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A VISIT TO ALASKA AND THE YUKON – JUNE 2016 – PHOTOS AND POEMS

September 3, 2016

 

ALASKA AND THE YUKON

FROM JUNE 1  -12  2016    LEONARD EPSTEIN AND JANELLE BURGESS TRAVELED THROUGH ALASKA AND THE YUKON.

THIS IS WHAT WE SAW ON THIS TRIP:

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BUT FIRST A BRIEF HISTORY OF ALASKA

By Tim Lambert

 

EARLY ALASKA

The first human beings arrived in Alaska between 15,000 and 13,000 BC. At that time Alaska was part of a land bridge that extended across to Siberia. People followed the herds of animal they hunted. Europeans arrived in the area in the 18th century. In 1741 a Dane called Vitus Bering led a Russian expedition to Alaska. They discovered there was great wealth in Alaska in the form of animal furs. Unfortunately, they also brought diseases to which the native people had no immunity. The British arrived in 1778 when Captain Cook sailed there. George Vancouver sailed to Alaska in 1794.

Meanwhile in 1772 the Russians made a settlement at Unalaska. Then in 1784 they made a settlement on Kodiak Island. However by the 1860s the Russians had lost interest in Alaska. Over-hunting had depleted the supply of furs and it was difficult to supply bases such a long way off. So they decided to try and sell Alaska to the Americans. In 1867 US Secretary of State William Henry Seward signed a treaty to buy Alaska for $7.2 million – less than 2 cents an acre. However, it took 6 months to persuade Congress to ratify the treaty. Alaska formally passed to the USA on 18 October 1867.

MODERN ALASKA

The new area was at first called the Department of Alaska. In 1884 it was changed to the District of Alaska. Meanwhile, in 1878 the first cannery opened in Alaska. In 1880 gold was discovered in Alaska, in Juneau. Then in 1896 gold was discovered in Yukon but the easiest way to reach it was to sail to Skagway in Southeast Alaska. In 1899 gold was discovered in Nome in Northwest Alaska. Another gold rush began in 1902 when gold was discovered near Fairbanks.

In a single decade, the population of Alaska soared. In 1890 the population of Alaska was just over 32,000 but by 1900 it had surpassed 63,000. Then in 1912 Alaska became a territory. Anchorage was founded in 1915 and Denali National Park was founded in 1917. The Alaska Railroad was completed in 1923. President Warren G Harding went to Alaska to drive in a golden spike in a ceremony to mark the event. Then in 1937 Nell Scott became the first woman to serve in the Alaska legislature.

Meanwhile, an Agricultural College and School of Mines opened in 1935. It became the University of Alaska in 1935.

In June 1942 the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. They also took the islands of Kiska and Attu. The Americans landed on Attu on 11 May 1943. By 30 May they had retaken the island. The Japanese abandoned the island of Kiska in August 1943. During the Second World War military bases were built in Alaska and as a result, some Alaskan towns greatly increased in size. Meanwhile Alaska Highway was built in 1942.

In 1957 oil was discovered in Alaska at Swanson River, on the Kenai Peninsula. Then on 30 June 1958, the Senate passed the Alaska Statehood Act. On 3 January 1959, Alaska became the 49th state of the union. The first governor of Alaska was William A Egan. However, on 27 March 1964 (Good Friday) Alaska was struck by a devastating earthquake. It measured 9.2 on the Richter Scale making it the most powerful earthquake recorded in North America. It killed 131 people. But Alaska soon recovered and in 1968 oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Coast. To be exploited the oil would have to be transported by pipeline to Valdez and in order to build the pipeline disputes with the native people over land would have to be settled. They were settled by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. The native people relinquished their claims in return for nearly $1 billion and 44 million acres. The trans-Alaska pipeline was completed in 1977. As a result the 1980s were a time of prosperity for Alaska.

However, on 24 March 1989, a tanker called the Exxon Valdez ran aground spilling 11 million gallons of oil. Since then the oil industry in Alaska has declined in importance. However,today tourism is a major industry in Alaska. Meanwhile, in 2006 Sarah Palin was elected the first woman governor of Alaska. Today the population of Alaska is 737,000.

 

THE YUKON

Throughout Yukon’s history, visitors have been welcomed with open arms and that’s no different today. With literally thousands of heritage sites sprinkled throughout the Yukon, there’s ample opportunity for visitors to delve into our colorful past.

Yukon’s Ice Age past forms a unique part of the territory’s history. Over 20,000 years ago, a land bridge joined Asia and North America. Wooly mammoths and scimitar cats roamed this vast ice-free region known as Beringia. While the rest of the continent was cloaked in ice, much of the Yukon became an ecological refuge for plants and animals. This period is recalled in First Nations’ legends of long-ago giants and the creation of the world from a flooded land.

During this time, Yukon’s original people migrated across the land bridge from Asia and inhabited an area near what is now known as Old Crow. They hunted mammoths, bison, horses and caribou. Over time, they established permanent settlements, some of which remain today as modern-day towns.

Yukon’s first visitors were Russian explorers who came in search of furs and other resources in the 18th century. As more explorers from Europe arrived, First Nations people traded furs for tobacco, guns, and other goods. The fur trade developed as the Hudson’s Bay Company and other independent traders established posts throughout the Yukon.

In August 1896 three men found gold on Bonanza Creek near Dawson City, launching the legendary Klondike Gold Rush.

When word of the discovery reached the rest of the world, thousands of would-be prospectors headed north. By the turn of the century Dawson City was the largest city north of San Francisco and west of Winnipeg.

When the Klondike Gold Rush ended in 1903 more than 95 million dollars had been extracted from the Yukon’s rivers.

When the ‘railway built of gold’ was completed in 1900, the White Pass and Yukon railway connected Whitehorse, Yukon to Skagway on the Alaskan coast.

The $10 million railway project was considered an impossible task, but it was literally blasted through coastal mountains in just 26 months by thousands of men and 450 tons of explosives.

The White Pass and Yukon Route climbs almost 3,000 feet (900 m) in just 20 miles (32 km) and features steep grades, cliff-hanging turns, two tunnels and numerous bridges and trestles. The steel cantilever bridge was the tallest of its kind in the world when it was constructed in 1901.

The road to North America’s last frontier was built in 1942 to transport war supplies. Completed in only 8 months, more than 30,000 US Army personnel were involved in the construction of over 2,230 km of road to Alaska.

The Alaska Highway forever changed the Yukon. Boats and trains were replaced by the more efficient road system. Whitehorse grew to become the largest town in the Yukon, eventually becoming the capital city in 1953.

Today the Alaska Highway is a scenic paved route that is well-maintained and open year-round.

Our first stop was Prince William Sound

Prince William Sound encompasses 3,800 miles of coastline, bounded to the east and north by the Chugach Mountains and to the west by the Kenai Peninsula. Commercially important for the fishing and oil industries, the sound is also prized for its abundance of marine and coastal life, its rain forest, of Sitka spruce and western hemlock, and its glacier-studded landscape. The sound contains 150 glaciers including 17 tidewater glaciers, known for dramatically calving huge ice chunks into the sea.

More than 220 species of birds, 30 species of land mammals, and at least a dozen marine mammal species are found in the region. Bald eagles are plentiful along treetops and shorelines. Among the estimated 200,000 seabirds that summer in the sound are marbled murrelets, black-legged kittiwakes, and glaucous-winged gulls.

Along western Prince William Sound, black bears may be seen on narrow beaches below mountainous, glacier-choked vistas. To the east, including on Hinchinbrook, Montague, and Hawkins islands, brown bears roam their favored lowlands and are most often seen fishing when the salmon are spawning. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for moose and mountain goats as well. Resident marine mammals include humpback, sei, fin, minke, and killer whales as well as Steller sea lions, harbor seals, and sea otters, all of which reach some of their greatest numbers in Prince William Sound.

Though rugged and wild, the sound is easy to access. Through a tunnel roadway completed in 2000, the western Prince William Sound community of Whittier offers a gateway to this marine wilderness about an hour’s drive from Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage. You can also access the sound from the north, at the port of Valdez, via theRichardson Highway.

 

 

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WHITTIER, ALASKA

 

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AT WHITTIER WE BOARD THE GLACIER SPIRIT FOR A TOUR OF PRINCE WILLIAM SOUN

 

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ALASKA AND THE YUKON ALONG THE SHORE WE CAN SEE BRIDAL VEIL FALLS

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ALASKA AND THE YUKON ALONG THE SHORE WE CAN SEE BRIDAL VEIL FALLS

 

 

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ALASKA AND THE YUKON ALONG THE SHORE WE CAN SEE THOUSANDS OF BURDS

 

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BRIDAL VEIL FALLS, ALASKA

 

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ALASKA AND THE YUKON IN THE DISTANCE ONE CAN SEE THE GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND FISHING BOATS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND FISHING BOATS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND FISHING BOATS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND SEALS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND SEALS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND SEALS

 

 

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AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE GLACIERS WE CAN PARTS OF THE GLACIER THAT HAVE BROKEN OFF

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE GLACIERS WE CAN PARTS OF THE GLACIER THAT HAVE BROKEN OFF

 

 

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AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE GLACIERS WE CAN PARTS OF THE GLACIER THAT HAVE BROKEN OFF

 

 

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SEALS ARE SUNNING THEMSELVES ON THESE ICE FLOES

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIERS

 

 

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIER TOUR BOAT

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PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND GLACIER

 

 

WE HAVE ARRIVED AT VALDEZ

The city of Valdez lies at the head of Port Valdez, a natural fjord that reaches inland about 11 miles from Prince William Sound.

