Yukon Territory and Alaska Aug 2013 Part I by Verryl V...
Verryl V Fosnight Jr's Gallery
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  1. Verryl V Fosnight Jr's Gallery
  2. Yukon Territory and Alaska Aug 2013 Part IYukon Territory and Alaska Aug 2013 Part I
Alaska 2013 Tour and Cruise0001a
Welcome! This is the path of our Alaska adventure. We started by flying to Whitehorse for 2 days (1-2 near the center of the map, took a motor coach (Canadian for "bus") to Dawson on day 3, to Fairbanks on day 5, flew on a bush plane to Fort Yukon above the Arctic Circle on day 6, took the McKinley Explorer to Denali Park for day 8 & 9, on to Anchorage on the train (with some side trips thrown in) (10), Got on the cruise ship Zaamdam on day 11, cruised all day and night and up the Glacier Bay on day 13, and on to Haines (13), then cruised to Juneau and Ketchikan and left the ship at Vancouver. On every stop we took exciting side excursions by bus, plane, and train to see the sights, especially the Alaskan and Yukon Territory wildlife. This album is the story of the first half of that tour, and it concludes in the "Yukon Territory and Alaska 2013 Part II" album here on Slickpic.
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We started by flying from Los Angeles to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This is the Vancouver Airport from the Fairmont Airport Hotel.
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The next day we flew on to Whitehorse, and this is the Klondike sternwheeler on the Yukon River in Whitehouse, Yukon Territory, Canada. This is a replica of one of the steam boats that carried the Klondike Gold Rush (1896-99) prospectors and supplies up to Dawson City in the 1890's. The earliest steamboats on the Yukon were in the 1860's, but in 1900 the White Pass & Yukon Route completed its railroad line between Skagway, Alaska and Whitehorse, and by the late 1920's the last steamboats were abandoned on the banks of the Yukon. But for many years they were the only feasible means of travel to cover the 4,000 miles from San Francisco or Seattle.
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Part of downtown Whitehorse taken from the motor coach. We had just met our tour director Jaclyn Fischer and driver Dan, who proved to be an excellent guide also. Our hotel is the green building on the left ahead.
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Sharon in front of the Westmark Hotel, Whitehorse
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Welcome Dinner at the Westmark Hotel, Whitehorse. Jaclyn is talking to John Turner and his wife, lois, is seated by them.
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This is the engine house near the hotel in Whitehorse. It is the place from which I took the aurora (Northern Lights) the first night in Whitehorse. The green transformer I used to steady the camera is in the lower right. The aurora photos can be see with descriptions in another album "Aurora Photos Whitehorse, Yukon" on this Slickpic site.
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Whitehorse Cultural Center, the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, highlighting First Nations culture and traditions
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First Nation canoe and shield
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Royal Canadian Mounted Police Headquarters in Whitehorse. Colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force') the RCMP is both a federal and a national police force of Canada, unique in the world as a national, federal, provincial and municipal policing body. Formed in 1920 by the merger of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (RNWMP, founded 1873) with the Dominion Police (founded 1868). The former was originally named the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP), and was given the Royal prefix by King Edward VII in 1904. Sergeant Preston Of the Yukon was a radio series (created by George W. Trendle, of The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet fame in 1947-55) and also a TV series that was purposefully kind to the reputation of the venerable crime-fighting force. As an officer in the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, Sergeant Preston trekked through the rocky terrain of Canada astride his horse Rex, and acting alone, with his dog Yukon King, tracked down and caught criminals in the Yukon.
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World's only (?) 3 story log cabin. Built on a bet after he build the two story one across the street.
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The path of the salmon from the Pacific to Whitehorse, 3,200 Km or nearly 2,000 miles in 3 months. 4 to 6 years after they are born here, they will spawn very near where they were hatched in the tributaries or headwaters of the Yukon. It is the longest salmon migration in the world.
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Whitehorse fish ladder on the Yukon River giving route for salmon around hydro electric dam. Screens protect adult fish on their way upstream, but babies could get through screens and die in turbines coming back downstream, hence the extra need for fish ladder. It is a series of stepped pools rising over the change in water level. This power plant supplies all the electricity for hundreds of miles (not particularly large, now up to 40 megawatts, but a measure of just how many people are in the area.
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Chinook Salmon in fish ladder step heading upstream toward but around the dam
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This was in the McBride Museum of Yukon History in Whitehorse. It was free, and well worth the time to visit, for the fine collection of stuffed Yukon animals upstairs. I got a kick out of this display (darn physicist).
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Here is a write upon the sourdough thermometer from the Yukon News.
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After turning off Hwy 1 onto Hwy 2 for an excursion we crossed a bridge over the Stewart River that flowed into the Yukon River in the distance. At least I think this is the Stewart. Google maps does not give any name to it, but as you can see it is a large river. There were dozens and dozens of large rivers we came across on the Alaska-Yukon trip, and this is one of them.
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These next few wildlife pictures are from an private animal preserve a few miles north of Whitehorse. These are the best shots of an arctic fox I got, and they are poor. Left: darn fence, Right darn fence again, had to focus manually, as camera wanted to focus on wire.
