Stories from the

Last
Frontier

Alaska has something for everyone.

Navigate below to find areas of interest. Enjoy and share with your friends and followers.

FEATURED STORIES

Without a Trace – An Alaska Tragedy

On the east side of Anchorage in the Wonderpark area of town sits a decaying gas station. Time and elements have chiseled away at paint and trim. Vandals have destroyed the showroom windows plus a good portion of the interior. Someone lit a tire on fire in one of the garage stalls blackening the walls. In a few more years I have the nagging suspicion Yeager’s Service Station will be gone without a trace.

Hatcher Pass Explorations

The desire to see Mint Hut for ourselves grew during our busy summer, and finally, on the second to last day of August last year, the weather and our schedules came together. Again, we set off early. The temperature at the parking lot near where Mother Lode Lodge used to be, was about 22 degrees. All the foliage was in full fall colors and covered with frost, the sky was clear and we were determined.

A Quick Bite of Alaska

The fishing was great! We averaged one to two fish per drift, including two fish over 25 inches. The time flew by, and after countless fish, it was finally time to head back to camp. At day’s end, I thought about an old Will Rogers quote: “If all politicians fished instead of speaking publicly, we’d be at peace in the world.” Mr. Rogers hit the nail on the head with that one.

The Master Pilot

Troy yelled for me to open the door and jump. Everything was blinding white outside. It was like leaping into a freezer. Wind instantly froze tears in my eyes. Smoke or steam rose from the propeller area and I thought the plane was on fire. Snow quickly came up to my waist and the real possibility of sinking further petrified me. All was quiet except for the wind and popping of our aircraft strobe.

The Trading Post

The Trading Post, as it was known from 1935 to the beginning of WWII, bustled with activity when the commissary/grocery store opened in 1936. In that first year only, instead of U.S. dollars the government issued scrip, called bingles, monthly to the new colonists. The amount distributed was based on the size of their family.

History

Without a Trace – An Alaska Tragedy

On the east side of Anchorage in the Wonderpark area of town sits a decaying gas station. Time and elements have chiseled away at paint and trim. Vandals have destroyed the showroom windows plus a good portion of the interior. Someone lit a tire on fire in one of the garage stalls blackening the walls. In a few more years I have the nagging suspicion Yeager’s Service Station will be gone without a trace.

Fleas, Refrigerators and Fur Fish

Moran made it as far as Juneau where he found an Eskimo who spoke no English. Charlie Pastolik bought the icebox for “$100, two fox furs and a piece of ivory.” But that wasn’t the end of Moran’s Alaskan adventure. In addition to his broadcasts on NBC, he hacked 300 pounds of “Arctic ice” from the Mendenhall Glacier—which was quite a feat since the Arctic Circle was 1,000 miles to the north—and collected two fleas from the back of Pastolik’s husky which he secreted in a matchbox. From Juneau he went directly to Hollywood where he pitched Paramount Pictures on using the fleas in a movie.

The Master Pilot

Troy yelled for me to open the door and jump. Everything was blinding white outside. It was like leaping into a freezer. Wind instantly froze tears in my eyes. Smoke or steam rose from the propeller area and I thought the plane was on fire. Snow quickly came up to my waist and the real possibility of sinking further petrified me. All was quiet except for the wind and popping of our aircraft strobe.

The Trading Post

The Trading Post, as it was known from 1935 to the beginning of WWII, bustled with activity when the commissary/grocery store opened in 1936. In that first year only, instead of U.S. dollars the government issued scrip, called bingles, monthly to the new colonists. The amount distributed was based on the size of their family.

WWII Brings the Military to Anchorage

“…after the outbreak of the war, a blackout went into effect. Cars drove with parking lights only, and on the base all windows were painted black with only a small slit in the center for daylight. In the face of a shortage of black paint, residents improvised and dissolved phonograph records in acetone and used the result as a paint substitute.”

Life in Alaska

The Good Old Days

The day before was one of those warm sunny days in Palmer, Alaska, when at 40 degrees students ran around in t-shirts, or at least short sleeve shirts, and a spring was in everyone’s step. School was almost over for the year and we were all excited for summer vacation to begin.

Fleas, Refrigerators and Fur Fish

Moran made it as far as Juneau where he found an Eskimo who spoke no English. Charlie Pastolik bought the icebox for “$100, two fox furs and a piece of ivory.” But that wasn’t the end of Moran’s Alaskan adventure. In addition to his broadcasts on NBC, he hacked 300 pounds of “Arctic ice” from the Mendenhall Glacier—which was quite a feat since the Arctic Circle was 1,000 miles to the north—and collected two fleas from the back of Pastolik’s husky which he secreted in a matchbox. From Juneau he went directly to Hollywood where he pitched Paramount Pictures on using the fleas in a movie.

