Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Clammin' in Ninilchik

I'm getting back to some stuff that happened while we were without the computer. This time we will revisit our outing to catch the elusive Alaska Razor Clam. Clamming was one of the reasons to choose Ninilchik, and when we mentioned it to our campground hosts, Brenda and Bob Keeler, they insisted on taking us. The best time to go is when the lowest tides of the month occur, but that would not occur during our stay, so we did the best we could. On the way to the clam flat, we watched how the boats are launched at the Ninilchik Beach.

It's an unbelievable event. The crew and fishermen are loaded on the boat up the hill and the tractor connects to the trailer and pushes the boat well into the water. The day I fished was pretty calm, as it is in this picture, but I understand that it is even more interesting when there is surf. The wheels on the tractor end up about two thirds in the water.

The Keelers have an off road Kawasaki which they call "The Mule".

This is Helen, Brenda, and Bob standing by "The Mule". The tube that Brenda is holding is a "clam gun" and is the best way to catch the clams. Unlike the clams Helen and I are used to on the east coast, these are down about a foot and cannot be taken with our clam forks.

Here, Brenda demonstrates the method of using the gun. When a clam location is indicated, the tube is pushed into the sand. There is a vent hole in the handle and when you have the gun in as far as you can, you cover the hole and pull up. This is a LOT harder than you think. Then you uncover the hole and dump the sand to the side and do it again, and again. Usually the third try will get the clam, if it's really there.

This is the fruit of my labor. The first sign of a clam, three scoops with the gun, and I had my first clam. It was so quick that I had the feeling that this outing wouldn't last long before I had my limit of 60. It was deceiving, my next clam came after many holes. My total for the outing was two. Yup, I only got two. Helen got one or two also, so we were able to justify our "WE BE CLAMMIN' tee shirts.

Here Bob is trying to convince us about the big clam that got away. I guess he's a fisherman through and through.

The bluff behind us was filled with eagles. We have the image of the eagle as being awesome bird and have all seen video of an eagle scooping a fish off the surface of the water with its talons.
Here, the eagle is a lot like a seagull, which is also here in great numbers. It's just down the beach where the fishermen clean their fish and the eagles and seagulls congregate where the fish remains wash up on the beach. Here they are not very elegant. They don't resemble the regals and much as they do vagrants.

Back at the campground Brenda showed Helen how the clams are cleaned. Our clams, with the ones Brenda and Bob got gave us enough for a small chowder. They're in the freezer. I'm sure a chowder will be welcome when it gets cold.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Glacier and Wildlife Cruise from Seward

Today started as a normal weather day, overcast, foggy, and rain. We thought it a bad start for the day we chose to take a cruise. It turned out to be much better than we had imagined.

We departed at 11:30 AM, aboard the Glacier Express shown above. We hadn't even cleared the port when we saw an eagle sitting on one of the port markers. Shortly thereafter, there were a couple of sea otters.

Next was a humpback whale, the first of two we saw on the trip. We saw a lot of him, but it was in flashes and most of the pictures we ended up with were of the water after he had moved on.

A mountain goat was next on the agenda. He wasn't very active and this picture was taken with a very long lens. I don't know how the crew noticed him and with the naked eye, he was just a white dot on the cliff wall.

I should mention that this was a dinner cruise with a salmon and prime rib buffet part of the agenda. We shared a table with another couple and we were all surprised at the quality and quantity of the buffet. The salmon was pretty good, but the prime rib was Divine. Helen and I both went back for seconds. Later in the trip there was a dessert buffet with Jello and whipped cream, fruit medley, carrot cake, brownies, and cheese cake. Again, this was all you care to eat and the buffet was open a long time

We saw a number of birds and sea lions as we traveled to Aialik Bay to view Aialik Glacier.

The above pictures are of the Aialik Glacier. I tried to get another boat in the picture to give you some idea of the scope, but it was too far to the side. Suffice it to say that the face of the glacier was half a mile long and more than eight hundred feet high. I also tried to get a picture of the glacier "calving". The water was full of small icebergs, but we were actually quite a way from the glacier and when you heard the crack of the ice, it had already hit the water. Parts of the glacier were a beautiful blue color and the National Park Ranger on board told us that the blue color is cause by the sun shining through the ice, which strips the other warm colors from the spectrum of light. The pretty blue is left.

