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January 19, 2010 - 5:37pm

ALASKA REVISITED: PART I

posted by JIM NIGRO in outdoors, Alaska.

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big mts.jpgThe seven hour flight was nearly at an end, and only then did I bother to look out the window. Looking down I noticed the glare of the sun, reflected off the snow and ice-capped peaks of the Wrangell Mountains. It was 10:30 pm. I wouldn’t experience darkness again for a month.

 

water.jpgThe date was June 1, 1997, and the plane was minutes from touching down in Anchorage, Alaska. At the airport I would meet up with Attica native Tim Sawyer, then a phys-ed instructor and high school football coach in Palmer, Alaska. There were two days of classes remaining, after which Tim and I would spend the next month seeing a good deal of Alaska, gold prospecting, hiking, fishing, photography, etc. Our journey would cover more than 2500 miles of Alaskan wilderness with seven different camp sites. Our travels took us through the Alaskan Range, across the Yukon River and beyond, to the Arctic Circle and several stops in between.

tim cooking.jpgThe adventure began with a five hour drive north to Fairbanks, then traveling northeast on the Steese Highway, a two-lane gravel road, for one-hundred forty miles. At some point, Tim turned off the “highway,” following a graded secondary road for fourteen miles through the East Crazy Mountains. By traversing a series of rolling hills and valleys, we came to the north fork of Harrison Creek. There we would set up base camp for ten days before moving on to the Arctic Circle and another go at the gold and some mighty fine grayling fishing.  

river.jpgFour weeks later we would cap off our adventure by rafting a forty-seven mile section of the Little Susitna River, a two day excursion in a two-man Zodiac, a rubber raft with wooden floor boards. Through a series of posts over the next few days, I would like to revisit Alaska, and share the experience.

east crazy mts.jpg 

DOUGLAS MCCLURG
DOUGLAS MCCLURG's picture
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Last seen: 1 week 2 hours ago
Joined: Jul 9 2008 - 10:45am
NICE-Always look forward to your articles and pics Jim!!!
Bea McManis
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Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: May 4 2009 - 9:20pm
Jim, beautiful pictures and narrative. My oldest son lives in Anchorage and I'm awestruck by the photos he occasionally sends.
JIM NIGRO
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Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Oct 14 2008 - 4:37pm
Doug & Bea, Thank you both, I appreciate your comments, glad you enjoy the photos. As time passes and our world changes, these adventures become more meaningful.

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