Thu 25 Oct 2012
Thu 18 Oct 2012
after the Arctic Circle, we head south and then west to Manley Hot Springs, before returning to Anchorage.
Wed 3 Oct 2012
interrupting the Mexico photos, we now bring you a week-long trip in two stages: several days driving all over Alaska, and several in Washington.
This first batch is the flight to Anchorage, and an attempt to drive the Dalton Highway all the way up to the Arctic Ocean at Deadhorse. How far will we make it?
Thu 29 Mar 2012
we interrupt the last batch to bring you some surprisingly recent photos: Alaska, from last weekend!
A three-day trip, landing in Anchorage, heading out to Fairbanks and Tok, and then back.
Mt. McKinley at sunrise. Taken from about 2 miles south of Cantwell, so maybe 85 miles to the mountain itself. At about 8.30 in the morning, the mountain was completely clear, having not yet generated the cloud system it’s well-known to shroud itself with by mid-morning.
Mon 17 May 2010
The sixth day of the Alaska Highway trip, where we see the Alaska Highway for the last time, and head down the Cassiar Highway – route 37 in Yukon and British Columbia. We make a brief stop in Hyder, Alaska, just to say that we’ve been there, and then head east on the Yellowhead Highway and attempt to cross into Alberta. However, we’re nearly eaten alive by that snowstorm that’s been stalking us since Day 3 – this will be a recurring theme of our days six and seven!
Fri 14 May 2010
fourth fifth day of our trip. The fourth day was spend snowed in in sunny East Anchorage, where 16 inches fell overnight. Remember that storm that we escaped in the mountains to get to Anchorage? Well, it found us. However, Anchorage has the best snowplow routine I’ve ever seen, and we could’ve gotten out of there by noon, had we not been zonked. We waited ’til about 6 the next morning. Good enough. We’re still ridiculously ahead of schedule, thanks to those brilliant 120mph speed limits.
Mt. McKinley! This is an early morning shot, which is usually the best time to see the mountain, before a mid-level fog tends to vanish it. In fact, several minutes after this photo, the mountain was no longer visible. This is fairly late in the morning, but at this latitude, 8-12 hours of red twilight per day are common. In this photo, the mountain is about 80 miles away.
This 16″ state highway 3 marker with a 1962 date stamp survives. The bridge that this sign serves dates to 1968, so they must’ve moved the sign from somewhere in town to the bypass – and hung it on the first available pole.
The time I was here in 2007, these mountains were in direct sunset light. I tried to get a photo from the exact same spot, but I just couldn’t remember where it was. Close enough!
Northern lights! This is about a three-minute exposure, because the lights were quite faint. The road in the foreground is the access road to a garbage dump somewhere to the east of Whitehorse. Note the reflection of the northern lights turning the snow green.
Sun 9 May 2010
the third day of our trip, on which we actually cross into Alaska, and complete the Alaska Highway.
Close-up of distant purple mountains over Destruction Bay. Yes, that is what it is called! It was named by the troops who were building the road in 1942, and had the wind blow away their new structures.
Wed 21 Oct 2009
Third day of the Alaska trip from September 3rd, 2007.
Worthington Glacier, as seen from the top of Thompson Pass. This panorama takes up about 130 degrees, and thus, the original image is really quite large (5850×3900 pixels, 13 megabytes). I stitched it together from four wide-angle shots.
Fri 16 Oct 2009
the second day of my Alaska trip, and (in my humble opinion) the best – some unbelievable atmospheric effects, in air and in space. Don’t mind the long post, and enjoy photo upon photo.
Now 35% less bear feces.
Double rainbow! Actually, we can see at least four rainbows (and maybe a fifth if one jacks up the contrast a bunch). Look inside the inner rainbow – note the repeating red bands; I count two in addition to the primary.
16×16 shield that dates to 1962… Alaska is ripe for the old signs!
Well, that about establishes the absolute lower bound, doesn’t it? Along state highway 2 is this … veritable metropolis, teeming with life. Note the 1970s white signage; for all we know, the population may have, since that time, taken the final decrement towards the ultimate goal of occupancy.
Tok. One of my favorite sign photos I’ve ever taken – just because the setting sun illuminated this sign perfectly!
Sunset. I took this one across the waters of the most majestic lake I could find: a mud puddle next to Tok’s main drag. Note the light posts. I think my camera was at most five inches above the water.
One more northern lights – my absolute favorite of the bunch. There is the one aspect of the northern lights that no photos can capture: their motion – they really do dance across the sky, and seeing them in person is something else. September 3rd and March 15th are the aurora peaks, due to the Earth’s position in its orbit, relative to the solar wind, which releases the particles that (upon impact with the upper atmosphere) cause the lights. These photos are from September 2nd, 2007 – so just about the fall peak, and I certainly got an impressive display.
Thu 15 Oct 2009
some photos from my Sept. 2007 trip to the Great White North.
Here are days zero and one – I landed in Anchorage around 10pm so a few photos bleed back into the previous day, but in general they are of Day One and all the glories it contains.
Now 35% more bears.
Mount Iliamna, across the Cook Inlet from highway 1 and civilization. This is actually our second view of it – once down the spur route to Homer, and once back up. The way back up yielded much, much clearer skies.
Mt. McKinley… 20,320 feet tall; the highest peak in North America – proudly making Mount Shasta look like an anthill since 200,000,000 B.C. About 160 miles away in this photo. Alas, this is the first, last, and only glimpse we’ll get of the peak. Non-cooperative weather intrudes as we get closer to it… from 30 miles away, all we’ll see (in the Day Two batch of photos!) is a quarter of the way up the side, barely half an edge in the ever-present fog. So take what you get: distant, nearly illusionary, glowing purple-red in the last rays of the setting sun.