Alaska

First visit in three decades.

In the first moments of my return to Alaska – my first visit in over three decades – the pilot announced there was a fine view to be seen on the port side. From the in-flight map I noted we were 36,000 feet over over Canada’s Kluane National Park, looking southwest into the Alaska panhandle. The scenery was awe-inspiring, with vast glaciers punctuated by rugged mountains:

Looking roughly southwest from a plane over Canada’s Kluane National Park..

Why am I headed for Alaska? I met my father there and we’re about to embark on a trip to Katmai National Park. Read on…

After resting overnight at a hotel in Anchorage, we hopped back on a plane to Kodiak island, off the coast to the southwest.

We had fine views of the village of Kodiak, and the hills of Kodiak Island, as we landed in Kodiak.

Views of Kodiak and Kodiak island as we fly from Anchorage.

The small town of Kodiak is centered around a busy harbor, where fishing vessels reign. The cannery sits nearby, emphasizing the intense importance of the salmon fishery here… which dates back to the arrival of the first humans over 7,000 years ago. Below, my father chats with the captain of one vessel as it pulls into unload its daily catch.

Kodiak harbor, Alaska.

There are several historical displays about the 1964 tsunami that devastated the town and much of the surrounding coastline; the tsunami was triggered by a magnitude 9.2 undersea earthquake, which still holds the record as the strongest earthquake ever recorded in North America. Tsunami warnings are still quite common today, as we learned from some of the locals busy on the docks this evening.

Tsunami warning sign in Kodiak harbor, Alaska.

We also met a mom and her son who were “metal fishing”… walking along the piers holding a rope that descended into the deep waters alongside, weighted down by a heavy, strong magnet. Over their many visits they had found & recovered all manner of interesting metal objects from the harbor.

Tomorrow we’ll board a floatplane to our home for the next week, somewhere in the harbors of Katmai National Park. The trip is a photography trip organized by Muench Workshops – and I’ll be sure to post when we’re back!

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

5 thoughts on “Alaska”

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