Helen got this picture of a harbor seal riding a small berg out of the fjord.

On the way back to port, we passed a Steller Sea Lion rookery. There were a lot of sea lions in the area and they were not bothered by our presence.

The rock formations in the area were full of sea birds, puffins, gulls, murres, and more. I call these rock formations because island doesn't seem appropriate. The walls of the rock are nearly vertical and the boat was able to go almost right up to the rock because the vertical wall continues underwater. There were birds probably by the million, so there has to be a good food source in the water, but a more desolate place would be hard to imagine. In fact, when you consider the whales and the sea lions too, there must be a lot of small fish in the area.

On the way back, we passed Bear Glacier, which with Aialik Glacier and many other glaciers come off the Harding Ice Field. This ice field is bigger than Rhode Island and is the largest ice field wholly in the United States. The black line in the middle of the glacier is a moraine mark where two glaciers further up in the ice field joined to form the Bear Glacier.

We had a great time and it was a very good trip. We met a few couples who also own RVs and the conversation was very interesting. A very good trip and a very good day.

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Computer

I finally broke down and bought a new computer and I thought (foolishly) that my problems would soon be over. NOT!!! I also bought a device to transfer files from the old hard drive to the new computer and was surprised to find that it still doesn't allow me to run my mapping program or my financial program. I have neither of the original discs with me.

I believe that I got a good deal on my new HP computer, being in Alaska and all, where all the gold in the ground has been mined out and all the new gold is being brought in by tourists. There will be more to say later, but at least I can blog and play games. Oh, I can email, too.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our Computer has Died

Yes, our faithful old Dell computer has ceaased to function. I'm typing this on a borrowed computer at the campground. Blog will cotinue later.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Chasing the elusive KING SALMON!

This morning I was up bright and early at 2:00 AM to meet my guide at Homer Spit at 3:30. OK, early might be right, but I wasn't too bright or I would have still been asleep. Arriving at the specified location in the pre dawn twilight, I could already see a few fishermen trying to catch the big one. Soon after my guide, Gary Sinnhuber arrived and we started fishing. He showed me how it's done on Homer Spit, and it was a bit different than other fishing I've done. Over the years, I've learned that the locals have some odd ways of catching fish, and they do it that way because it works.

Shortly after I had my lesson and was fishing as I was told, two other fishermen joined us who had been with Gary on an up Kenai river yesterday. The three of us fished steadily for over three hours with nary a bite. By this time there were more than a dozen fisherman at this partiular area and we saw no one catch anything. From time to time a school of frenzied salmon would swim by, chased by a sea lion, but they were too keen on staying ahead of the sea lion to consider stopping for a bite. Every once in a while a king salmon of about 20 to 25 pounds would leap out of the water, giving us a shot of adrenalin and two shots of hope, but it was to no avail. When I could no longer hold the rod in my hand, I chose to quit.

So far, Alaska fishing is a long way from living up to the dream or my expectations. Fishing the Florida Keys from my Jonboat is looking better. Temperatures of air and water in the 80s. Going barefoot and wearing just a bathing suit. AAAHHHHHH.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Halibut Fishing

Today was the day to try my luck fishing for an Alaska favorite, the halibut. I was successful in as much as I caught my limit of two, but the story is much more involved. I boarded the "CAPTURE" with four Californians from the San Diego area. Three nice people and a blow hard. We motored about 15 miles east, heading in the direction of Mt. Redoubt, which erupted last year and shut down the nearest airport and stopped fishing in Cook Inlet.

The captain opted to fish in this location first because there was a greater chance of catching a large halibut here. The blowhard quickly caught two forty pounders and he was done for the trip. This left him free to harass his friends endlessly and often in poor taste. The other three were his wife and two life long buddies. At this location we continued to catch fish,but most of them were cod and they were quickly unhooked and thrown back. It is also here where I caught the biggest fish of the day. It was the biggest fish, but it was not a halibut, it was not a sport fish, and it was not edible. It was a very long skate, something like a stingray, only longer, more like a cross between a shark and a stingray. It fought so hard that I couldn't even reel it in. The captain and mate had high hopes of a halibut in the 100 pound range as they pulled in the line hand over hand. Their chatter about a HUGE halibut had me all agog. It was all for nothing. The skate has no value as food or anything else, but the captain took exceptional pains to unhook him properly and release him unharmed. I was impressed.