BEFORE 1778
Historically—as well as now—the territory south of Valdez belonged to the Alaskan Native people of the Chugach (pronounced “chew-gach”) region, a maritime hunting people. To the north, the land is that of the Ahtna, an Athabaskan-speaking people of the Copper River Basin. Although there was no known permanent native villages in Port Valdez, it is certain that the Chugach and Ahtna did use the area for fishing and trading copper, jade, hides and other furs. The Chugach had eight principal villages spread throughout the rest of Prince William Sound. Of these, only Tatitlek survives today.

1778
ENGLISH EXPLORATION

Captain Cook was possibly the first non-Alaska Native in Prince William Sound. He sailed into the Sound in 1778, naming it Sandwich Sound after his patron, the Earl of Sandwich. When Cook returned to England, the editors of his maps renamed the sound after Prince William IV, popularly known as “Silly Billy” (the English royalty was by this time already in decline). Cook named Hinchinbrook and Montague Islands, as well as Bligh Island and several other locations in the Sound.

George Vancouver, who had sailed with Cook on his earlier voyages, did the most extensive exploration of Prince William Sound, and it was he who was able to establish conclusively that the Sound was not part of the fabled Northwest Passage (a route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through the Arctic archipelago of Canada).

1790
SPANISH EXPLORATION

In 1790, the cartographer Lt. Salvador Fidalgo followed other Spanish explorers to Alaska to investigate the extent of Russian involvement, establish the Spanish claim in the area, and curb British claims to the Pacific Northwest. As Fidalgo explored the Sound, he named Cordova, Port Gravina and other places. The Exploratory party, which he sent to Columbia Bay guided by two natives, was the first to approach Columbia Glacier. The group did not stay long near the glacier, concluding that it was an active volcano because of the loud thunder and “great pieces of snow” being flung from it. The men ventured down the Valdez Arm and perhaps into Port Valdez. Fidalgo named the area “Bay of Valdez” after Admiral Antonio Valdez, who was head of the Spanish Marines and Minister of the Indies at the time.

1800’s
RUSSIAN EXPLORATION

The Russians, during their ownership of Alaska, were primarily interested in amassing sea otter pelts, focusing on the Aleutian Islands, Kodiak archipelago, and the Southeast Panhandle. However, they did also explore Prince William Sound, founding at least two forts and trading posts on Hinchinbrook Island. One of these, near the Alutiiq village of Nuchek, became the center for trade in the area between Russians and the Natives, and among the various Native groups.

1897
THE GOLD RUSH

Few people lived in the Valdez area until the winter of 1897-98 when gold-seekers came to Valdez to follow the “All-American Route” over the Valdez Glacier into the Interior. Some planned to prospect in the Copper River Basin; others planned to continue on to the Klondike. The route was based on an inaccurate description by US Army Lt. William Abercrombie of a trail that he quite probably had never actually traversed during the course of his 1884 Copper River Expedition. Nonetheless, the route was advertised all over the continental US as an established, preexisting trail. It was a great surprise, therefore, to the would-be miners to arrive in Valdez and find no town and no real trail. A tent city sprang up at the head of the bay; thus Valdez was formed. Four thousand stampeders came through Valdez that year. Some of them stayed on shore to set up shops and other businesses; others dragged themselves and their gear up and over the glacier. The trip over the glacier was a difficult one and some people died in the attempt. Snowslides, snowblindness, glacial crevasses, and extreme physical challenges were just some of the problems encountered. Supplies of goods had to be transported on people-pulled sleds; as many as 20 trips back and forth over the steepest legs of the journey were needed in order to get the necessary year’s worth of supplies across. The following winter of 1898-99 was long and difficult; huge numbers suffered from scurvy and inadequate supplies. Rescue missions were organized by the prospectors to move sick people out of the interior and back to relief cabins in Valdez.

1899
CUTTING THE PATH THROUGH KEYSTONE CANYON

In the late summer and fall of 1898, Abercrombie’s men had begun cutting a rough trail through Keystone Canyon and over Thompson Pass. The following spring the Army approved that route as the new military trail to Eagle and upgrading work began.

1900
FORT LISCUM

Recognizing that Valdez was a strategic location for communications and defense, the Army built Fort Liscum at the site of the present Alyeska Pipeline terminal; laid a telegraph line connecting Seattle, Washington to Eagle, Alaska (thereby bypassing Canada for the first time); and further developed the Keystone Canyon trail (the Goat Trail). The latter, which became the Richardson Highway in 1919, severed as the only viable inland route to Fairbanks until the 1920’s. The population of Valdez soared to 7,000, as it became the coastal port for the majority of traffic going into and out of the interior.

1900-1920
VALDEZ “BOOMS”

Once the rush to the Klondike subsided, prospectors concentrated on the gold, copper and silver deposits on the islands and shores of Prince William Sound. The most profitable mines in the vicinity of Valdez were the Cliff Gold Mine and the Midas Mine. In 1906, H.E. (Red) Ellis discovered and then leased out what was to become the Cliff Gold Mine about five miles east of Valdez on the north shore of Port Valdez. That mine resulted in about 51,740 ounces of gold (about $19 million in current prices) and 8,153 ounces of silver. The Midas Mine, in nearby Solomon Gulch on the south shore of the Port, was the fourth largest producer of copper in the Prince William Sound area. Further away, Ellamar, near Tatitlek and Kennecott Mines, near McCarthy, both of which were owned by the Morgan-Guggenheim Alaska Syndicate, produced far more copper than all the other mines combined. Nearly as much gold came out of Ellamar as a byproduct as came out of the Cliff Mine total.

Valdez was a busy town in the first two decades of the 20th century. It supported a bowling alley, a university (for one semester), several breweries, a dam and hydroelectric plant, a sawmill, the seat of (the Territory of) Alaska’s Third Judicial District, a bank, two movie theaters, two newspapers, an Ursaline convent and an excellent public library, hospital and public school system. In addition to the main industries of mining and shipping, fox farming, fishing, and tourism, provided additional employment and revenues.

There was much talk and speculation about construction of a railway line from Valdez into the Interior and even some preliminary track laid: however no line ever reached any farther than Keystone Canyon. Two rival companies in particular were the cause of considerable upheaval in Valdez. The Alaska Syndicate was choosing among Valdez, Cordova and Katalla for a terminus for their railway from the Kennecott Mine. When it appeared that Valdez would not be selected, H.D. Reynolds appeared on the scene touting his plan for the Alaska Home Railway. He convinced the people of Valdez that “his railroad was their railroad.” Many Valdezans invested their entire savings or businesses into supporting his project. Reynolds bought up much of the town; he soon owned a newspaper, hotel, bank and even some of the streets. In 1907, a shoot-out erupted between the two rival railroad companies over the right-of-way through Keystone Canyon. The Alaska Home Railway project fell apart and the Alaska Syndicate chose Cordova as the terminus for its Copper River and Northwestern Railway. Reynolds left town in a hurry, owing a great deal of money.A newpaper report from shortly after reported that he was seen in Mexicon. Valdezans were left with no railroad, 500 unemployed workers and little money.

1920-1925
BUST FOLLOWS BOOM

By the 1920’s, Valdez’s first boom had busted. With the completion of the Alaska Railroad from Seward to Fairbanks via Anchorage in 1924, the Valdez route was no longer the only entry to the interior; mining had ceased to be profitable and in 1925 even the army pulled out. The population of Valdez fell to between 400 and 500.

1923
FORT LISCUM CLOSED

In 1923, the Army shut down Fort Liscum.

1929
FORT LISCUM CONVERTED TO DAYVILLE

Fort Liscum was obtained by the Day family, who renamed it Dayville. The Days prospected the land, ran a cannery, a sawmill, a school and a store on the old Fort site.

1940’s
WORLD WAR II

World War II further drained the town’s population, although Valdez was a major port for military freight.

1950’s
KEEPING THOMPSON PASS OPEN

Alaska Freight Lines (AFL), run by Al Ghezzi, held a contract with the Army to deliver military supplies and freight to Interior Alaska bases.  He therefore needed to be able to drive the highway year round.  In a partnership that became known as “Operation Snowball”, Ghezzi and the Alaska Road Commission (ARC), agreed to jointly attempt winter maintenance to keep Thompson Pass open during the winter of 1949-1950.  Keeping the Pass open was challenging, but Ghezzi and his crew proved that it could be done, and ARC took over the full duties the following year.  Valdez re-established its place as a strategic point to the Interior, leading to a small trucking book in the 1950’s.

1964
GOOD FRIDAY EARTHQUAKE

On March 27, 1964 (Good Friday), disaster struck Alaska. At 5:36 in the evening, an earthquake lasting over four minutes and registering 9.2 on the Richter Scale struck 45 miles west of Valdez. The quake triggered an underwater landslide, which in turn created several tremendous waves. The first waves washed away the Valdez waterfront and drowned the 30 people who had been standing on the dock. Three men on the steamer Chena, which had been tied to the dock, also died. In all of Alaska, 114 people died as a result of the earthquake.

1967
VALDEZ CONDEMNED AND RELOCATED

The town of Valdez was condemned when it was discovered that the entire town had been built on unstable ground. In 1967, the town was relocated to its present site, four miles east of the former site. 52 buildings were moved and the other structures were burned and the ground razed.

1970’s
TRANS-ALASKA OIL PIPELINE

In 1973, Congress approved the plans for the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline with its southern terminus at Valdez. Thousands of people moved to Valdez to be part of the construction boom. The town’s population soared to 8,000 people, then settled at 3,500 by January of 1989.

1989
EXXON VALDEZ OIL SPILL

On March 24, 1989 (another Good Friday), the tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh reef, approximately 25 miles outside of Valdez, causing the largest oil spill in North American history and thrusting Valdez into the national spotlight again. During the months following the spill, the population of Valdez grew to almost 10,000 as cleanup workers, reporters, and state and federal employees streamed into town. As a result of the spill, thousands of birds, sea otters, and other wildlife died, and hundreds of miles of beach were oiled. Crews worked all that summer and fall and into the next year, cleaning the beaches and rescuing animals.

