Alaska—From the Arctic Circle Southward

Several days ago, Sandi and I returned from our most recent trip to Alaska—our first non-road trip since COVID hit. Our goal: the Arctic Circle. From there we worked our way south and ended up in Sitka—the extreme SE corner of that vast land. We traveled by air, water, rail, car and bus and snapped a few photos along this varied and barely populated region of America’s last frontier.

Each time we visit Alaska, we can’t wait to return. Maybe I share some bizarre genetic kinship with the Alaskan salmon who, no matter where he wanders, he is always instinctively drawn back via some mystical attraction to that spot. But unlike the salmon that returns to the same stream where it was birthed, we are drawn to new discoveries. This time, it was the Arctic Circle. However, this was merely the first leg of our journey.

Please enjoy a few of my favorite pics of places we visited to recharge our physical and spiritual batteries away from the craziness of Babylon.

Behold the Arctic Circle!

This is the Dalton Highway—the only road that goes north from Fairbanks to the Arctic Ocean. It stretches for hundreds of miles of gravel, washboard roads and boreal and taiga forests like this then into tundra until it reaches the oil fields of the North Slope and Prudhoe Bay.
The further north in the Arctic Circle you travel, the fewer and smaller the trees. In some places, the permafrost where the ground is frozen solid perpetually is only a few inches below the tundra. Technically, tundra is technically treeless or it may contain very miniature trees that are more like small shrubs. Beyond that, it is composed of tufts of grasses, mosses and lichens, sedges and small plants including many types of berries (e.g., lingonberry, crow berry, blue berry).
The Dalton Highway was constructed a few decades ago for the famous Alaska pipeline and to service the oil industry of the North Slope at Prudhoe Bay.
This is a typical sight in the southern portions of the Arctic Circle. Mountains, clouds and miniature taiga forests growing here as far as the eye can see.
Lingonberries growing in the tundra in the Arctic Circle. The soil was totally frozen about 14 inches below this plant.
Even though the petit and diminutive blue forget-me-not is Alaska’s state flower, it was the fireweed that was ubiquitous from the Arctic Circle down all the way down to the extreme SE. It’s literally everywhere and covers whole mountainsides. Next to to the ever-present fireweed, you will often find a constant companion—the frilly white yarrow flower.
This is one of the few rock outcroppings (near Finger Rock) that we saw in this area of the Arctic Circle. Notice the ever-present fireweed.
When you think of the Arctic Circle, what comes to mind? Eskimos? Igloos? Whale blubber, polar bears, walruses and ice bergs? Well, those sights are further north about another 300 miles! In this part of the Arctic Circle, there are still forests just like this with one type of conifer (black spruce) and four type of deciduous trees (aspen, cottonwood, birch, willow). I didn’t what to expect when I came here, but my idealistic images of it sure changed!
Here is a close-up of the low-growing vegetation that grows over the top of the shallow permafrost just south of the tundra regions.
When driving in the Arctic Circle (and we were only in the extreme southern regions of it), one falls in love with the cloud formations, since that is often what you see the most of!
Here’s a final pic of a miniature forest just inside the Arctic Circle only 200 plus miles north of Fairbanks. I’m a tree guy, so this is what I geeked out on the most while up north.

Stay tuned for more pictures of our trip to America’s 49th state as I take you southward.


7 thoughts on “Alaska—From the Arctic Circle Southward

  1. Beautiful pictures of YHVH’s creation. Thank you for sharing and pray you both are refreshed till next time. After yesterday’s message, I believe you are. Blessings and thank you for your commitment and love for Elohim!

  2. Incidentally, all parts of the fireweed, roots, stems, leaves, and flowers are edible and contain much vitamin C and the bees make great fireweed honey. The yarrow is also edible and if eaten it might make you not so delicious to the many Alaskan varieties of biting insects.

      • A few month ago, I got a book called ‘Health through God’s Pharmacy’ and it got me exited. According to it, Yarrow helps with women’s troubles, congestion in the head, giddiness, nausea, running and weeping eyes, nose-bleeding, disorders of the bone marrow (stimulates blood renewal), it stops various kinds of bleedings, and is useful for colds, rheumatic pain, sluggish kidneys, lack of appetite, flatulence, stomach cramps, liver disorders, inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract, bowl movements and circulation.
        It can be drunk as a tea, used as a tincture, made into an ointment or used in a sitz bath.
        I have recently drunk much stinging nettle tea and got rid of cold feet (obviously increased the circulation into my feet). I used it many years ago and it normalized my irregular heart beat.
        Then, about 2 weeks ago, I started to drink Lady’s Mantle tea because it supposedly strengthens one’s muscles; I was surprised after I drank it for 10 days, to find myself with more energy than I had for a long time.
        I strongly recommend this book from Maria Treben. These herbal teas are very effective.
        Perhaps someone out there needs some herbal treatment?
        Yes, our Lord has provided us with healing plants; unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry in connection with the medical industry rather butcher us up or poison us.

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