22 October 2005

Goodbye to Sitka...

They said - "when you are in the hills - make a lot of noise - best to sing loudly - then the bears know you are there and can wander away - unless of course they are really hungry...". After 8 hours walking I had exhausted my knowledge of carols, hymns and folk songs and had switched to marches (Col Bogey, Great Escape...) - the gentleman pictured was "just trying out his new rifle" - sitting in the cab of his truck, up a closed off forest road, not in deer hunting season at all, in the middle of nowhere, and blowing on his deer call. Only to hear the strains of the Dam Busters march coming back loud and clear and some crazy limey comes jogging round the corner - arms outstretched in bomber position... at least I got a lift back to civilisation

The commander of the US 9th Army (Alaska) could not make it - urgent business in Hawaii - so he sent is deputy and his chaplain (right - from Alabama and not at all enjoying the weather)

Re-enactment of the Transfer of Alaska from Imperial Russia to the US (it was hard to make a profit when you had to ship the otter furs all the way back to Moscow). The dignatory read out the date of accession for each state - all 50 - and for each one a shot was fired - it took a long time and it was very cold, very wet and very windy...

Alaska Day - The whole town was on parade and even a miltary flypast

A hearty meal at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral - Sitka, "Did you like the Salmon Pie? - My grandmother made the Salmon Pie!"

View into the hinterland north from Sitka - Baranof Island - 85 miles from North to South - 15 miles of road - all in Sitka, 8000 population - all in Sitka - if you head north from Sitka you will pass no settlements, no roads and almost no trails until you run out of island...

Boardwalk - Sitka, Alaska - saw no one all day, no marks of recent human passage - just bear footprints - BIG bear footprints.

The 9th Army band, down from Anchorage for the Alaska Day Ceremonies - Modern Jazz - not so hot, but the Glenn Miller tribute - Brilliant!

They breed them tough up here - Surfing - Northern Pacific, Alaska, it has just stopped snowing, it is late October...

Sitka - 5th largest city in the Alaska - population 8000!

When in Seattle...

Imperial Pines @ Mt St Helens - click on the picture and enlarge - makes my eyes go wonky

I went all the way to Sitka, Alaska - why - because of this little tree - the Sitka Spruce - the favourite of British Agro-forestry - fast growing and very very spiky to run through...

The tiny white dot is Mount Hood - excellent!

The Oregon Trail - or a little part of it at least

Click this link to hear the sound of 3 army chinooks playing over crater lake - stange, really strange (well if you have a decent separation between your left and right speakers that is - otherwise it sounds rather dull)

From the east rim of Crater Lake - you can see 100 miles and it is all trees...

Crater lake again (no it is not what you think - is a water level gauge

This is my first view of Crater Lake - magic

Every morning - two "wraps" for lunch - Subway - only fast food place in the US you can always get healthy food with green bits, even

Autumn colours at Mt St Helens

Mount St Helen's - according to the park ranger "Like, totally gnarly day, you lucked out - it's been rain and fog all month"

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge - now why is this the first place I visited in Washington?


First meal in Seattle - $4.95 and 1500 kcal Posted by Picasa

21 October 2005

Greenland - from 39,000 feet - it was a view like this that got me going on my trip to Baffin Island

16 October 2005

Road to Hell's Canyon/Snake River - Very empty, Very twisty, Very Fun - but remember to avoid hitting 4x4 trucks in the back when they politely but unexpectedly brake to let you pass.