On this date, 150 years ago, the formal transfer of the deed to the Alaska Territory took place at Fort Sitka. In March of 1867, the United States had purchased Alaska for $7.2 million, but it took until October of that same year to get commissioners from both countries to Sitka.
October 18 was officially designated a state holiday by the Territorial Legislature in 1917.
Here’s to 150, Secretary Seward.
I’ve seen this guy a few times over the past week, and got a kick out of his determination. It’s hard to see due to the trees, but he has a rifle slung over his back. I have no doubt he can get back a ways on the logging roads riding a dirt bike, but that’s a lot of trips if he bags a bull moose.
For the first time this season, my truck’s windshield had frost on it this morning.
While in Seward, we made a trip out to Exit Glacier, which is in Kenai Fjords National Park. Exit, is one of over 30 glaciers that flow out from the Harding Icefield. Although, Exit Glacier is by far the most accessible. It’s a 4.1 mile hike from the visitor center to the edge of the Harding Icefield.
Harding Icefield, which is several thousand feet thick.
Kenai Fjords is a trip back in time. A series of signs show where the glacier was from 1815 onward. As one gets closer to the glacier, the woods become younger and younger.
Exit Glacier terminus map. Credit: NPS.Erin Erkun
The glacier was originally known as Resurrection Glacier, as the glacier’s melt flows into the Resurrection River and finally Resurrection Bay. The first documented trip across the Harding Icefield in 1968, saw the team “exit” the ice field from Resurrection Glacier, and the nickname “Exit” Glacier stuck.
Photo credit: ADN
Exit Glacier is retreating in winter now, as well as summer, and it has been since 2006. The sign post showing where the terminus was in 1917, is now approximately a mile from the current terminus. The summer of 2016 set a record for the glacier: Exit retreated 252 feet, the most of any summer since records have been kept. For that year, the glacier saw 293 feet disappear.
Map credit: ADN
It’s Wild Alaska Salmon Day and the cohos are starting to run. Grab those rods and get yourself out to your favorite body of water today!
Bogoslof volcano, as seen from a satellite image, 18 minutes after the start of the eruption 5.28.17
Bogoslof once again went red on Monday morning at 10am. The ash plume extended to 32,000′. The ash cloud from the above photo, from a May eruption, rose to over 40,000′. Since December, Bogoslof has erupted 60 times.
Photo credit: AVO/Dave Schneider
Getting cozy on Round Island
Walrus Cam on Round Island
This is one I didn’t know about: explore.org has a Walrus Cam out on Round Island in Alaska’s beautiful Bristol Bay. The Alaska Fish & Game offers walrus viewing permits between May 1 – August 15, which begs the question: How many do they issue?
As many as 14,000 walruses have been counted on Round Island at one time. If you go, you will also see tens of thousands of seabirds.
Before clicking on the link above, I should warn you that the Walrus Cam does not have the action of the Katmai Bear Cam. No salmon jumping, or bears catching salmon mid-air.
I will say that a walrus sure knows how to relax when visiting Alaska.
Photo & cam credit: explore.org