The Russians have come.. the real invasion - of Delta Junction, Alaska

Alaska Moose

By big city standards, there's not much traffic in Delta Junction anyway, but on Sunday mornings it's almost non-existent. Save for a gaggle of motorhomes parked at the “end of the Alaska Highway” visitor center, most of the town's vehicles fill one church parking lot or another. A handful of the churches are right off the Richardson Highway, which runs through the Copper River Valley from Valdez to Fairbanks. Also along the Richardson, at Delta Junction's center, are a couple of gas stations, a diner, a grocery store with a mini-mall attached and an espresso cart. But like a lot of small towns in Alaska, Delta actually spreads for miles in all directions. Getting to anyone's Delta home involves driving for what seems like forever down long, straight roads, with nothing but trees and fields along the way.

Did you know?

Breaking for Breakfast
Breakfast... the meal at the beginning of our day that we enjoy, avoid, or rush through depending on the time available and our personal inclination. For many families, the pace of modern life means breakfast becomes a short span of time between shouts of "You're going to be late!" or a longer but no less harried time in the car on the freeway. Unfortunately, gobbling down an inadequate breakfast or skipping it altogether has become a standard routine.

Places in Alaska

More places will be described, with time, despite their efforts to hide.

The great nation of Alaska is the small island located in the box, next to the box showing Hawaii, in the Pacific Ocean, to the left of the map of the United States, printed by United States people. Some maps show Alaska as a Canadian province at the upper left corner of Canada, but those maps also stretch the northern latitude distances to the extent of abject falsification just to fit rectangular map pages. If you are following map makers, you are already lost. Alaska is where you find it, and you will know when you do.

ALASKA. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, named for Baron von Wrangell (the territory’s Russian Governor) and St. Elias (the day the range was viewed by Bering during his exploration of interior Alaska). The Park is the largest park in the National Park System, spanning over 13 million acres. Created by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) in 1980, the park encompasses four mountain ranges including nine of the 16 tallest peaks in the United States. The four ranges, the Chugach along the southern coast; the Wrangell in the south central region; the Saint Elias that crosses into Canada; and the end of the Alaska Range on the northern borders, include some of the world's largest glaciers and North America's most remote wilderness.

ALASKA Chugiak history is rich in good ol' common sense

 Once, I had a chance to brag about Chugiak-Eagle River to a captive audience. The Sleeping Lady Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution was hosting the group's statewide convention in Eagle River. Chapter Regent Julie Rouse gave me the opportunity to tell how our area got here from there.
Eklutna was a main camp for the Tanaina Indians, who inhabited Upper Cook Inlet long before the village was established on this side of Knik Arm. The log church seen by today's village tour visitors is more than 100 years old. The gold rush brought the first settlers here. Discovery of gold at Indian and Sunrise added commerce to a trail that linked Kenai with the Interior and extended to Nome. That route gets lots of attention each winter when the Iditarod Sled Dog Race is run.

How Many National Parks Are in Alaska?

Alaska is rich in national parks, like Denali, which features North America's tallest mountain.

Enormous and lightly developed, Alaska is a global haven for outdoor and nature enthusiasts. Some of its most stunning quarters are administered as national parks or other public lands, from misty temperate rain forest to windswept tundra on the Arctic Ocean shore. Strictly speaking, Alaska has eight national parks: Denali, Gates of the Arctic, Glacier Bay, Katmai, Kenai Fjords, Kobuk Valley, Lake Clark and Wrangell-St. Elias. All except Kenai Fjords and Kobuk Valley are actually classified as both national parks and national preserves. These holdings cover a great diversity of scenic and wild terrain. Denali National Park and Preserve protects both North America’s highest peak -- Mount McKinley, or Denali -- and wildlife-rich expanses of boreal forest, rolling tundra and braided rivers. Katmai National Park and Preserve features stunning volcanoes and huge brown bears. Many of these parks, like Kobuk Valley and Gates of the Arctic, contain little or no infrastructure and are on a wilderness scale approached by few others places in the world. Mountainous Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the largest national park in the United States at 13.2 million acres.

Alaska a hot topic among geophysicists

When a person searches the word "Alaska" in the computer abstracts for the recent fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, that person gets 265 hits. Many scientists are studying Alaska. Here's what some are finding:

• About 47 percent of ground underlying the Interior -- the land between the Alaska Range and the Brooks Range -- has permafrost beneath it, according to a survey done by Torre Jorgenson of Alaska Biological Research Inc. and Tom George of Terra-Terpret. In a Cessna 185, George flew at 5,000 feet above ground level east to west over the Interior and took digital photographs that Jorgenson analyzed for terrain features that suggested permafrost. In a preliminary count, Jorgenson also calculated that 7 percent of the Interior showed signs of thawed permafrost. In those areas, he saw evidence of thermokarst -- collapsed ground often filled with water or covered with mats of floating vegetation.