1990’s-2000’s
VALDEZ REDEFINES ITSELF AS A MECCA FOR WINTER SPORTS

After the Exxon Valdez spill, Valdez tried to diversify its economy by redefining itself as a mecca for winter sports.  Between 1991 and 2000, the World Extreme Skiing Championships helped define the word “extreme”. WESC successfully tapped into the early 90s zeitgeist for the extreme, the full-blown embracement of experience over mere observation.  The championships helped to stimulate Valdez’s winter economy and made a name for the town as a winter destination.

PRESENT DAY
Today, the population of Valdez is approximately 4,200. Its residents are mainly employed by the city, the oil industry, winter and summer tourism, fishing, or transportation and shipping.

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VALDEZ

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VALDEZ

 

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VALDEZ

 

 

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VALDEZ

 

 

WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

INFORMATION PANELS AT THE WORTHINGTON GLACIER VISITOR CENTER

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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WORTHINGTON GLACIER

 

 

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SEEN AT WORTHINGTON GLACIER FLORA

 

 

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SEEN AT WORTHINGTON GLACIER FLORA

 

WRANGELL-ST. ELIAS NATIONAL PARK

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK

Wrangell St Elias National Park is located in the Eastern region of South-central Alaska. The Chugach, Wrangell, and St. Elias mountain ranges converge here in what is often referred to as the “Mountain Kingdom of North America.” It is the largest national park in the United States, six times the size of Yellowstone. Wrangell St Elias encompasses over 20,000 square miles of mountain wilderness – that’s over 50,000 square kilometers, or 25% larger than Switzerland!The Wrangell St. Elias National Park region has long been known for its favorable weather. Summers in the Park are often warm and sunny by Alaskan standards, with temperatures reaching 80+ degrees Fahrenheit (26C) in July and August. Rainfall is sparse at just 11 to 14 inches per year. The combination of ease of access (only a day’s drive east of Anchorage), incredible natural beauty and great summer weather make Wrangell-St. Elias a great destination.

 

 

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK – A MOCK UP OF THE PARK AT THE VISITOR CENTER

 

 

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK – FISHWHEEL

 

 

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK – FISHWHEEL

 

 

INFORMATION PANELS AT THE  WRANGELL ST. ELIAS NATIONAL PARK VISITOR CENTER

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK

 

 

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK

 

 

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WRANGELL ST, ELIAS NATIONAL PARK

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge

  • Size: 730,000 acres
  • Established: 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

This Refuge, in the Upper Tanana River Valley, protects an important flight corridor for migratory birds. Like much of Alaska’s interior, it has a mix of forest, tundra and wetlands that support a wide variety of birds and wildlife. Some snow-covered peaks in the Mentasta Mountains rise over 8,000 feet, but most of the Refuge is low rolling terrain.

Located where the Alaska Highway comes into the state from Canada, the area had been one of the most isolated parts of the state, without significant western contact until Lt. Henry Allen’s exploratory mission came north through the coastal mountains in 1885.

Three different caribou herds graze on the refuge. It also supports runs of humpback whitefish, which is an important food source for local Natives.

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Exhibit

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Exhibit

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Exhibit

 

 

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Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Exhibit

 

 

 

 

 

THE BORDER BETWEEN ALASKA AND THE YUKON

 

 

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THE BORDER BETWEEN ALASKA AND THE YUKON

 

 

 

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THE BORDER BETWEEN ALASKA AND THE YUKON

 

 

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THE BORDER BETWEEN ALASKA AND THE YUKON

 

 

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THE BORDER BETWEEN ALASKA AND THE YUKON

 

 

KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE

Kluane – high in the mountains of southwest Yukon – is a land of extremes. The park is home to Canada’s highest peak (5,959-metre Mount Logan), its largest ice field and North America’s most genetically diverse grizzly population.

 

 

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KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE

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KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE – THE ROAD TO THE KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE

 

 

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KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE

 

 

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MT. LOGAN – KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE

 

 

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KLUANE MOUNTAIN RANGE

 

 

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EMERALD LAKE – Emerald Lake is a lake in the southern Yukon, notable for its intense green color. It is located on the South Klondike Highway at kilometer 117.5 (mile 73.5), measured from Skagway, Alaska. The color derives from light reflecting off white deposits of marl, a mixture of clay and calcium carbonate, at the bottom of the shallow waters. The high concentration of calcium carbonate in the water here comes from limestone gravels eroded from the nearby mountains and deposited here 14,000 years ago by the glaciers of the last ice age. Glacial erosion was likewise responsible for scooping out the shallow lakebed.

 

 

CARCROSS, YUKON

Located on the Klondike Highway south of Whitehorse, the village of Carcross was originally named Caribou Crossing by miners who had reached this junction point of the Tagish and Bennett lakes en route to the Klondike gold fields at Dawson. Twice a year large herds of caribou migrated across the easily forded Nares Lake shallows east of the townsite, which was no sooner developed to serve Klondike miners than it became an important stopping point for the White Pass & Yukon Railway in September 1898. The Caribou Hotel also opened in the same year and still in operation, Matthew Watson’s General Store is the Yukon’s oldest operating store.

When railway construction through the White Pass was completed, the final gold spike was hammered into the track here on July 29, 1900.

The name Caribou Crossing was changed to Carcross in 1902 due to the lobbying of Bishop Bompas, who had established a school for First Nations children the year before. Bompas was infuriated that mail addressed to the school was being redirected to other Caribou Crossings in British Columbia and Alaska. While the post office adopted the name change, the railway retained the station name of Caribou Crossing until 1916. The community remained an important rail depot until the station’s closure in 1982. Today the old station is still used during the summer months by White Pass & Yukon Route for scenic rail excursions to Bennet, British Columbia and beyond all the way to Skagway, Alaska. The original station burned down during a fire in 1910 that destroyed the station, the Caribou Hotel, a store, and most of the other buildings in downtown Carcross. The station, hotel, and store were rebuilt within a year.

For many years the sternwheeler Tutshi stood along the shore of the community, but in July 1990 it was destroyed by fire. The remains of the boat have been converted into a viewing platform along with interpretive displays.

In the Carcross cemetery two of the co-discoverers of the Bonanza Creek gold strike that sparked the Klondike Gold Rush are buried. These are Skookum Jim Mason and Dawson Charlie (sometimes known as Tagish Charlie), whose First Nations’ names were Keish and Káa Goox respectively. Also buried in the cemetery is Kate Carmack, whose First Nations’ name was Shaaw Tláa. She was Skookum Jim’s sister and, at the time of the strike, the wife of the third co-discoverer, George Carmack. In 1900, Carmack deserted Kate for a white woman and refused her any part of the fortune amassed from the gold strike, as well as access to their daughter. In 1920, she died penniless.

One kilometre north of Carcross is reputedly the world’s smallest desert––a 260-hectare expanse of sand that once lay on the bottom of a large glacial lake covering the entire valley bottom. Strong winds off Bennett Lake keep the sand here constantly shifting, rendering it difficult for plants other than lodgepole pine and kinnikinnick to grow.

HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS OF CARCROSS

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CARCROSS, YUKON

 

 

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CARCROSS, YUKON – ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH

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CARCROSS, YUKON – ADVERTISING THE BAKERY, CABIN RENTALS AND THE CHILKOOT TRAIL

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE ORIGINAL LOCOMOTIVE

 

 

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CARCROSS, YUKON – COMMEMORATING THE WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILROAD

 

 

 

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CARCROSS, YUKON VISITOR CENTER

 

 

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CARCROSS TRADING POST = SOUVENIRS

 

 

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CARCROSS TRADING POST = SOUVENIRS

 

 

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CARCROSS, YUKON – SIGN FOR CANADA POST

 

 

CARCROSS DESERT

Carcross Desert, is located outside Carcross, Yukon, Canada, is often considered the smallest  desert in the world. The Carcross Desert measures approximately 1 square mile  or 640 acres.

Carcross Desert is commonly referred to as a desert, but is actually a series of northern sand dunes. The area’s climate is too humid to be considered a true desert. The sand was formed during the last glacial period, when large glacial lakes formed and deposited silt. When the lakes dried, the dunes were left behind. Today, sand comes mainly from nearby Bennett Lake, carried by wind. 

The Yukon Territorial Government  made efforts to protect Carcross Desert in 1992, but failed due to opposition from locals who use the dunes for recreational purposes.

The dunes are used by locals for sandboarding. Tourist groups also use the area for off-road scenic tours, which is allowed on the fine-grained dunes. Other summer activities include hiking, skydiving and all-terrain vehicles.

In the winter, the area is used mainly for cross-country skiing and snowboarding.

The nearby White Pass and Yukon Route is a popular tourist attraction, bringing many tourists each year to the Carcross area.

Information Panels:

 

 

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

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CARCROSS DESERT

 

 

THE WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

The White Pass and Yukon Route is a Canadian and U.S. Class II 3 ft narrow gauge railroad linking the port of Skagway, Alaska, with Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, it has no direct connection to any other railroal.

Built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush, this narrow gauge railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, a designation shared with the Panama Canal, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty.

The WP&YR railway was considered an impossible task but it was literally blasted through coastal mountains in only 26 months.

The $10 million project was the product of British financing, American engineering and Canadian contracting. Tens of thousands of men and 450 tons of explosives overcame harsh and challenging climate and geography to create “the railway built of gold.”

The WP&YR climbs almost 3000 feet in just 20 miles and features steep grades of up to 3.9%, cliff-hanging turns of 16 degrees, two tunnels and numerous bridges and trestles. The steel cantilever bridge was the tallest of its kind in the world when it was constructed in 1901.

The 110 mile WP&YR Railroad was completed with the driving of the golden spike on July 29, 1900 in Carcross Yukon connecting the deep water port of Skagway Alaska to Whitehorse Yukon and beyond to northwest Canada and interior Alaska.