A Quick Bite of Alaska

The fishing was great! We averaged one to two fish per drift, including two fish over 25 inches. The time flew by, and after countless fish, it was finally time to head back to camp. At day’s end, I thought about an old Will Rogers quote: “If all politicians fished instead of speaking publicly, we’d be at peace in the world.” Mr. Rogers hit the nail on the head with that one.

Flying, Oysters and a Day at the Spa

We met up on the helicopter pad located behind the lodge, and after receiving our safety instructions and meeting with our pilot, Leif, myself, and two other guests boarded the R44 helicopter. As it warmed up and the rotors started spinning, all of my trepidation subsided and was replaced with sheer exhilaration. We twirled our way into the sky and up the Knik River Valley.

Outdoors

Hatcher Pass Explorations

The desire to see Mint Hut for ourselves grew during our busy summer, and finally, on the second to last day of August last year, the weather and our schedules came together. Again, we set off early. The temperature at the parking lot near where Mother Lode Lodge used to be, was about 22 degrees. All the foliage was in full fall colors and covered with frost, the sky was clear and we were determined.

A Quick Bite of Alaska

The fishing was great! We averaged one to two fish per drift, including two fish over 25 inches. The time flew by, and after countless fish, it was finally time to head back to camp. At day’s end, I thought about an old Will Rogers quote: “If all politicians fished instead of speaking publicly, we’d be at peace in the world.” Mr. Rogers hit the nail on the head with that one.

The Master Pilot

Troy yelled for me to open the door and jump. Everything was blinding white outside. It was like leaping into a freezer. Wind instantly froze tears in my eyes. Smoke or steam rose from the propeller area and I thought the plane was on fire. Snow quickly came up to my waist and the real possibility of sinking further petrified me. All was quiet except for the wind and popping of our aircraft strobe.

Arts & Culture

Three of my Favorites

Three of my Favorites

What is the main reason these three are among my favorites? Hardiness. These plants fight for their space in the garden and are easy to remove if they are needed somewhere else.

read more

Smallest Aurora Chaser

“This girl has a passion for the northern lights” It was thirty below zero and the lights were out. Zaira was putting on her gear to get ready for the chase. Aurora blasted the sky with multiple colors and Zaira couldn’t resist anymore. She ran outside, right into the...

A Growing Passion

Passion is a unique aspect of our individual humanity. It’s wired into the fiber of our beings in special and different ways, and it’s often the driving force in major life decisions—like our work and hobby choices. It can keep us persevering through insurmountable...

For the Past and for the Future

When the citizens of Hoonah, Alaska, and surrounding Southeast communities arrived at Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay National Park during the morning of August 25th, 2016, it was a homecoming over 250 years in the making. The powerful events of the day were the...

Food

Smoked Salmon Stuffed Poblanos

Smoked Salmon Stuffed Poblanos

For preparing your salmon you can choose the smoking or non-smoking path. Both will lead you to a party-favorite dish, but if you choose to smoke your fish, be prepared to put in a lot more time.

read more

Classic Cinnamon Rolls

This classic cinnamon roll recipe is sure to please any family and be a welcome repeat for any special occasion.

Flying, Oysters and a Day at the Spa

We met up on the helicopter pad located behind the lodge, and after receiving our safety instructions and meeting with our pilot, Leif, myself, and two other guests boarded the R44 helicopter. As it warmed up and the rotors started spinning, all of my trepidation subsided and was replaced with sheer exhilaration. We twirled our way into the sky and up the Knik River Valley.

Blueberry Polish Muffins

An Alaskan blueberry treat with a twist This recipe was inspired by a random advertisement that popped up on my web browser one day. I couldn’t stop thinking about that image and decided I had to make my own version of this special breakfast treat. What I was going...

Business

Alex Papasavas & Turkey Red

Alex Papasavas & Turkey Red

Palmer restaurant owner’s commitment to quality and community Sometimes you visit a certain place and it just feels right. Maybe it is the atmosphere, maybe the service, maybe the food. Whatever it is, it is just right. Such is the description that comes to mind when...

read more

The Jewel of the Pacific

Watching the graceful and athletic performances of these 20-plus ton beautiful creatures served to remind and motivate us all of the need for conservation, education, and research to help protect the precious marine environment.

The Lodge at Black Rapids

Most visitors to Alaska must share the same travel agents as our sandhill cranes and snow geese. They tend to come after the snow melts and head back just before it returns. While here, they are a welcome treat. But even before their flights have disappeared over...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This