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Dall sheep on cliff. See, I can take a 300 mm shot hand held and get it sharp. ISO 640, 1/400 sec exposure, 300 mm focal length, f /5.6
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Dall Sheep in a large fenced area open to the cliffs in the last photo. Again the fence through which I had to shoot was a problem. 2013:08:16 15:21:18 Exposure time: 1/640 F-stop: 5.0 ISO speed: 640 Focal length: 210mm
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Musk Ox shedding 2013:08:16 15:58:45 Exposure time: 1/250 F-stop: 4.5 ISO speed: 800 Focal length: 155mm
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Elk shedding its velvet prior to ruttin season. The velvet is a blood carrying covering to new antlers that grow every year. We saw many more animals at this preserve, but the fence or extreme size of the pens they were in was a problem, so I did not include any more if I got those species elsewhere 2013:08:16 16:08:55 Exposure time: 1/640 F-stop: 5.6 ISO speed: 800 Focal length: 280mm
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On the motor coach (don't say the "B" word) to Dawson. ADR (another damn river)
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Mist over the Yukon River on an overcast morning
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Another river flowing into the Yukon. The Yukon is one of the world's truly large rivers.
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Five Fingers Rapids on the Yukon River. This was a dangerous place for steam boats to navigate through in gold rush times. Eventually, they dynamited one of the rocks to remove it, so now there are only four and the stream is a lot more calm. For us it was a rest stop.
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Huge River (Yukon) in an immense country, the Yukon.
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Minto lodge on the Yukon River where the motor coach stopped for lunch.
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Yukon River outside of lunch stop at Minto. It is 1,980 miles long, and the average flow is 227,000 ft³/sec and the total drainage area is 321,500 mi².... By comparison, the Mississippi-Missouri River system is 3,710 miles long and averages from 200 to 700 thousand cubic feet of flow/sec. Yukon means "great river" in Gwich'in. The source of the river is located in BC, Canada....It gives its name to Yukon territory. The lower half of the river lies in...Alaska. The river is 1,980 miles long and empties into the Bering Sea at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
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Moose Creek Lodge rest stop. Rustic does not even begin to characterize it.
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Although we were still in the Yukon, we caught this shot of the unofficial Alaska State Bird.
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Moose Creek Lodge Business Center with radio telephone in tree. Sorry, no Wi-Fi....Maybe next year.
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Highway 1 out of Moose Creek towards Dawson City, YT
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Sign about the Tintina Trench, a large valley extending through the Yukon. It is the northern extension of the Northern Rocky Mountain Trench in British Columbia and it has its origin from the Tintina Fault
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Tintina Trench, the large valley seen spreading out across the distance
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Tailings from mammoth gold dredges around Dawson, used in early 20th century with Rockefeller and Guggenheim family financing that decimated many square miles of the countryside around Dawson. With the top soil washed away the flora could not recover. In separating the gold flakes from the gravel they estimated $0.09/cubic yard would be profitable, (they did not have to restore the land). One dredge averaged 13 cents/cubic yard. When US went on gold standard they began to cease operations as unprofitable.
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Dawson. It drizzled part of the day in Dawson, and it has no paved streets, but we were assured all the walks were boardwalks. NOT! Well Dawson City today is all about recreating the feel of the gold rush.
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Side street from hotel down to main street. Street had nearly dried up in dry climate and gravel soil the next day
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Westmark Inn was a good hotel. Not a great hotel, but certainly good. Still some puddles to skip over this next day which was sunny.
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Dawson where they endeavor to keep the old time theme for all the buildings…
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…sometimes carrying this effort to extremes.
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We were considering buying one of these fixer uppers as a Canadian investment until we heard about the unsolvable permafrost problem on the foundations.
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Diamond Tooth Gerties, saloon, casino, and showroom all in one barn like room. Many of us tiptoed through the mud the first night the3-4 blocks from the hotel to see this Gay Nineties variety show.
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River Raft Float and Eagle Viewing ride down the Klondike River early morning. Sit and swivel into the raft. That's my girl, Sharon LOML (Love Of My Life) gracefully sliding into the Kevlar raft.
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We left the hotel at 7 AM and got on the raft at about 7:30 It was cool on the river, so we bundled up. This is the Klondike River which flows into the Yukon about 5 miles downstream. Our float was 6 miles down to and onto the Yukon River.
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Our very attractive and very tall, buffed out raft guide. I am not allowed to remember her name. She jumped in the water and pulled the boat up on the bank for lunch refusing any help. At the end of the tour, drove the van pulling the raft and trailer. She said she had been rowing ever since she was a little girl with her dad and through college. She had a degree in geology, and lived full time in Canada or Alaska. This was her 5 or 6th or more summer on the river.
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A young bald eagle on the Klondlike River Raft Float. Bald eagles grow their white tail and head feathers only at about 5 years old. This one is speckled, so it is a juvenile. This is one of two bald eagles we saw in this float, both juvenile. #348 of this composite was 2013:08:18 09:36:21 Exposure time: 1/800 F-stop: 14.0 O speed: 800 Focal length: 55mm So I switched to my 70-300mm lens.
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The float was very smooth, although our guide expertly had to steer us around some mild rapids.
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The only golden eagle we saw, and it was in flight by the time I got my camera on him or her. 2013:08:18 10:08:39 Exposure time: 1/3200 F-stop: 7.1 ISO speed: 800 Focal length: 300mm cropped
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Sharon and sorry-I-forget-your-name from New York and raft guide ?Sue? On shore for lunch break.
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