White Pass & Yukon Route became a fully integrated transportation company operating docks, trains, stage coaches, sleighs, buses, paddle wheelers, trucks, ships, airplanes, hotels and pipelines. It provided the essential infrastructure servicing the freight and passenger requirements of Yukon’s population and mining industry. WP&YR proved to be a successful transportation innovator and pioneered the inter-modal (ship-train-truck) movement of containers.

We started in Frazier and ended up in Skagway.

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY – THE OLD WOODEN RAILWAY TRESTLE

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY – THE VIEW FROM THE TRAIN

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY – “On To Alaska With Buchanan” George E. Buchanan, a Detroit coal merchant, began bringing boys and girls to Alaska on adventure trips in 1923. His goal was to help young people learn the art of earning and saving money. To accompany Buchanan on these special excursions, a young person had to earn one third of the cost of the journey. The parents could pay one third and Buchanan contributed one third. If necessary he assisted the would-be adventurer to earn his share of the costs. For fifteen years groups of approximately 50 young people, mostly boys, made the annual summer excursion from Detroit to Alaska. The travelers departed from Detroit in mid-July traveling first class by train across Canada to Vancouver B.C. and Puget Sound. Three days on a steamer and then arrival in Skagway. They boarded the White Pass & Yukon Railroad to travel to the lake country and then a transfer by boat to Atlin. The young folks, dressed in coat and tie, had to be on their best behavior. Many years later members of the various Buchanan Boys groups returned to Skagway to ride the WP&YR and to revisit the memories of their special and happy trips. Reportedly the boys from one of the summer trips painted the sign “On To Alaska With Buchanan” on the side of the mountain to commemorate their inspiring leader, George Buchanan.

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY – A WHITE PASS LOCOMOTIVE IN SKAGWAY

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY – AN ORIGINAL STEAM LOCOMOTIVE IN SKAGWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

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WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY

 

 

SKAGWAY

Skagway is probably best-known to the world as a town that has kept its historic business district looking pretty much the way it did over a century ago during the Klondike Gold Rush.A seven-block corridor along Broadway features historic false-front shops and restaurants, wooden sidewalks, locals in period costumes and restored buildings, many of which are part of the National Park Service-managed Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Beginning in 1897, Skagway and the nearby ghost town of Dyea was the starting place for more than 40,000 gold-rush stampeders who headed to the Yukon primarily by way of the Chilkoot Trail.

Today Skagway survives almost entirely on tourism, as bus tours and more than 400 cruise ships a year turn this small town into a boomtown again every summer. Up to five ships a day stop here and, on the busiest days, more than 8,000 visitors — 10 times the town’s resident population — march off the ships and turn Broadway Avenue into a modern-day version of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Skagway is located 90 miles northeast of Juneau at the northernmost end of Lynn Canal, at the head of Taiya Inlet. The Canadian border is 15 miles north on the South Klondike Highway, and Whitehorse, Yukon, is a further 93 miles. The South Klondike Highway meets the Alaska Highway 98 miles from Skagway.

 

 

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SSKAGWAT

 

 

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SKAGWAY

 

 

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SKAGWAY

 

 

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SKAGWAY

 

 

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SKAGWAY

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SKAGWAY

 

 

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SKAGWAY

 

 

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SKAGWAY

 

Red Onion Saloon and Brothel Museum

The Red Onion was the classiest dance hall and saloon in the bustling gold rush town of Skagway. Our upstairs bordello consisted of 10 cribs (or rooms). Each crib was very small in size, but elaborately decorated. The cribs all had 2 or 3 doors for escape purposes and temperature control.

A weary miner could wander into the Red Onion for a taste of “liquid courage” and a dance or two with a beautiful lady. When the time came to cure his thirst for some love and affection, the anxious gentleman would choose his girl in a very unique way. Behind the bar were 10 dolls that represented the 10 girls upstairs. As each customer would choose a doll of his choice, the bartender would then lay the doll on her back, indicating that that girl was “busy”. Once the gentleman came back down the stairs, the doll was sat upright so every customer in the bar knew that she was once again available.

The Red Onion Brothel Museum contains many antiques and paintings from the gold rush days. Many of the items on display were found in the brothel — others are part of the owner’s personal collection.

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SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – PHOTOS OF FORMER MADAMS IN THE SALOON

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – PAINTING

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – PAINTING

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – PAINTING

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – PAINTING

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – PAINTING

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – TOUR GIDE MADAM

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – COSTUME PERFECTLY PRESERVED

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY – TINY BED

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY

 

 

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RED ONION SALOON SKAGWAY A SCALE TO WEIGH GOLD

 

BRAEBORN LODGE

Braeburn Lodge is a roadhouse on the Klondike Highway in the Yukon Territory of Canada. It is located east of Braeburn Lake and north of Braeburn Mountain, on the path of the former Dawson Overland Trail, which was built in 1902 between Whitehorse and Dawson City. The lodge itself is a tourist destination and is famous for its large cinnamon buns. Nearby Cinnamon Bun Airport is named for the lodge’s cinnamon buns.Every February, Braeburn Lodge hosts a checkpoint of the long-distance Yukon Quest sled dog race.

 

 

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BRAEBORN LODGE

 

 

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BRAEBURN LODGE

 

 

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BRAEBURN LODGE

 

 

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BRAEBURN LODGE – RESULTS OF THE   CHECK INS  –  YUKON QUEST SLED DOG RACE

 

 

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FAMOUS BRAEBURN LODGE HUGE CINNAMON BUNS (WIKIPEDIA)

 

 

MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE

Montague Roadhouse

The Montague Roadhouse is a historic site dating back to the Klondike Gold Rush located on the North Klondike Highway near the community of Carmacks and Dawson City in the Yukon.

The Montague Roadhouse was one of many staging posts located on the Overland Trail. Roadhouses were spaced apart by 20 to 30 kilometres along the route. Each roadhouse varied in services, hospitality,

and quality but most still provided stables, storage, meals and accommodations.

In 1902 the government asked the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway to build a wagon road connecting Whitehorse with Dawson City. When completed the Overland Trail measured 330 kilometres. It would take a carriage 5 days to complete the route. Carriages traveled the route regularly delivering mail and goods.

The original Montague Roadhouse was constructed in 1900 on the opposite side of the Klondike Highway from where it stands now. But, it burnt down from a fire. Soon later another roadhouse was constructed. But it too burnt down in 1909.

Then in 1915, another attempt to build the roadhouse was made. This one did not burn down. It operated until the 1950s servicing travelers on the Overland Trail.

The main floor of the Montague Roadhouse was a restaurant and the second floor housed the bedrooms. The entire roadhouse was heated by two wood stoves. The inside walls of the roadhouse were lined with cheesecloth. A method used to lighten the color of the room, keep heat in and to keep the chinking from making a mess on the floor.

The roadhouse still stands, although time has taken its toll. There are a few other outbuildings on the site. All are log cabin style buildings. A path leads you around the roadhouse. There are some interpretive signs along the way to explain the history.

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MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE HISTORIC SITE

 

 

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MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE HISTORIC SITE

 

 

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MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE HISTORIC SITE

 

 

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MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE HISTORIC SITE

 

 

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MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE HISTORIC SITE

 

 

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MONTAGUE ROADHOUSE HISTORIC SITE

 

 

 

DREDGE NO. 4 NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE OF CANADA

Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada

Not long after gold was discovered in large quantities in the Klondike, dredges were brought into the Yukon, the first dredge being built in the fall of 1899. One of the two dozen dredges that worked this area, Dredge No. 4 rests on Claim No. 17 Below Discovery on Bonanza Creek near the spot where it ceased operations in 1960. The largest wooden hull, bucket-line dredge in North America, it was designed by the Marion Steam Shovel Company.

Dredge No. 4 was built during the summer and winter of 1912 for the Canadian Klondike Mining Company on Claim 112 Below Discovery on Bonanza Creek. It commenced operations in May of 1913, and dug its way upstream in the Klondike Valley into what was known as the “Boyle Concession,” sinking there in 1924. In 1927, it was refloated and continued to operate from the Klondike Valley to Hunker Creek. The ground at the mouth of Hunker Creek was so rich the dredge produced as much as 800 ounces of gold in a single day on Claim 67 Below. It operated until 1940. The dredge was rebuilt on Bonanza Creek by the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation and from 1941 to 1959 worked the Bonanza Creek valley.

Dredge No. 4 is 2/3 the size of a football field and 8 stories high. It has a displacement weight of over 3,000 tons (2,722 t), with a 16 cubic foot (.45 cubic metre) bucket capacity. The dredge could dig 48 feet (17 metres) below water level, and 17 feet (5 metres) above water level using hydraulic monitors and washing the gravel banks down.

The dredge was electrically powered from the Company’s hydro plant on the Klondike River about 30 miles (48 kilometres) away, requiring 920 continuous horsepower during the digging operation. Extra horsepower was needed occasionally for such things as hoisting the “spud” (pivot) and the gangplank.

The dredge moved along on a pond of its own making, digging gold bearing gravel in front, recovering the gold through the revolving screen washing plant, then depositing the gravel out the stacker at the rear. A dredge pond could be 300 feet (91 metres) by as much as 500 feet (152 metres) wide, depending on the width of the valley in which the dredge was working. The operating season was on average about 200 days, starting in late April or early May and operating 24 hours a day until late November.

The dredges were a very efficient means of mining for gold. The very fine flour gold however was very hard to save, as were nuggets too large to go through the 1 1/8 inch (1.9 centimetre) holes in the revolving screen, or those caught in the nugget catcher. These went up the stacker and out to the tailing piles.

During the summers of 1991 and 1992 the dredge was excavated, refloated and relocated to its current position on higher ground to protect it from seasonal flooding. Over the last two years, Parks Canada has made a significant investment in the restoration and stabilization of the Dredge.