About the fishing conditions. We were using boat rods and were anchored where there was a stiff current. This required a lead weight of 5 pounds. That's FIVE POUNDS, you know?? Like a bag of sugar! The depth was about 200 feet, but with the current we had to let out more than 300 feet of line to hit bottom. Then you had to reel in a 5 pound weight 300 feet against the current to check the bait. My arms will be sore tomorrow.

With no more halibut being caught we moved to an area "Guaranteed" to help us all catch our limit. the four of us still fishing got our limit in about 20 minutes, but these were much smaller than the ones caught earlier. Below is the picture of me in front of much of the catch. The rest is in a fish box. Only the largest get in the picture.

Those are my two on the ends. There are some smaller ones still in the fish box. I had the halibut fishing trip that I wanted and now I'm done. I'll be purchasing halibut like everyone else from now on. 5 pound weights!!!! Gimme a break!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On to the Kenai Peninsula

Finally leaving Healy, a few miles north of Denali, we headed south toward the Kenai Peninsula. Our intention was to drive about half way, stopping in Anchorage to spend the night in a Walmart parking lot and stock up for the next few weeks. Products on the peninsula will be much more expensive. Except for a short section of road resurfacing the road was very good and I told Helen that the good roads would end when we got south of the big city.

We did stock up at Walmart, but were forbidden to park there over night. It came as a surprise and we tried to come up with an alternate place to stay on the way to Ninilchik. There are many state parks along the route, but each one has a maximum RV length of 22 feet. So we drove on, and on, and on. And we soon found our way to the Scenic View Campground, where I had already made reservations. We got there a day early, but it didn't faze them one bit and soon we were in a camp site. I asked if I could possible change the oil on my motorhome and they said sure. I started draining soon after while the oil was still hot and all mixed up.

This is the view from our campsite.

This is Mount Redoubt and is one of four ACTIVE volcanoes we can see from our site.

It was after 10:00 PM when I finished with the oil and I cleaned up and changed out of my work clothes. Restless, I wanted to check out the area. My drive took me south along Route 1 beyond Ninilchik. Just a mile up the road I saw a female moose grazing beside the road. It was still light, but I couldn't get a picture because the camera was back in the motorhome. Then I stopped by a creek and got a bucket of water and got the most of the road muck off the jeep.

Heading back north, I saw a moose calf trying his best to run along the Deep Creek bridge on legs that seemed way to long for him or her. I stopped the car as there was no traffic at all at this time of night and watched him, thinking that it's odd that his mother is not close. Just then, the mother rose from the side of the road, coming up the embankment looking like Godzilla. I was only ten feet away, but safe in my car, I think. She stopped and looked directly at me, then she looked at the calf, at me once more, then she rose up further, stepped over the guard rail and shuffled her offspring off the bridge and back into the woods. Magnificent, and also NO CAMERA.

The next day, we took the dogs down to the beach at Ninilchik. Both of them ran right in, but I guess they found the water cold, because neither one would go back in the water, and that is, indeed, strange.

Helen wanted me to play ball with the dogs to get them some exercise, but I really didn't like the taste of the ball.

On the way home, we stopped at Deep Creek and let them run in the fresh water. This was a different story. The water was a bit warmer than the ocean and they had a grand time. There was a lot of current and they would swim out and let the current run them through the rapids and then get out, run upstream and do it again.

The campground owner was telling us about a great place to see wildlife in the twilight of the afternoon, meaning after 11:00 PM. So Helen and I headed out to Oil Well Road so see what we could find. We didn't drive too far when we found this Momma moose grazing on the lush grass on the left side of the street. We stopped for a picture and lo and behold, she had a set of twins in the woods on the other side of the street. They were a little skittish and their picture is a bit blurry, but I had to include it.

Further out on Oil Well Road we came upon a lot of interesting scenes, but no big wildlife. We did see a Momma duck and about six ducklings and a couple of large owls. Helen got this interesting picture way out in the woods.

Today we took a ride to the city of Kenai and had a nice lunch at a little cafe. It was a low key day and we had a good time. Tomorrow morning I'm supposed to go out halibut fishing and I'm hoping for the best. I hope I'll be warm enough. I hope I don't get sea sick. And, I even hope I get a fish or two.


