The Costa Family

Our Travels, Hobbies, and Family

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Our Alaskan Trip - 2003


We flew to Fairbanks by way of Seattle, stayed in Fairbanks for two nights, 
went on a stern wheeler down a glacial runoff (explained later) 
river to an Indian camp. We even stopped at the home of the 
only woman who won the Iditerod Race. We  then went on 
to a gold dredge where we panned for gold. Found some too.


We took a stern wheeler on a river to see Central Alaska in the rough.

Our power down the river 

An Athabascan Indian in ceremonial garb 

A salmon trap next to an indian village. 
The river is constantly eroding the shores but, in Alaska, 
they just let it happen without interfering with nature. 

Amazingly, theriver stays the same width when the sides are naturally 
replaced by naturein the passing years. Hmmm, take heed, lower 48. 
By the way. This is a what is called a Glacial Runoff river. 
It is fed by melting glaciers. Notice how the water is a dull gray silt. 
As the glaciers advancethey rub the mountainsides, depositing that silt, 
which is as fine as talcum powder.Most Alaskan rivers are Glacial runoffs. 
One more thing regarding the picture above. 
Those trees you see are about 200 years old. Slow growers because they 
are sitting in Perma-Frost. 
Yes, permanantly frozen ground, year round up here in Fairbanks. 
The top thawing may be a foot deep during the summer. 
House foundations are built in that frost. Get a good thaw and those house will fall down. 
Ain't gonna happen though. It's cold in them thar hills. 

Iditerod rookie of the year 2001. Lovely, determined young gal 
putting on a show for us as we watched from our sternwheeler. 

Buying and selling skins is common practice in Alaska. 
Reindeer, wolf, ermine, etc. They live off the land. 
What we used to do before TV dinners 

Pam, Sue and Marty tried their luck at panning some of that famous 
Alaskan gold. Humph....Of course, I never did fall for that ploy. Then, when they really 
did find those little nuggets in their pans, they couldn't get me away from trying my luck, 
dragging me as I kicked and scraped my feet on the gound. 

Oh yes, the Alaskan Pipeline, 800 miles of marvel running from the north to the 
port of Valdez in southern Alaska. 
It runs constantly throughout the winter months also, without being heated. 
It comes out of the ground at a temperature of about 165 degrees Farenheit 
and because of it's well insulated walls it only loses about 60 degrees in temp 
by the time it reaches it's destination. 
Oh yeah, every so often they run what looks like a router rooter through it 
to keep the walls free of sludge. 

Hmmmm, why not use Lipitor? 

Now on to our train ride to Denali National Park



FairbanksTrain to DenaliDenali National Park
College FjordGlacier BayJuneau
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