 

 

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DREDGE NO. 4 NATIONAL HISTORIC STE OF CANADA

 

 

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Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada

 

 

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Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada

 

 

 

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Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada

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Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada

 

 

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Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada

 

 

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Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of CDiscovery Claim is a mining claim at Bonanza Creek, a watercourse in the Yukon, Canada. It is the site where, in the afternoon of August 16, 1896, the first piece of gold was found in the Yukon by prospectors. The site is considered to be the place where the Klondike gold rush started. It is located around 17 km south-southeast of Dawson City. The Discovery claim was designated a National Historic Site of Canada on July 13, 1998.

 

 

DISCOVERY CLAIM

Discovery Claim is a mining claim at Bonanza Creek, a watercourse in the Yukon, Canada. It is the site where, in the afternoon of August 16, 1896, the first piece of gold was found in the Yukon by prospectors. The site is considered to be the place where the Klondike gold rush started. It is located around 17 km south-southeast of Dawson City. The Discovery claim was designated a National Historic Site of Canada on July 13, 1998.

On August 16, 1896 George Carmack, an American prospector, his Tagish wife Kate (birthname Shaaw Tláa), her brother Skookum Jim (birthname Keish), and their nephew Dawson Charlie(K̲áa Goox̱), while travelling through the area, stopped to rest on the banks of one of the Klondike River’s tributaries called Bonanza Creek, then called Rabbit Creek.[They were there on the a suggestion of another prospector Robert Henderson. One of them noticed a shiny object in the water. It was gold and Carmack took credit for finding it. It is uncertain whether it was George Carmack or Skookum Jim who made the discovery, but the group decided that George Carmack be named as the official discoverer out of concern that mining authorities would be reluctant to recognize a claim made by an Indian.

On August 17, 1896, they staked out four claims, the first at Bonanza Creek. Two were for George Carmack. At that time, being the first to discover gold in an area entitled him to stake another, second claim. The other two claims were staked on behalf of Skookum Jim and Dawson Charlie.

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM

 

 

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DISCOVERY CLAIM       –       GUIDE EXPLAINS PANNING FOR GOLD

 

 

CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

It is  a combination gold panning & antique mining museum located in the heart of the Klondike Gold fields.

From their website:

“We are a small family owned and operated business located in the heart of the Klondike gold fields.

Our roots in the Klondike go back to the days of the Gold Rush We are never happier than when chatting  with visitors about anything and everything related to that unique period in the North

Our yard is a veritable Museum of antique mining equipment and vintage vehicles. We find that visitors are drawn into our parking lot as if by a magnet.”

It is also one of the few locations the public can come to pan for gold themselves.

A very interesting place to visit.

 

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

 

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM 33 GOLD PANNING & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

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CLAIM 33 GOLD PANNING & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 

———-

 

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CLAIM  33 GOLD PANNING  & JERRY BRYDE KLONDYKE MINING MUSEUM

 


 

AN  OVERNIGHT  STOPOVER IN WHITEHORSE,  YUKON

WHITEHOSE, YUKON

Whitehorse is the capital and largest city of Yukon and the largest city in northern Canada. It is Yukon’s only city. It was incorporated in 1950 and is located at kilometre 1426 on the Alaska Highway in southern Yukon. Whitehorse‘s downtown and Riverdale areas occupy both shores of the Yukon River, which originates in British Columbia and meets the Bering Sea in Alaska. The city was named after the White Horse Rapids for their resemblance to the mane of a white horse, near Miles Canyon, before the river was dammed.

Whitehorse was founded as a transportation hub during the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898. As gold-hungry prospectors made their way to the nearby Chilkoot Pass, it was an important stopping point for those needing rest and supplies.It officially became a city in 1950 and was named capital of the Yukon Territory in 1953. Whitehorse today maintains a population of just over 20,000 and has managed to combine many of the elements of a larger city while keeping its small town feel.

S S KLONDIKE

SS Klondike was the name of two sternwheelers, the second now a national historic site located in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Both ran freight between Whitehorse and Dawson City along the Yukon River from 1921-1936 and 1937-1950, respectively.

Klondike I was built in 1921 and had the distinction of having 50% more capacity than a regular sternwheeler, while still having the shallow draft and meeting the size requirements in order to travel down the Yukon River. Klondike I had a cargo capacity of 270 metric tonnes without having to push a barge.

Klondike I ran aground in June 1936 in ‘The Thirty Mile’ section of the Yukon River (at 61.6713°N 134.8728°W). The British-Yukon Navigation Company (a subsidiary of the White Pass and Yukon Route railway company) salvaged much of the ship and cannibalized the wreckage to build KlondikeII the following year.

Klondike II carried freight until 1950. Due to the construction of a highway connecting Dawson City and Whitehorse, many sternwheelers were decommissioned. In an attempt to save Klondike II, she was converted into a cruise ship. The venture shut down in 1955 due to lack of interest, and Klondike II was beached in the Whitehorse shipyards.

The ship was donated to Parks Canada and was gradually restored until 1966, when city authorities agreed to move the ship to its present location, then part of a squatter’s residence. The task required three bulldozers, eight tons of Palmolive soap, a crew of twelve men, and three weeks to complete. Greased log rollers eased the process.

On 24 June 1967, Klondike II was designated a National Historic Site of Canada,and she is now open during the summer as a tourist attraction.

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S S KLONDIKE


 

 

DAWSON CITY

Dawson City, Yukon is the heart of the world-famous Klondike Gold Rush.  On August 17,  1896, three Yukon “Sourdoughs”: George Carmack, Dawson Charlie, and Skookum Jim found gold on Rabbit Creek (now Bonanza Creek) a tributary of the Klondike River.Word of this find quickly spread to the about 1000 prospectors, miners, Northwest Mounted Police, missionaries and others who called the Yukon home at the time. Settlements were quickly abandoned as a rush to stake the best ground commenced.

Word of this find quickly spread to the about 1000 prospectors, miners, Northwest Mounted Police, missionaries and others who called the Yukon home at the time. Settlements were quickly abandoned as a rush to stake the best ground commenced.

Two of these residents were Joe Ladue and Arthur Harper who had been trading in the Yukon for years. They were quick to purchase, stake and establish the town site of Dawson (named for Canadian Geologist George Mercer Dawson) at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers, about twenty kilometers from Discovery Claim.

News reached the outside world in July of 1897 when the steamships Excelsior and Portland reached San Francisco and Seattle, respectively, with the successful miners from the previous season carrying the infamous “Ton of Gold”. News spread like wildfire of a land where “nuggets could be picked off the creek floor” to a recession suffering world and caused an unprecedented stampede of an estimated 100,000 people to set out to the Klondike.

Most left knowing little of the journey they would undertake. They followed treacherous routes that involved uncharted landscapes, snow-choked mountain passes and freezing rivers to stake their claim to fortune in the Klondike. Most would need to travel over 5000km to get to Dawson City.

In 1898 Dawson quickly grew as thirty thousand (some say fifty) pick-and-shovel miners, prospectors, storekeepers, saloon keepers, bankers, gambler, prostitutes and adventure seekers took over the town site.

Most arrived to discover the good ground had been staked in the previous two years. Many simply booked passage home but others stayed and made fortunes through other endeavors. Money was not an issue in Dawson, as gold was in abundance, and businesses that catered to the gold-strapped miners thrived.

From 1896-1899 Dawson $29 million in gold was pulled from the ground around Dawson City.

Dawson became known as the “Paris of the North”: The largest city west of Winnipeg and north of Seattle. Overnight millionaires roamed the streets seeking ways to spend their riches. The best food, drink, and clothing were all available for purchase, at a high cost. Dance and gambling halls, bars, brothels, restaurants and supply stores all made fortunes “mining the miners”.

Dawson continued to thrive until gold was found on the beaches of Nome, Alaska in 1899, many of the same people who came seeking fortunes in the Klondike, left Dawson in a new rush.

Most gold rush participants found no gold at all. But the prospect of sudden riches was not all that mattered. For many of those who made the incredible journey, the Klondike represented an escape from the humdrum, the adventure of a new frontier.

The Gold Rush changed the landscape of the northwest and of North America forever. Transportation to the West and North were vastly overhauled to sustain the Rush. Towns such as Victoria, Vancouver, and Edmonton owe much of their development to the Last Great Rush. The North became accessible, attainable and, at least in the mind of the common man, conquerable.

Today, this spirit can still be found in Dawson. Although the rush is over, Gold mining still thrives, and the adventure it takes to get here, although less arduous is still a reality.


 

Poet Robert Service did not exaggerate the hardships endured by the men who moiled for gold in the Klondike. News of the Yukon gold strike came during a severe economic recession. Tens of thousands of people — most of them unemployed Americans — rushed north in 1898. They laboriously scrambled over the treacherous Chilkoot or White passes several times, ferrying half a ton of supplies on their backs.

Within one season, the mud flats at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike rivers were transformed into a tent city of up to 30,000 people, making it the largest community west of Winnipeg. Saloons and brothels sprang up instantly, threatening to turn Dawson City into a lawless frontier outpost. But the legendary Mountie Sam Steele — who allowed no handguns — successfully imposed order on the town.

By 1899, Dawson was a city of substance, with electricity, telephones, movie theaters, and twenty blocks of commercial enterprises. The frenzy lasted just two seasons. Mining continued, but with fewer people as large companies brought in heavy equipment.

Today, much of Dawson is part of a historical complex included within Klondike National Historic Sites of Canada.

HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS OF DAWSON CITY:

 

 

 

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DASWON CITY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY

 

 

———————–

 

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DAWSON CITY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY

—————-


 

 

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DAWSON CITY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY – ROBERT SERVICE GRADE SCHOOL NAMED IN HONOR OF THE BRITISH- CANADIAN POET AND WRITER

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DAWSON CITY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY – Kathleen Eloise Rockwell (1873–1957), best known as “Klondike Kate”, and later known as Kate Rockwell Warner Matson Van Duren, gained her fame as a dancer and vaudeville star during the Klondike Gold Rush, where she met Alexander Pantages who later became a very successful vaudeville/motion picture mogul.

