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Showing posts with the label The Last Frontier

Athabascan Indian Village Life

  The Athabascan Indians traditionally lived in Interior Alaska from the Brooks Mountain Range in the north to the Kenai Peninsula in the south. They settled along the Yukon, Tanana, Susitna, Kuskokwim and Copper rivers. They were nomadic, traveling to fish, hunt and trap. This Athabascan village we visited is on the confluence of the Chena and Tanana rivers. The image above is of a typical log cabin with sod roof and an adjoining cache cabin for storing food. The sod roof weighs down the overlapping bark covering the cabin to keep it in place. It also adds a layer of insulation. This one room log cabin is made from spruce logs which are abundant in the area. A barrel stove warms up the cabin. Fur pelts hang outside the cache cabin where food is stored high above the ground  to be out of reach of animals. These pelts are used for clothing, blankets, bed cushions, tent covers and other purposes. Costumes worn by Athabascan men and women are made of animal skin and decorated with beads.

Alaska Bucket List 2021

  Aurora Borealis The number one item on my Alaska bucket list was to see the dancing northern lights. The best place for viewing is in and around Fairbanks which is in the Aurora oval (away from bright city lights). Though I had seen the Aurora Borealis in Iceland in 2015, I had only seen the curtain rays and small swirling lights. I was hoping that this time around, I would have the chance to see a full Aurora display. It’s never guaranteed that you’ll see the northern lights when you’re in Fairbanks during the Aurora Borealis season. But I was hopeful. I did check the KP Index before leaving and saw there was moderate activity forecasted on the days I would be in Fairbanks. But it was not to be. However, the moment I boarded my flight home, there was a strong Aurora display at around 1 a.m. What luck or lack of it! On our flight back to Fairbanks from the Arctic Circle, the pilot called our attention to a horizontal ray across the sky with a short vertical flowing down midway from t