In March 2013 I traveled to Alaska to try to see the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. I stayed in Wasilla, just north of Anchorage for 7 days, without any luck. On the last day I drove to Fairbanks for a night, hoping to have a last chance there. Fortunately, it worked out, so I did get to see the Aurora Borealis, even though it was not a very prominent display.
But there were other activities that I enjoyed very much during that time. I took some flight instruction in ski flying, which was a blast. I flew out of Christiansen Lake (AK8) near Talkeetna with Alaska Floats and Skis. On the first day we flew to Denali (the native name for Mt. McKinley) and flew through some of the gorges there. On the second day I practices ski landings, including making landings on an untouched lake with a 2 ft (0.6 m) new snow cover. It was fantastic. On the last day we tried for a glacier landing, unfortunately the weather was not good enough. But at least we saw a herd of caribou on that flight.
On the drives between Wasilla and Talkeetna I saw some wildlife, notably Bald Eagles and Moose. Moose are everywhere, a couple of time I saw them cross the road just in front of cars. Pictures of wildlife in Alaska and birds in Alaska are on separate pages.
By luck, I was in Fairbanks just at the annual ice sculpture competition. The ice sculptures there were amazing.
It was an interesting trip, but Alaska is not a place where I want to live, too cold and too much snow.
Snow covered trees. (1049k) Snow covered trees. (742k) Snow covered forest. (714k) Snow covered forest. (858k) Scenic view. (797k) Snow covered mountain on the Anchorage-Fairbanks Highway 3. (609k) Denali National Park. (508k) Denali from Highway 3. (636k) Denali range from the air. (571k) Denali from the air. (561k) Denali from the air. (603k) Glacier on Denali. (700k) Glacier ice on Denali. (657k) Close-up of glacier ice on Denali. (689k)
Alaska Ski Flying
Ski plane touching down. (514k) Ski plane (Piper Pa-22). (641k) My tracks in fresh snow. (535k) Flying low over the frozen river. (552k) Flying through the cliffs around Denali. (526k)
Ice sculpture. (650k) Ice sculpture. (692k) Ice sculpture. (664k) Ice sculpture. (714k) Ice sculpture. (598k) Ice sculpture. (591k) Ice sculpture. (571k) Frosty the Snowman. (613k) Yellow Submarine of The Beatles. (668k) Ice sculpture. (646k) Ice sculpture at night. (539k) Ice sculpture at night. (551k) Ice sculpture at night. (555k) Ice sculpture at night. (783k) Fantasy ice sculpture. (728k) Fantasy ice sculpture. (770k) Fantasy ice sculpture. (848k) Fantasy ice sculpture. (719k)
On the Road
The seaplane airport in Willow, AK in the winter, with mist over the ice-covered lake. (738k) The seaplane airport in Willow, AK in the winter. (746k) Willow airport in the winter. (659k) Log cabin on Highway 3. (847k) Snowplow on Highway 3. (631k) Pickup truck with snow mobiles. Half the traffic on the road was loaded with snow mobiles. (629k)