Some pictures from September along the Saint Lawrence River:
Camera: Leica M3
In 1923, Warren G. Harding became the first president to visit the Alaska Territory. Harding traveled by rail across the continental United States, then by ship to Seward, Alaska. The entourage traveled by rail once again to, what was then known as McKinley Park (Denali), followed by the short run north to Fairbanks. At the time, it was one of the longest trips ever taken by a sitting U.S. president.
While in Alaska, Harding helped celebrate the completion of the Alaska Railroad, which runs between Seward and Fairbanks. Harding even drove in the “golden spike” at the stop in Nenana. Upon arrival in Fairbanks, city dignitaries were told that no Ford vehicles could be used in the motorcade. Speculation ran wild, but most likely it was due to rumors that Henry Ford may mount a presidential run himself.
President Harding gave a speech to 1500 Fairbanks residents in 94 degree heat. A reporter, Charlie Ross, who later served as press secretary to Harry Truman, cursed the White House staffers who advised the press to bring only warm clothing and long underwear.* It was Alaska, after all.
Harding and Company were originally scheduled to take the Richardson Trail back to Chitina, and then the Copper River & Northwestern (CR&NW) Railroad over to Cordova on Alaska’s southern coast.
Now that would have been a trip to write home about!
The Richardson at the time, was an unruly, rugged, mosquito infested track by all accounts, and the railway was affectionately known as “The Can’t Run & Never Will”. Sadly for history and adventure lovers everywhere, Harding’s “fatigue” forced the group to travel back to Seward they way they had come.
One railcar from President Harding’s 1923 visit is located within Fairbanks’ Pioneer Park. It is a Pullman passenger car, and one of three that was in the presidential train. Built in 1905 in Chicago, the Pullman is also known as the Denali car, and carries the Alaska Railroad equipment number X-336. Purchased by the Alaska Railroad in 1923, it saw passenger service until 1945. It was restored in 1960 and given to the city of Fairbanks. It has been in Alaskaland/Pioneer Park since 1967.
*The Anchorage Daily News
Data for 16 January 2019; information requested by RWS
High temp: -2F
Low temp: -19F
Average Daily high: 0F
Average Daily low: -16F
Record high: 52F
Record low: -58F
Length of day: 5 hours, 12 minutes
We saw a gain of 6 minutes of daylight from the previous day. We have gained roughly 34 minutes in the morning, and 57 minutes in the evening since the Winter Solstice.
An early morning, September hike along the shoreline of Lake Erie.
Location: Rock Point Provincial Park; Camera: Leica M3; Film: Kodak 35mm Ektar 100
A pair of trumpeter swans are annual summer residents of the neighborhood. They nest off of a large shallow lake in the back forty, but usually arrive before the ice has gone out. For the first few weeks, they can be seen swimming in, what is really no more than a glorified puddle, until the lake thaws. The swans are not often seen in this small pond near the cabins, but they do make an appearance or two every summer. This visit took place in August of 2018.
Camera: Leica M3/135mm Leitz lens; Film: Kodak 35mm, Ektar 100