 

 

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DAWSON CITY

 

 

 

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DAWSON CITY    –   THIS WAS WRITTEN ON THE BUILDING FACING KLONDIKE KATES RESTAURANT

 

 

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DAWSON CITY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY – RED FEATHER SALOON   –    Deemed a historic site in 1991, the Red Feather Saloon was completely rebuilt in order to preserve its presence in Dawson City, the only original components of the structured that have been retained are the outside planks. Currently, the Dawson City Liquor Store is located in the replica of the saloon which remains in the exact location it originally did during the Klondike Gold Rush.

 

 

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DAWSON CITY – RED FEATHER SALOON

 

 

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DAWSON CITY – RED FEATHER SALOON

 

 

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DAWSON CITY – RED FEATHER SALOON – PHOTO OF HOW THE SALOON LOOKED ORIGINALLY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY – RED FEATHER SALOON DISPLAY

 

 

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DAWSON CITY – RED FEATHER SALOON – CARD TABLE

 

 

Version 2

DAWSON CITY – RED FEATHER SALOON – PAINTING OF KING EDWARD VII

 

 

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DAWSON CITY – RED FEATHER SALOON – Framed painting (oil on canvas) by John Wycliffe Lowes Forster, showing a seated Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier holding a newspaper in his lap. Canadian Museum of History.


 

 

DAWSON CITY POST OFFICE

The two-story Post Office, also known as the Former Post Office, is a substantial wooden building, which stands out at the corner of King Street and Third Avenue in the Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site of Canada. It is a prominent local landmark, distinguished by its three-storey octagonal corner entrance tower. Its regularly spaced windows and pedimented doorway, as well as the detailing of its decorative wood trim, reflect a classical source for its design. The walls are clad in horizontal wood siding. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

 

 

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DAWSON CITY POST OFFICE  (wikipedia)

 

 

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DAWSON CITY POST OFFICE (INTERIOR)

 

 

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DAWSON CITY POST OFFICE (INTERIOR)

 

 

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DAWSON CITY POST OFFICE (INTERIOR) – KEYS TO INDIVIDUAL MAILBOXES

——————

BANK OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA

The Bank of British North America is one of the best examples of a structure illustrating the development of financial services in the North. The Bank of British North America was the first banking institution established in Dawson in May 1898, during the Klondike Gold Rush. The structure was built as a combination bank, dormitory, assay office, and general office. The Bank is also associated with Alex McDonald, the ‘King of the Klondike’ who directed his numerous mining and real estate ventures from the general office within the building. Dawson metamorphosed from a boisterous mining camp in 1897-1898, to a boomtown in 1898-1899 when the bank was constructed and then into a prosperous and respectable community by 1901.

 

 

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BANK OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA

 

 

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BANK OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA

 

 

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BANK OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA – INTERIOR

 

 

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BANK OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA – INTERIOR


 

DAWSON DAILY NEWS BUILDING MUSEUM

The Dawson Daily News building, is a treasure trove of historic materials about Gold Rush days in the Yukon and is filled with old type setters, presses and paper folders. A treasure of printing  equipment.

 

 

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DAWSON DAILY NEWS BUILDING MUSEUM

 

 

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DAWSON DAILY NEWS BUILDING MUSEUM

 

 

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DAWSON DAILY NEWS BUILDING MUSEUM

 

 

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DAWSON DAILY NEWS BUILDING MUSEUM

 

 

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DAWSON DAILY NEWS BUILDING MUSEUM

 

 

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DAWSON DAILY NEWS BUILDING MUSEUM


 

 

DIAMOND TOOTH GERTIES

 

This was the first legal casino in Canada. It still operates as a casino and also has a great floor show featuring Diamond Tooth Gertie and her can-can girls.  Diamond Tooth Gertie’s: named in honor of the famous dance hall queen. With a sparkling diamond placed between her two front teeth, she mined the miners, who parted with their hard-earned gold in exchange for her affections. That’s the way she is portrayed.

 

 

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DIAMOND TOOTH GERTIES

 

 

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DIAMOND TOOTH GERTIES

 

 

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DIAMOND TOOTH GERTIES

 

 

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DIAMOND TOOTH GERTIES

 

 

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DIAMOND TOOTH GERTIES

 

 

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DIAMOND TOOTH GERTIES

————————–

 

 

 

TOP OF THE WORLD HIGHWAY
Top of the World Highway
Highway in Canada
The Top of the World Highway is a 127-kilometer (79 mile) long highway, beginning at a junction with the Taylor Highway near Jack Wade, Alaska traveling east to its terminus at the ferry terminal in West Dawson, Yukon, on the western banks of the Yukon River.

 The highway has been in existence since at least 1955 and is only open during the summer months. The entire portion of the highway in Yukon is also known as Yukon Highway 9. The Alaska portion is short and apparently not numbered. The Alaska Department of Transportation refers to it as Top of the World Highway.

As of July 2014, the US portion of the highway is paved, and most of the Canadian portion is unpaved

The highway is so named because, along much of its length, it skirts the crest of the hills, giving looks down on the valleys. It is also one of the most northerly highways in the world at those latitudes

The Poker Creek – Little Gold Creek Border Crossing features one of the few jointly-built single building customs ports of entry along the Canada–US border. There is a one-hour difference in standard time zones at this border, which is only open in summer during the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. period (Alaska time). The immense Alaskan Taylor Complex Fire of 2004 burned up to the Canada–US border and was visible from the westernmost portions of the highway.

 

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POKER CREEK ALASKA

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POKER CREEK ALASKA

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TOP OF THE WORLD HIGHWAY ALASKA

 

 

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TOP OF THE WORLD HIGHWAY ALASKA

 

 

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TOP OF THE WORLD HIGHWAY ALASKA


 

 

CHICKEN, ALASKA

Chicken is a census-designated place in Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska, United States. Chicken is a community founded on gold mining and is one of the few surviving gold rush towns in Alaska. The population was 7 at the 2010 Census.

Chicken was settled by gold miners in the late 1800s and in 1902 the local post office was established requiring a community name. Due to the prevalence of ptarmigan in the area that name was suggested as the official name for the new community. However, the spelling could not be agreed on and Chicken was used to avoid embarrassment. Chicken is the outpost for the 40 Mile mining district. There are still active gold mines in this area. Enough gold was mined here to make it worthwhile to haul huge gold dredges to this remote location. There are still several inactive gold dredges in the Chicken area.

 

 

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CHICKEN, ALASKA

 

 

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CHICKEN, ALASKA

 

 

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CHICKEN, ALASKA

————-


 

 

RIKA’S LANDING ROADHOUSE

Home of the Delta Historical Society Museum, Rika’s Roadhouse at Big Delta State Historical Park is in a ten-acre state park on the shores of the Tanana River. The Valdez-to-Fairbanks Trail ran through here and continued across the river, aided by a ferry. The roadhouse was built to accommodate the travelers and is a National Historic Site. The museum is a separate building behind the roadhouse and has displays of artifacts from the Alaskan life. There is a beautiful barn and two other historic display cabins set up to show how the military lived as they put in a telegraph line through here which opened up communication to Washington for the first time. There is also a gift shop, restaurant, and animals and birds to help create the right ambiance for this beautiful setting. Historic pamphlets are available for self tours and guided tours are always available.

 

 

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BIG DELTA STATE HISTORICAL PARK

 

 

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BIG DELTA STATE HISTORICAL

 

 

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RIKA’S HOMESTEAD

 

 

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RIKA’S HOMESTEAD

 

 

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RIKA’S HOMESTEAD

 

 

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RIKA’S HOMESTEAD

 

 

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RIKA’S HOMESTEAD

 

 

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RIKA’S HOMESTEAD

 

 

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RIKA’S HOMESTEAD

 

 

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ALASKA ROAD COMMISSION

 

 

Version 2

ALASKA ROAD COMMISSION GARAGE

 

 

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ALASKA ROAD COMMISSION

 

 

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ALASKA ROAD COMMISSION OUTBUILDING

 

 

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ALASKA ROAD COMMISSION OUTBUILDING

 

 

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ALASKA ROAD COMMISSION OUTBUILDING

 

 

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WAMCATS

 

 

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WAMCATS OUTBUILDING


 

 

TRANS-ALASKA PIPELINE SYSTEM
Trans-Alaska Pipeline System
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System includes the trans-Alaska crude-oil pipeline, 12 pump stations, several hundred miles of feeder pipelines, and the Valdez Marine Terminal. TAPS is one of the world’s largest pipeline system.
FACTS AND FIGURES:

Some 420 miles of the 800-mile-long pipeline is elevated on 78,000 vertical support members due to permafrost.

Telluric currents caused by the same phenomenon that generates the Northern Lights can be picked up by the pipeline and zinc/magnesium anodes. The anodes act like grounding rods to safety return these currents to the earth reducing the risk of damage to the pipeline.

The high point of the pipeline can be found at Atigun Pass with an elevation of 4,739 feet.

The Operations Control Center (OCC), located in Anchorage, monitors and controls pipeline and terminal operations 24/7.

Booster Pumps are located at all pump stations to move oil from the storage tanks to the mainline.

Cleaning pigs sweep the pipe of built up wax, water or other solids that precipitate out of the oil stream. They also prevent the built-up of corrosive environment and makes the oil easier to pump.

Controllers can stop pipeline flow within four minutes.

Crosses three mountain ranges and more than 30 major rivers and streams.

Grade, maximum: 145% (55%) at Thompson Pass.

Length: 800 miles.

Maximum daily throughput was 2,145,297 on January 14, 1988.

Miles of buried pipeline: 380.

More than 12,000 tankers have been escorted through Prince William Sound.

