Pictures of Alaska

My wife, Susan, and I just got back from an AWESOME Alaskan trip where I was doing some research for the second and third books in the Colors of Alaska trilogy.  We cruised from Vancouver to Whittier and then spent 9 days visiting Alaska and our son.

Today I just want to share with you our trip to Alaska through some of the pictures we took.  I hope you enjoy them.

Our fist stop was in Ketchikan.  This is Creek Street.  Creek Street is built along the shores of Ketchikan Creek. It was built over the water because it was simply too difficult to blast away the rocky hills surrounding the creek.  Creek Street is known as Ketchikan’’s old red-light district. In the mid 1920’s there were over 20 bawdy houses on Creek Street alone!

Our next stop was Juneau.  Juneau is the capital of Alaska and the only access is by water or air.  There are no roads that connect Juneau with “the outside world”.

Our third stop was Skagway.  Here we are coming into Skagway.  We docked behind that ship on the right.

The next day we cruised Glacier Bay.  I will be showing you a picture of glaciers later so I wanted to give you a different prospective of Glacier Bay.  All those white specs are ice floats.

The next day we cruised College Fjord.  The fjord contains five tidewater glaciers (glaciers that terminate in water), five large valley glaciers, and dozens of smaller glaciers, most named after renowned East Coast colleges (women’s colleges on the NW side, and men’s colleges on the SE side).

After docking in Whittier, we took a train ride from Whittier up to the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge.  This is the Turnagain Arm (an arm of Cook Inlet) which stretches from Portage, AK to Anchorage, AK.  As you can see, the tide was way out.  Tidal fluctuations in the main body of Cook Inlet, while not as extreme as the shallow and narrow Turnagain Arm, regularly reach 25 feet and exhibit currents in excess of 5 knots (9.3 km/h) at full tidal flow.

This was the view from our room at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge.  Since we had already been to Denali on a previous trip we decided to just relax and enjoy the scenery.

The next day we went to the McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge about an hour’s drive from Talkeetna.  We decided to go into Talkeetna, a quirky and eclectic small town, to have pizza.  This is The Mountain High Pizza Pie restaurant.  Walking in we felt as though we had walked through a time warp and were back in the 60s and 70s.

This is the Kenai River at Cooper Landing, AK on our drive from Anchorage to Homer.  The water is a more vibrant turquoise blue than this picture shows and is truly beautiful.  For those of you who have read Black Diamonds, this is the view Meagan would have seen as she sat on the deck at the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge.

This is Homer, AK from the hills above the city.  It is beautiful with the bay and snow clad mountains surrounding it.  There is a spit that goes out into the bay about 4.5 miles that offers all sorts of activities.  For those of you who have read Black Diamonds, this is where most of the story takes place.

On our way from Homer to Anchorage to catch our flight home we stopped at Portage Glacier to take the boat tour.  It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day.

EAGLES AND MOOSE AND BEARS oh my!

The wildlife was incredible.  We saw Eagles on the beach, in trees, on buildings and in flight.  We saw lots of moose and even a mother with baby twins …and this bear.  We were on a bus tour when we came across him.  The bus driver stopped so we could watch and take pictures.  The bear was scratching and tearing at the bark and when he had had enough, just just got down and sauntered alongside the bus for about 5 minutes as we drove slowly along the road.  He then tired of the show he was giving us and lumbered off into the woods.

I hope you have enjoyed a little of the Alaska we love and that it may pique your interest in reading Black Diamonds as well as the next two books in the trilogy, Blue Ice and Green Skies, which should both be out by the beginning of 2014.

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