The Next Day

What ever day the last one was written, this blog is about the next day Helen and I drove back to Denali to see the sled dog demonstration. Denali National Park keeps three teams of ten dogs for sled duty throughout the winter. They break trails and patrol for people who also use the National Park to run their dog sleds, so the park is actually open 12 months a year. They are also used to move equipment and supplies into "wilderness" designated areas. Such areas do not allow motorized equipment like snowmobiles or tractors, so dog sleds are the only recourse. We were given a comprehensive report on what it's like to run the dogs in the winter and I was impressed. They always got out in teams of at least two and are in constant communication with the base. Each "musher" has a two-way radio so they can communicate between sleds and between a sled and the base. Additionally, each carries a satellite phone in case of a real emergency.

All of the dogs were "mellow". They are handled frequently from when first born and enjoy human interaction. They appear to be inert as we approached the dog kennels, but we were told that's because it's so hot to them. They are happiest when it's very cold. In the the middle of winter, they generally do not sleep in their dog house, preferring to curl up in the snow with their tail protecting their nose and snout. While we were there there was not a bark or any noise at all from the dogs, until the staff picked five dogs to pull the sled for the demonstration. Then, all heck broke loose as ALL the dogs wanted to pull the sled. The girl, Emily Iaccabucci from Massachusetts, told us that they are the same all winter. Whenever it's time to run the sled, the dogs become very active. I've heard that several times before. I once worked with a guy from Alaska who had a dog team and he said that they are a different breed of dog and they live to run the sled.

Emily also explained the Husky sled dog. There is now a dog known as the Alaskan Husky, but it's not what really developed as a sled dog. Originally, the early people in the gold rush and settlement days wanted the biggest, strongest dog who would pull the sled. The "Husky" is what resulted from the interbreeding of all these sled dogs. Now, they only pick the dogs who truly want to run and have the disposition to get along with the other dogs and with people.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day II at Denali

Yesterday morning Helen and I caught a shuttle bus to Toklat River, fifty three miles in from the park entrance. A day earlier we drove the fifteen miles allowed by private vehicle and got some great pictures of a bull moose. AT the fifteen mile mark, the pavement ends and a dusty, often too narrow road winds it's way through the hills and valleys of the park. There are generally four major animals sought by visitors and photographers, moose, Dall Sheep, Caribou, and, of course, the grizzly bears. We were fortunate enough to hit the "Grand Slam".

Early on we saw a pair of moose, but they were far away and we didn't try to get their picture as we had the ones from the day before. Not too much later we came upon a mother grizzly and her two cubs.

Shortly after passing the three bears we came upon this sign which says that hiking off-road for the next five miles is not allowed. The bears didn't like the sign, so they chewed on it. The rangers hammered nails through the edges to keep the chewing down, so now the grizzlies use it as a scratching post

Toklat River is the turnaround point for this tour where there are SSTs (sweet smelling toilets) and a tent where souvenirs and books and such are sold. They also had quite an array of horns and antlers. Below Helen is trying on Caribou (Reindeer) antlers. There were also Moose antlers, but there is no way Helen could hold them up to her head. I hefted one "palm" and found it to be very heavy. How a moos can carry two is beyond me.

Being from Florida, I'm not accustomed to the climate in Alaska. In the tent, I found a spot where the sun was shining through a window and heating a seat. The seat was very warm on my back side and as I sat there it felt wonderful on my back. Soon it was time to start back.

Part way back someone shouted "Sheep" and the bus stopped. Way up on the mountain were a few white dots. With the camera on maximum telephoto and then cropping the picture I got the picture below of a Dall ram.

We saw a herd of Caribou on the way in and out, but they were so far away. On the way back we spotted these in an area not quite so far away. It appears to be a male and two females, but we were too far away to determine sex or age.

On the way back, the bus stopped because there was another bus stopped just ahead and our driver said she could no proceed until that bus moved. People on the bus were busy taking pictures as I could see the occasional flash, but we could not determine what they were looking at. We were overlooking a wide valley and wondered what animal they had in sight. We were all intent on gazing out the side windows. Suddenly someone shouted that there were two bears right in front of our bus. The people ahead of us must have had a good laugh. Here they are taking pictures of two bears in front of a bus and the people in the bus don't even know it. Thankfully, we were able to recover in time and get a couple of pictures. In the scramble to get the window open they had wandered a little ways off, but we were still successful. One of the bears was really big and the other one was bigger.