Almost 17 billion barrels have moved through TAPS.

More than 170 bird species have been identified along the trans-Alaska pipeline.

Mountain ranges crossed by the pipeline: Brooks Range, Alaska Range and Chugach Range.

Pig: A mechanical device that is pushed through the pipeline by the oil to perform various operations on the pipeline without stopping the flow of oil.

71 gate valves can block oil flow in either direction on the pipeline.

Air temperature along route: minus 80 F to 95 F.

All laden tankers are escorted more than 70 miles through the Prince William Sound into the Gulf of Alaska.

Average tanker turnaround time at the Valdez terminal is 22 hours and 20 minutes for berthing, offloading ballast, loading crude and deberthing.

SERVS (Ship Escort/Response Vessel System) exists to prevent oil spills by assisting tankers in safe navigation through Prince William Sound.

SERVS (Ship Escort/Response Vessel System) has contracted over 350 fishing vessels for incident response in Prince William Sound.

SERVS (Ship Escort/Response Vessel System) maintains one of the world’s largest inventories of oil spill response equipment including more than 42 miles of boom and 100 skimmers, with a total recovery capacity of more than 75,000 barrels per hour.

The Valdez Terminal covers 1,000 acres and has facilities for crude oil metering, storage, transfer and loading.

The pipeline project involved some 70,000 workers from 1969 through 1977.

The first pipe of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System was laid in 1975.

Construction began March 27, 1975 and was completed May 31, 1977.

Construction Time: 3 years, 2 months.

OCC Controllers can stop pipeline flow within four minutes.

Cost to build: $8 billion in 1977, largest privately funded construction project at that time.

Diameter: 48 inches.

First oil moved through the pipeline on June 20, 1977.

First tanker to carry crude oil from Valdez: ARCO Juneau, August 1, 1977.

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company was established in 1970 to design, construct, operate and maintain the pipeline.

The Trans Alaska Pipeline System was originally designed with 12 pump stations, though it was decided that only 11 were needed and a 12th was never built.

Oil was first discovered in Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope in 1968

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TRANS-ALASKA PIPELINE SYSTEM

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TRANS-ALASKA PIPELINE SYSTEM

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TRANS-ALASKA PIPELINE SYSTEM

 

 

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TRANS-ALASKA PIPELINE SYSTEM

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TRANS-ALASKA PIPELINE SYSTEM

 

 

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TRANS-ALASKA PIPELINE SYSTEM

 

 

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TRANS-ALASKA PIPELINE SYSTEM

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TRANS-ALASKA PIPELINE SYSTEM


 

 

 

FAIRBANKS  ALASKA

The Fairbanks area is home to just over 100,000 hearty souls, making this region the second-largest population center in Alaska. The city features a university, an Army base and an Air Force Base and is known for dog mushing, northern lights and its extremes of light, dark, warmth and cold. In winter, temperatures as low as -62 degrees have been recorded; temperatures in the 80s are common in summer. Summer days are also long – Fairbanks enjoys more than 22 hours of daylight when the solstice arrives on June 21.

Fairbanks dates back to 1901, when E.T. Barnette cruised up the Tanana River on theSS Lavelle Young with 130 tons of supplies bound for the Tanacross goldfields. The next year an Italian prospector named Felix Pedro struck gold 12 miles to the north and Barnette’s trading post became a boomtown with hordes of miners stampeding into the area.

The construction of the Alaska Railroad, the Alaska Highway and the trans-Alaska oil pipeline all contributed greatly to the growth of Fairbanks. The city still has gold at its heart: the nearby Fort Knox Gold Mine is Alaska’s largest

 

GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

GOLDEN HEART PLAZA
The idea of this downtown plaza stemmed from a celebration of the silver anniversary of Alaska’s statehood in 1984. Through the work of Festival Fairbanks, Inc. ’84 Director, William R. Wood, the Fairbanks City Council supported the creation of the Golden Heart Plaza. Construction was completed in 1987 and funded by donations from Fairbanks citizens, families, businesses, and associations. The clock tower, donated by the Fairbanks Rotary Club in 1990, commemorates this organization’s first fifty years of service to Fairbanks and the Interior. In the summer, Golden Heart Plaza is filled with flowers of all colors. In the winter, the park is strung with twinkling white lights. Year-round it plays a central role in any downtown Fairbanks celebration. The statue is Malcolm Alexander’s “Unknown First Family,” which in his words is “Portraying the family of all mankind, the family of Fairbanks, and the nuclear family, let this statue symbolize, for families present and future, the pride and dignity of this great land.” A time capsule, to be opened January 3, 2059, is buried in the Plaza.

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA – Golden Heart Plaza is located along the banks of the Chena River in the downtown region of Fairbanks, Alaska, making this statue and fountain a centerpiece for tourists. The statue in the middle of the fountain is known as “Unknown First Family” and was created by Malcolm Alexander. It has been dedicated to all the Families of the past, the present and the future as well as the courageous and brave spirit of the people of Alaska’s interior. The statue stands 18 feet high with water spouting from the base near the feet of the Inuit family and then cascades over the rockery into the pool surrounding the statue. Thousands of tourists photograph the statue and the fountain while local residents of Fairbanks come here to relax in the summer sun.

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

THERE ARE NUMBER OF INFORMATION PLAQUES AT THE GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA – Mushing is big in Alaska – There’s the Iditarod and then there’s the Yukon Quest. This building is located right here on the Golden Heart Plaza.

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA – ADVERTISING SIGN FOR THE YUKON QUEST 2016

 

THESE ARE PICTURES OF SOME ALASKAN HUSKY SLED DOGS SEEN AT THE YUKON QUEST HEADQUARTERS

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA

 

 

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GOLDEN HEART PLAZA


 

 

DENALI NATIONAL PARK

Denali National Park  is a United States National Park that is home to Denali, North America’s highest mountain. In addition, the park protects an incredible wilderness area that contains grizzly bears, caribou, moose, wolves, and numerous other creatures.

Denali National Park comprises a massive area of six million acres, slightly more than the entire state of Massachusetts. The park is best known for the 20,320-ft (6,194 m) Denali (whose name has since been restored from Mt. McKinley). The tremendous 18,000-ft (5,486 m) difference from the mountain’s lowlands near Wonder Lake up to its peak is a greater vertical relief than that of Mount Everest. The park is bisected from east to west by the Alaska Range and the Park Road is the only vehicle access into the park.

The park was established in 1917 as a wildlife refuge. It was originally named Mount McKinley National Park, but in 1980 the park was renamed and expanded in size by four million acres as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). Today the park is managed as three separate units: Denali Wilderness is made up of the original Mount McKinley National Park and is managed to retain the undeveloped wilderness with no hunting allowed. The Denali National Park management area includes some of the 1980 additions and allows subsistence hunting. Denali National Preserve includes two areas of the park within which sport and subsistence hunting are allowed on a permit basis.

Denali, the “High One,” is the name Athabascan native people gave the massive peak that crowns the 600-mile-long Alaska Range. Permafrost ground underlies many areas of the park, where only a thin layer of topsoil is available to support life. After the continental glaciers retreated from most of the park 10,000 to 14,000 years ago, hundreds of years were required to begin building new soils and re-vegetation. The dynamic glaciated landscape provides large rivers, countless lakes and ponds, and unique landforms which form the foundation of the ecosystems that thrive Denali
The terrain of Denali includes “tundra” and “taiga” zones. Taiga zones are made up of the stubby evergreen, spruce and aspen trees that are found in areas around the Arctic Circle. The taiga zone within Denali extends to approximately 2700 feet (823 m) above sea level, above which few trees are found. The treeless areas of the park can generally be classified as tundra. Within a tundra zone the plants are often miniaturized, including tiny flowers, extensive mosses, and various shrubs. Be aware of the willow thickets in the tundra zone as they can be a major impediment while hiking.
Congress created the park to protect its abundance of large mammals. Today it is common to see grizzly bears, caribou, Dall sheep, moose, and foxes throughout the park. Less common but still regularly seen are the park’s many wolves. Black bears are also occasionally seen, and the very lucky visitor might glimpse a wolverine.
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DENALI PARK

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

DENALI PARK INFORMATION PANELS

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

 

 

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DENALI PARK

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DENALI PARK

 

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DENALI PARK


 

THE IDITAROD DOG SLED RACE

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an annual long-distance sled dog race run in early March from Settler’s Bay to Nome, which takes place entirely in the US state of Alaska. Mushers and a team of 21 dogs, of which at least 6 must be on the towline at the finish line, cover the distance in 9–15 days or more.IDITAROD FACTS

