves, a fleece, and a wind-breaker.
The most important was the ski pants outside of the jeans, thick wool/synthetic socks, and head/ear/neck protection.


1031: Here I am in the Chena Hot Springs, about an hour's drive from Fairbanks. The water temperature was around 90-110 F.


1152: Aurora Borealis as seen on the grounds of Chena Hot Springs. The 4+ hrs we waited for the sky to clear was well worth it as we witnessed fantastic formations of lights.

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1170: Aurora Borealis as seen on the grounds of Chena Hot Springs. The ENTIRE foreground was filled with the Northern Lights, as if by a huge flash light from the solar system.


1184: Aurora Borealis as seen on the grounds of Chena Hot Springs. This was a most-fortunate shot of the lights streaking through the big dipper.


1191: Aurora Borealis as seen on the grounds of Chena Hot Springs. At times the lights were so bright, they lit up the sky and even a bit of the ground!


1210: The temperature had lowered to about 0 F when the Aurora appeared. By the time I returned to the hotel room to take off my contacts, the lens solution had frozen over. The contact lens case was in my backpack.


1318: This is the insides of the Aurora Ice Museum & Hotel, also on the grounds of Chena Hot Springs. Yes, people pay big money to sleep in here. There's a bar, fireplace, chapel, etc.


1496: This is the fountain of sweet chocolate in the Alaska Wild Berry Products factory, in Anchorage.


1567: This is a sunset shot along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail which runs along west south-west edge of Anchorage's waterfront, along Cook Inlet and Knik Arm. You can hike, jog, bike, or.... ski on the trail.


1606: This is a view of Anchorage downtown from atop the Captain Cook hotel, in their penthouse restaurant The Crow's Nest. The mountains in the back are the Chugach Mountains.


1632: Alaska Red King Crab dinner at Phyllis's cafe and Salmon Bake (436 D Street in Anchorage).


1772: A view of the Tordrillo Mountains from the Seward Highway, along the bay called Turnagain Arm. The tide level, at about 30-38' is second only to Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia (Canada) which averages 40' (12 meters).


1817: A bald eagle in the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, located in Portage Glacier, off Seward Highway.


1849: A herd of Elks in the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, located in Portage Glacier, off Seward Highway.


1851: An elk calf in the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, located in Portage Glacier, off Seward Highway.


1996b: Mostly covered by snow, you can still see a bit of the ice of the Explorer Glacier in Portage Valley Recreation Area.


2016b: A group picture at Portage lake where the majestic Portage Glacier (not clearly visible because of the snow) recedes into.


2034b: Sunset view of Turnagain Arm on the way back to Anchorage from Seward. The black/white blocks are ice blocks, some as big as a bus. They were broken up by the high/low tides which average more than 30' in this area.


2055: We stopped by the Alyeska Prince Resort & Hotel in Girdwood on the way back to Anchorage from Seward. It has its own mountain for skiing!


2053: Inside the Alyeska Prince Resort & Hotel in Girdwood - pure luxury.


2057: Inside the Alyeska Prince Resort & Hotel in Girdwood - it has its own Northern Lights.

 

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