Totem poles near and in Ketchikan Alaska

My wife and I have lived in Alaska since 2000, we have lived in the SE part of the state in Ketchikan since 2008. Ketchikan has a large amount of totem poles. As a photographer I have enjoyed taking pictures of many of them. We recently compiled some of our pictures and placed them in both in a E-Book as well as in a hard copy. The book can be found on Amazon. If you like totem poles or are curious about them, please check it out. Thank you.

Alaska Veterans Memorial

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were in Anchorage for a week of misc. appointments. One day we decided to drive up to Denali state park (About a 3.5 to 4 hour drive each way). On the way back we stopped at this memorial that we saw when we were driving up there. DSC03566

As you can see there was still snow on the ground and the place didn’t have any other visitors. I walked thru the snow, a few places almost waist deep, but the end result was well worth it. Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day that we reflect on those that gave their lives to make this country great. Please read each of the inscriptions on the walls. Some are more weathered then others. If you are in Alaska and have some time, if you are driving to Denali State park, I suggest stopping by here and seeing this memorial for yourselves.

Army

Marine

Navy

Air Force

Coast Guard

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Thank the veterans of the USA.

Anchorage Alaska

When someone mentions “Anchorage”, what thoughts go through your mind? Cold? Dark? Depressing? Igloos? Eskimos? Dog sleds? We just spent a week there, as we had some appointments that we needed to take care of. This was not our first time there, We have visited Alaska’s largest city many times over the past 19 years. For the most part, Anchorage is like many cities in the lower 48 states. It has fast food, it has some crime, it has some places that aren’t the best to travel after dark or alone. But it has so much more. Yes it receives snow some during the winters. In fact it snowed off and on for two days while we were there. They do not have 6 months of darkness, in fact there is no where in Alaska, that is true. Yes they have extended daylight in spring and summer, and decreased sunlight during  the fall and winter. They have beautiful sunsets, if you know where to look. This was before sunset

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This was as the sun was setting.

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Anchorage has a lot to offer, during any season of the year. It is the hub of Alaska and many flights start or end there. It’s the city that is most visited when someone talks of Alaska. It is not Alaska’s capital, Juneau is, which is in the SE part of the state. If your travels give you the chance to spend time or visit Anchorage, take it, it’s a place on many people’s bucket lists.

Misty Fiords National Monument

In SE Alaska about 40 miles East from the city of Ketchikan is Misty Fjords National Monument. It is the second largest wilderness area in the U.S.A. and is composed of 2,294,343 acres. You can either get there by boat, floatplane or a combination of both. Tours usually start about $200 a person, though if you plan ahead and contact the Ketchikan visitors bureau they may have deals going on that they might suggest. Misty Fjords has 3000 foot granite walls straight up out of the ocean. It has long waterfalls. On the trip one can often see whales, mountain goats, deer, eagles and much more.

On the way there is a good chance of seeing Eddystone which is roughly the entrance to Misty Fjords.

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Some float plane tours land at the bottom of the granite walls and you can get out onto the plane’s floats, if you choose. If you take a plane, one word of advice, try not to look too much into your cameras viewfinder, as things zip by, or you may be leaving your lunch with the other passengers. Very beautiful, and is highly recommended if you make it to Ketchikan on a cruise or a vacation.

Alaska wild animal Sancutary

So if you get to Anchorage Alaska, and want to go for a drive and possibly see some wildlife, take highway 1 south about 30 miles and right across from Whittier. It’s at mile marker 79.  There is an amazing wildlife sanctuary.

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They have almost any animal that you may see in the wild parts of Alaska, moose, brown bears, reindeer, elk and many others. During the summer I believe they are open every day and during the winter they are open on weekends. You can drive around the area or I suggest to see the animals the best and to get some incredible pictures park your car and walk around the area. The animals are behind fences, but nothing like a zoo.

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This is definitely a place to take the kids, and they will enjoy it. If you go let me know what you thought. Then when your done you could drive to the Portage Glacier which is very close and also worth seeing.

Their web site is: https://www.alaskawildlife.org/

 

 

Shrine of St Therese, Juneau AK

So a year ago my wife and I went to Juneau AK, so that i could take my drone license test and become a certified drone pilot, which I did. While there we went for a drive north of Juneau, and came across “The Shrine of St. Therese”. We are not Catholic but decided to check out the place, especially after we read some reviews of the place on-line. The atmosphere was very peaceful, though there were a lot of birds squawking ,trying to divert of attention away from the peace that God had in store for us.

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There was a path that we had to follow to get to the shrine. It was raining lightly, however the tree coverage kept us mostly dry. My wife had hurt her leg and it was hard for her to walk very far. We were impressed and thankful that they had a few free wheelchairs that people could use while they visited. This really helped a lot.

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There were several monuments that you could spend time at.

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Here also was an interesting rock garden.

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This was a very peaceful area, and I believe that you can rent out the area for events, lie maybe weddings. If you get to Juneau Alaska, then stop by here and get relaxed.

 

Legoland CA

Who hasn’t played with Lego’s at least once ? Most kids in the USA I would guess either have some or know someone who has some. A few years ago I found out that Lego’s aren’t just for kids. We took some of our family to S. CA and one of the stops was Legoland in Carlsbad.SONY DSC

There was so much to see there, especially the miniature section. They had New Orleans, San Francisco, New York, and many other places all made out of Legos.

They also had a Star Wars Section when we were there.

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It was a place definitely on my must-see-list. They even had their own water park and aquarium.