  • The first Iditarod race to Nome started March 3, 1973.
  • Broken Records: In 1986, Susan Butcher broke Rick Swenson’s record, set in 1981, by completing the 1049+ miles in 11 days, 15 hours and six minutes, and this was done on the longer ‘Northern’ Route. In 1987 she broke her own record by finishing in 11 days, two hours, five minutes and 13 seconds. Then in 1990 she broke her record again, finishing in 11 days, one hour, 53 minutes, 23 seconds. In 1993, Jeff King broke all previous records, finishing in 10 days, 15 hours, 38 minutes, 15 seconds. In 1994 Martin Buser again set the record in 10 days, 13 hours, 02 minutes, 39 seconds. In 1995, Doug Swingley of Sims, Montana broke two records when he became the first musher from outside of Alaska to win the Iditarod and he did the 1150+ mile course in 9 days, 2 hours, 42 minutes and 19 seconds. In 2002, Martin Buser broke the record when he crossed the finish line in 8 days, 22 hours, 46 minutes and 2 seconds.
  • Carl Huntington won the 1974 race with the slowest winning time, 20 days, 15 hours, two minutes and seven seconds.
  • The teams average 16 dogs, which means over 1,000 dogs leave Anchorage for Nome.
  • There are 26 checkpoints on the northern route, the first in Anchorage and the last in Nome. On the southern route, there are 27 checkpoints.
  • The closest finish was in 1978. Dick Mackey finished one second ahead of Rick Swenson. Mackey’s time was 14 days, 18 hours, 52 minutes and 24 seconds. The winner was decided by the nose of the lead dog across the finish line.
  • The largest number of mushers to finish a single race was 77 in 2004.
  • A red lantern is awarded to the last musher to finish Iditarod. The longest time for a Red Lantern was 32 days, 15 hours, nine minutes and one second by John Schultz in 1973. The quickest Red Lantern musher Celeste Davis with a time of 13d 05h 06m 40s.
  • Rick Swenson is the only five time winner of “The Last Great Race”, having won in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1991. He is now the only person to win the Iditarod in three different decades, a record that will probably never be broken.
  • Four time winner, Susan Butcher, claimed Iditarod victories in 1986, 1987, 1988 and again in 1990. Susan retired from long distance racing after the 1993 race in order to start a family with husband Dave Monson, himself a Yukon Quest champion. Their first daughter, Margarith, was born in the spring of 1995.
  • Dallas Seavey turned 18 on March 4, 2005. He is the youngest musher to run the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race. The oldest musher to ever compete was Col. Norman Vaughan who completed the race four times.
  • Rick Mackey won the race in 1983 to become the first son of an Iditarod champion to match his father’s accomplishment. Lance Mackey won in 2007 to become the second son of an Iditarod champion. To further set a record, father and both sons were wearing bib number 13 when they crossed the finish line in first position, and they all three won in their sixth Iditarod. Anyone superstitious? (Emmitt Peters was also wearing bib #13 when he won the Iditarod in 1975.) Add one more for Lance — he had just won the Yukon Quest two weeks before, so now he is the first person to win both the Quest and Iditarod in the same year.

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IDITAROD TRAIL RACE HEADQUARTERS

 

 

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IDITAROD TRAIL RACE HEADQUARTERS

 

 

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IDITAROD TRAIL RACE HEADQUARTERS

 

 

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IDITAROD TRAIL RACE HEADQUARTERS

 

 

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IDITAROD TRAIL RACE HEADQUARTERS

 

 

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IDITAROD TRAIL RACE HEADQUARTERS

 

 

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IDITAROD TRAIL RACE HEADQUARTERS

 

 

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IDITAROD TRAIL RACE HEADQUARTERS

 

 

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IDITAROD TRAIL RACE HEADQUARTERS

 

 

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IDITAROD TRAIL RACE HEADQUARTERS


 

POETRY

ROBERT WILLIAM SERVICE

a poet and writer who has often been called “the Bard of the Yukon”.

Service is best known for his poems “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and “The Cremation of Sam McGee”, from his first book, Songs of a Sourdough (1907; also published as The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses). “These humorous tales in verse were considered doggerel by the literary set, yet remain extremely popular to this day.” Songs of a Sourdough has sold more than three million copies, making it the most commercially successful book of poetry of the 20th century.

THE CREMATION OF SAM McGEE

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam ’round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he’d often say in his homely way that he’d “sooner live in hell”.

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn’t see;
It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and “Cap,” says he, “I’ll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I’m asking that you won’t refuse my last request.”

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn’t say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
“It’s the cursed cold, and it’s got right hold till I’m chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet ’tain’t being dead — it’s my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last remains.”

A pal’s last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn’t a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn’t get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say:
“You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it’s up to you to cremate those last remains.”

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows — O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I’d often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the “Alice May”.
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then “Here,” said I, with a sudden cry, “is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared — such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn’t like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don’t know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: “I’ll just take a peep inside.
I guess he’s cooked, and it’s time I looked”; . . . then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: “Please close that door.
It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and storm —
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.


 

HOME AND LOVE

Just Home and Love! the words are small
Four little letters unto each;
And yet you will not find in all
The wide and gracious range of speech
Two more so tenderly complete:
When angels talk in Heaven above,
I’m sure they have no words more sweet
Than Home and Love.

Just Home and Love! it’s hard to guess
Which of the two were best to gain;
Home without Love is bitterness;
Love without Home is often pain.
No! each alone will seldom do;
Somehow they travel hand and glove:
If you win one you must have two,
Both Home and Love.

And if you’ve both, well then I’m sure
You ought to sing the whole day long;
It doesn’t matter if you’re poor
With these to make divine your song.
And so I praisefully repeat,
When angels talk in Heaven above,
There are no words more simply sweet
Than Home and Love.


A GRAIN OF SAND

If starry space no limit knows
And sun succeeds to sun,
There is no reason to suppose
Our earth the only one.
‘Mid countless constellations cast
A million worlds may be,
With each a God to bless or blast
And steer to destiny.

Just think! A million gods or so
To guide each vital stream,
With over all to boss the show
A Deity supreme.
Such magnitudes oppress my mind;
From cosmic space it swings;
So ultimately glad to find
Relief in little things.

For look! Within my hollow hand,
While round the earth careens,
I hold a single grain of sand
And wonder what it means.
Ah! If I had the eyes to see,
And brain to understand,
I think Life’s mystery might be
Solved in this grain of sand.


THE SHOOTING OF DAN McGREW
A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o’-love, the lady that’s known as Lou.
When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and the glare,
There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog-dirty, and loaded for bear.
He looked like a man with a foot in the grave and scarcely the strength of a louse,
Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks for the house.
There was none could place the stranger’s face, though we searched ourselves for a clue;
But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.
There’s men that somehow just grip your eyes, and hold them hard like a spell;
And such was he, and he looked to me like a man who had lived in hell;
With a face most hair, and the dreary stare of a dog whose day is done,
As he watered the green stuff in his glass, and the drops fell one by one.
Then I got to figgering who he was, and wondering what he’d do,
And I turned my head — and there watching him was the lady that’s known as Lou.
His eyes went rubbering round the room, and he seemed in a kind of daze,
Till at last that old piano fell in the way of his wandering gaze.
The rag-time kid was having a drink; there was no one else on the stool,
So the stranger stumbles across the room, and flops down there like a fool.
In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;
Then he clutched the keys with his talon hands — my God! but that man could play.
Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear,
And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear;
With only the howl of a timber wolf, and you camped there in the cold,
A half-dead thing in a stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold;
While high overhead, green, yellow and red, the North Lights swept in bars? —
Then you’ve a hunch what the music meant. . . hunger and night and the stars.
And hunger not of the belly kind, that’s banished with bacon and beans,
But the gnawing hunger of lonely men for a home and all that it means;
For a fireside far from the cares that are, four walls and a roof above;
But oh! so cramful of cosy joy, and crowned with a woman’s love —
A woman dearer than all the world, and true as Heaven is true —
(God! how ghastly she looks through her rouge, — the lady that’s known as Lou.)
Then on a sudden the music changed, so soft that you scarce could hear;
But you felt that your life had been looted clean of all that it once held dear;
That someone had stolen the woman you loved; that her love was a devil’s lie;
That your guts were gone, and the best for you was to crawl away and die.
‘Twas the crowning cry of a heart’s despair, and it thrilled you through and through —
“I guess I’ll make it a spread misere”, said Dangerous Dan McGrew.
The music almost died away … then it burst like a pent-up flood;
And it seemed to say, “Repay, repay,” and my eyes were blind with blood.
The thought came back of an ancient wrong, and it stung like a frozen lash,
And the lust awoke to kill, to kill … then the music stopped with a crash,
And the stranger turned, and his eyes they burned in a most peculiar way;
In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;
Then his lips went in in a kind of grin, and he spoke, and his voice was calm,
And “Boys,” says he, “you don’t know me, and none of you care a damn;
But I want to state, and my words are straight, and I’ll bet my poke they’re true,
That one of you is a hound of hell. . .and that one is Dan McGrew.”
Then I ducked my head, and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark,
And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark.
Pitched on his head, and pumped full of lead, was Dangerous Dan McGrew,
While the man from the creeks lay clutched to the breast of the lady that’s known as Lou.
These are the simple facts of the case, and I guess I ought to know.
They say that the stranger was crazed with “hooch,” and I’m not denying it’s so.
I’m not so wise as the lawyer guys, but strictly between us two —
The woman that kissed him and — pinched his poke — was the lady that’s known as Lou.
————————-

 

PHOTOS:

LEONARD EPSTEIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

ARCHIBALD​, WYNNE, AND SULMAN PRIZES FOR ART FOR 2016 IN AUSTRALIA AT THE ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

August 29, 2016

ARCHIBALD , WYNNE, AND SULMAN PRIZES FOR ART FOR 2016 IN AUSTRALIA

The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes is an annual exhibition eagerly anticipated by artists and audiences alike.

The Archibald Prize, first awarded in 1921, is Australia’s favorite art award, and one of its most prestigious. Awarded to the best portrait painting, it’s a who’s who of Australian culture – from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists.

The Wynne Prize is awarded to the best landscape painting of Australian scenery, or figure sculpture, while the Sulman Prize is given to the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project in oil, acrylic, watercolour or mixed media.

Each year, the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW judge the Archibald and Wynne, and invite an artist to judge the Sulman. The 2016 judge is Judy Watson.

 

 

HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS  OF THE WINNERS AND FINALISTS:

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

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THE PACKING ROOM PRIZE

In 1991 the Packing Room Prize was established, in which the staff who receive the portraits and install them in the gallery vote for their choice of winner. Although the prize is said to be awarded by the staff, the gallery’s head storeman – as of 2011, Steve Peters – holds 51% of the vote.The Packing Room Prize is awarded annually and as of June 2014, the prize is A$1,500.

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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THE PACKING ROOM  PRIZE 2016

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

 

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

 

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

 

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

 

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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ARCHIBALD PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE

 

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

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THE WYNNE PRIZE 2016

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE

 

 

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THE SULMAN PRIZE