This is just one of the many vista Helen took. It is truly very beautiful country.

This is a view of Toklat River looking up river. In the spring thaw it's probably roaring.

The driver noted that in ninety some odd years there has never been an altercation between the grizzlies and a human. One is advised to make noise while traversing the area and the bears will avoid you. Also, they look ferocious, but they are 90% vegetarian, eating roots and bulbs or grass and berries. Having noted that there has never been a problem with bear-human contact, she mentioned that last year, for the first time, handguns were allowed in the park. Not too surprisingly, one "hero" feared for his life and shot a grizzly ten times. The fellow in front of us is a gun owner who lives in the general area and he was furious that guns were allowed in the park.It would seem that if there was never a problem, handguns was not the answer.

This place was too beautiful to adequately put into words and pictures do not do it justice. Some years ago Helen and I made the decision to visit Canada and get it behind us, expecting that one visit would be enough. It was not. We've been to Canada four or five time and will go again. Similarly, this was to be our one trip to Alaska so we could see it and be done. Now I know why there are so many people from Florida who make this an annual or semi-annual event.

More later.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

From North Pole to Denali National Park

Today was a leisurely day as our travel time was to be only a little more than two hours. We got to sleep late, take a long shower, and take our time getting ready to leave. Actually, I had the car all connected and ready to go and the motorhome tanks dumped and fresh water filled last night. Most campgrounds do not allow recreation vehicles to be washed in the campground. Santaland Campground not only allows it, but provides a special area just for this purpose. Helen and I worked as a team, with me scrubbing with soapy water and a brush and then Helen would rinse off the motorhome and generally spray me too. I know, it was an accident......every time.

We got to the next campground which was recommended by Santaland and checked out our assigned campsite. WHAT A MESS!!!!! Trash and junk was everywhere! This is McKinley Campground, about 11 miles north of the park entrance. I went back in the office and told them that the site just would not do, and they offered me another. This one was much better, relatively speaking, but was still no prize. There was trash all around this part of the campground also. Although the campground seems to suffer from a general lack of maintenance and care, I'm happy to report that while we were out, someone cleaned up the trash in our area and emptied the trash barrels that were overflowing.

Helen and I took a ride to Denali National Park and made reservations for a bus tour tomorrow morning. There were a number of tour options, but we were limited by the amount of time we can leave Jodie and Coco. A shorter tour will just have to do. Then we drove along the first 15 miles of the park which is the only part open to private cars. We were only a few minutes into the drive when we came to a traffic jam, caused by this:

This is his yard and he was not concerned with the interlopers. The two buses and several cars didn't faze him a bit.

Helen took this picture of the distant mountains across the valley as an example of the vastness of this area.

This fellow was looking frantically to see some wildlife. He used binoculars and finally the spotting scope and still he could not see the seagull that was eluding him.

On the way back we could see a number of cars stopped and we also stopped to see what they were all looking at, expecting it to be a moose or bear, or something. They were looking at Mount McKinley, which is the mountain way back beyond and above the clouds.

We looked for our pal on the way back out. It's easy when there are a lot of people stopped to point out the animal, but not so easy all by ourselves. I started looking near the place we first saw him and did catch sight of him only a few hundred feet away. He's BIG and he's DARK, but he is not easy to see among the spruce trees. Helen took this final picture.

I'm getting the cameras ready and the extra batteries charged. Helen is working on goodies to take on the 6.5 hour tour. Of course I hope to have more pictures to post tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Having a great day in Fairbanks

Today Helen and I took the Riverboat Discovery Tour and found it to be an exceptional production. We found it difficult to believe that it was sold out yesterday, I mean, way out here in the woods? Well, we were in for a surprise when we arrived at the parking lot and found bus after bus after bus of tour groups. I heard someone say they had to use both riverboats because they had way more than the 590 allowed on the big boat. It is a very popular attraction, and deservedly so.

The commentary along the route was excellent. Our captain was the grandson of the founders of the operation and his brother was the captain of the second boat. I stood just outside the wheelhouse while the boat was being maneuvered into the river and headed downstream. I was very impressed. The very young looking captain was very busy operating a whole array of controls and I was able to find out what they were later on. This riverboat is the same configuration as has been used for over 100 years, but it uses a lot of new technology. There is no steam engine. Instead there are two diesel engines connected to hydraulic systems that drive the paddle wheel and also two bow and two stern thrusters. It sounds complicated but it ran smoothly.

