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Travel Pictures - ALASKA & YUKON - 1994

All images Ron Miller

          I traveled to the 49th state during August of 1994, arriving in Juneau on
     Alaska's mountainous southeast coast. From the capital city I boarded one of the
     many ferries on the "Alaska Marine Highway" to travel to Skagway through
     Alaska's archipelago. At this historic, gold rush town I joined two other travelers to
     hike the infamous Chilkoot Trail, reaching Canada on foot. I then ventured north to
     Dawson City in Yukon and eventually to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. From
     Inuvik I returned to Alaska and visited Fairbanks, Denali National Park, Anchorage,
     and the spectacular Kenai Peninsula.

The lovely Valerie, a Canadian traveler, posing high above Alaska's capital on the Gastineau Channel. The fjords
and sharp, U-shaped valleys were glacially carved and speak of a much colder climate in the earth's history.
Juneau is inaccessible by land as it is not connected by road to any other North American highway system -
Juneau, Alaska

An August climb up an Alaskan snowfield to the highest point on Douglas Island -
near Juneau, Alaska
A very festive atmosphere on board an Alaskan ferry. The "Alaska Marine Highway System" transports passengers through
the inside passage from Bellingham, Washington all the way to Skagway, Alaska. The ruggedly beautiful landscape
of Alaska's archipelago makes the boat trip seem more like a sightseeing adventure -
near Skagway, Alaska
My hiking partners (Doug and Valerie) packing supplies for the famed Chilkoot trail (the haze is due to forest fires) -
Skagway, Alaska
Striking out on the historic path of the gold rush -
Chilkoot Trail; near Skagway, Alaska
The Chilkoot Pass can be seen at the top center of the photo. During the 1898 to 1900 gold rush, tens of thousands
of prospectors crossed the 3,550-foot pass on their way to Dawson City. A strictly enforced law required all prospectors
entering Canada to bring enough food supplies to last them a year. This regulation meant that every miner had to haul
almost 900 kg (a ton) of food over the border - an endeavor requiring multiple trips and close to three months -
Chilkoot Trail, Alaska
Lakeside campsite on the Canadian side of the Chilkoot trail (again, the haze is due to forest fires) -
British Columbia, Canada
This innocuous-looking set of rapids meant disaster for many prospectors traveling downriver during the gold rush. The rafts
were difficult to maneuver since they were burdened with thousands of pounds of supplies to survive the harsh winters -
Yukon River, southern Yukon
Although these old buildings have survived the harsh elements for a hundred years since the gold rush,
they must still withstand the seasonal shifting due to the underlying permafrost -
Dawson City, Yukon
I am outfitted appropriately to combat mosquitoes and all other unwanted, biting, and harassing insects -
Dawson City, Yukon
Doug's Ford Explorer is departing the village of Arctic Red River, an "alcohol-free" town on the remote Dempster Highway.
The Dempster Highway is a 457-mile gravel road connecting Dawson City in the Yukon with Inuvik in the Northwest Territories.
The road consists of a massive gravel pad ranging in thickness from 4 feet to 8 feet to prevent the road from sinking (during summer)
into the underlying permafrost. The pad acts like a blanket to help keep the underlying permafrost frozen through the summer.
The highway follows the route of an old dog sled trail and is named after Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector
William Dempster who, as a young constable, frequently ran the route by dog sled -
Yukon, Canada
Vista of the Ogilvie Mountains along the Dempster Highway with the jagged, granite peak of Tombstone Mountain in the distance -
Yukon, Canada
While driving the gravel road we met this group of cyclists, one of whom just pedaled up from South America! -
Dempster Highway; Yukon, Canada
Can you find the honey-colored grizzly bear and her cub near the center of the picture? -
Denali N.P., Alaska
In this stream that passes through the capital city, the salmon must negotiate an unbelievable gauntlet of fishermen -
Anchorage, Alaska
Vista of the massive Harding ice field where the frozen ocean "flows" into the Exit Glacier. The ice field, including it's glaciers,
covers more than 1,100 square miles which makes it the largest ice field entirely within the U.S. -
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
The terminus of the Exit Glacier. The deep blue color of glacial ice is due to the fact that ice acts as a filter and absorbs first the longer wavelengths of light (red, orange, yellow) which leaves only the shorter wavelengths (blue, indigo, violet) and results in the blue color.
On the surface of the glacier, the entire spectrum of light is reflected and the ice appears as white. However, several feet into the ice,
only the shorter wavelengths penetrate and the ice appears as blue. The absence of air bubbles (the air has been squeezed out) also
aids in the intensity of the blue color because more light is allowed to penetrate. Do you remember the order of the
light spectrum? Here is a guide - (Roy G. Biv) - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet -
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
Spawning salmon on the Kenai Peninsula -
near Ninilchik, Alaska

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All images Ron Miller
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