Blog posts tagged with 'alaska'

The Places Where Life Begins
Kindly contributed by Michael Engelhard, author of the forthcoming Ice Bear, The Cultural History of an Icon. The product of meticulous research, his cultural narrative examines over 8,000 years of polar bear history. Engelhard probes the narratives of the Inuit, hunters and settlers as well as modern science to show the many forms the powerful, elusive animal has taken. In his book American Wild Engelhard documents his travels between the two areas of the world he identifies as his "soul-scapes," canyon country of the American Southwest and Alaska's great wilds.
Twin Lakes, Alaska
coverKindly contributed by author and photographer Carl Johnson. In his new book Where Water is Gold, Johnson brings to light the struggle between developers and ecologists in southwest Alaska's Bristol Bay. A key habitat for millions of seabirds, salmon, otters, seals, walruses and endangered whale species, Bristol Bay also contains fine particles of precious metals (gold, copper and molybdenum) that industrialists wish to extract.
  When hiking 2,500 feet up the side of a mountain, the view often consists of just the details in the tundra below, from the vibrant pink blooms of moss campion to the bristly, crunchy details of caribou lichen.
Sixty Degrees North
Shetland IslandsThe Shetland Islands are a Scottish archipelago located to the northwest of Great Britain. Visitors to Shetland are told that the island lies upon the 60th parallel, as though this means something. And to many locals, it does. For them, the 60th parallel signifies that the archipelago is more than just isolated islands—it is connected to the larger world in a meaningful way. When Shetland native Malachy Tallack was 16, his father died. “It was the kind of quiet, ordinary day on which nothing extraordinary ought to happen. But it did,” he writes. Shortly after the funeral, he found himself staring out the window of his house in Lerwick, Shetland, imagining the 60th parallel unfolding before him into the distance.
Across the Arctic Ocean
“What compels a man to risk everything on a dream?” Sir Ranulph Fiennes asks in his introduction to Across the Arctic Ocean, “Why would anyone put themselves through hell and back all for the sake of walking across a frozen ocean?” The new, beautifully illustrated coffee table book from Thames and Hudson strives not only to demonstrate why, but also how in 1968 Sir Wally Herbert made the harrowing journey across the Arctic Ocean on foot in pursuit of his dreams. Hailed as one of the greatest explorers of his time, Herbert undertook to walk across the North Pole and the frozen expanse of the Arctic Ocean via its longest axis with three companions, forty huskies and much courage.
Sitka Centennial
The oldest NPS unit in Alaska, the 113-acre Sitka National Historical Park commemorates the 1804 Battle of Sitka,  last major conflict between the Russians and Tlingits.  Set along the coast, totem poles and temperate rain forest are combined on the historic and scenic trail within the park. The site also includes the original 1843 Russian Bishop's House, one of the last surviving examples of Russian colonial architecture in North America. The more-than-year-long celebration of the park's centennial culminates with the dedication of a specially commissioned totem pole on April 9, 2011, designed and carved by local Tlingit artist Tommy Joseph.