The boat was very clean and there were complimentary coffee, tea, and donuts on every deck. The donuts weren't very good so I only ate four. Everyone connected with the boat was personable and very polite. They also operated very well as a team getting ready to make way and also setting up later on to visit the Indian village. On the ride down the Chena River, there were a large number of beautiful log houses, both classic old ones and gorgeous new ones. I was surprised about the amount of glass on some of the new ones because of heat loss, but the commentator assured us that the thermopane windows there have 5 layers of glass to keep heat loss to a minimum.

Next, we saw a demonstration of a bush plane. In this case it was a Piper Super Cub of mid 1950s vintage. I was especially interested because it's the same plane I initially took flying lessons in 46 years ago. This was a float plane, but the color scheme was identical. I was surprised how little distance it needed to take off and later a landing was done in a short distance. The bush pilots often have to operate out of small lakes and streams.

Further down river we saw a presentation of sled dogs used in the Iditarod Dog Sled race. This particular team is owned by the daughters of Susan Butcher, the Cambridge, Ma woman who moved to Alaska and won four races in five years. Although Susan has passed, her daughters are carrying on. They had he most beautiful team dogs that you could find. Surprising to me is that they were not the huskeys and malamutes that one usually connects with dog sleds. Huskeys and such are used for short distance, heavy loads. The new breed is small and light and capable of keeping up a grueling pace for mile after mile. They are not only able, but excited to pull the sled. Our demonstration used the team of dogs to pull a four wheel all terrain vehicle. Tethered to the cart, they were jumping all around in excitement, and when the command was given to mush.........boy did they mush. They ran quite a distance as we waited for them to make the run along the trail, but they were moving even faster at the end than they were at the beginning. When they stopped and were let off the trace, they all made a mad dash for the river.

The last major production was landing at a replica Athabasca Indian settlement. Our guides were two pretty native Athabasca Indian maidens who presented the program flawlessly. Foolishly, I thought the presentation was about a past way of life, but the reality is that this is a reproduction of the Indian villages further away from civilization. One girl told us that the cabin in front of us was nearly identical to those used by her family further north. The difference is that now they have electricity, modern plumbing, and in many cases satellite TV. Many of their peers are away to college in the winter, but return to the age old village life to help their families. The processing of salmon is a daily ritual, drying enough salmon to feed the families and the dogs throughout the long winter. Each dog needs one dried salmon a day and there are a lot of dogs per family so it's a heck of a lot of salmon that is taken.

There were all kinds of hides that were shown, moose, bear, caribou, wolf, fox, and many more. I asked our main guide if she might identify an animal we saw yesterday on the Dalton Highway. When I explained that it looked like a jet black fox with a white tipped tail. She didn't hesitate and told me that it was a gray fox. She said that the fur is so beautiful that she wished they had one on display. Being me, I told her I thought the fur looked better on the animal.

Now for some pictures.

Here is the great musher and his mushette! This dog is fake, but later they had the swing dog (right behind the lead dog) from the team that won the Iditarod Race this year.

This is Discovery II, the older, smaller paddle wheel riverboat used by the company.

The presentation of sled dogs. I have video, but I had trouble uploading to You tube.

Here are some of the dogs that just completed a long run pulling the ATV. Do you think there might be some Lab mixed in there?

The above picture is one kind of portable shelter that the Indians might use. The cover is made of Caribou skins because of their light weight and superiority in providing warmth.

This would be a typical log cabin used by the family of the girl modeling the parka. Log walls chinked with moss. Sod roof over spruce poles provides good insulation from the cold.

This magnificent parka was really something special. Made from many kinds of furs for style as well as function. The brown fur nearest the face is wolverine, used because oils in the fur prevent frost from forming near the skin.

Helen and I have been traveling for many years, now, and this has got to be one of the highlights. It was so well prepared and so very interesting. We have seen much on television and magazines about the American Indians of the past, but this is the story of the North American Indians as some live today, beyond the reach of what we call civilization. Except, of course, for those with satellite TV. We both believe that anyone who comes anywhere near the Fairbanks should definitely make this part of their vacation plans. Plus, if you get the Alaska saver coupon book, it's less than $30.00 per person.