Delarof Harbor, Unga Island, Alaska, USA

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #1; the intrepid explorer and your blogger kayaking

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #1; the intrepid explorer and your blogger kayaking

 

Unga Island is an island in the Aleutians East Borough, Alaska, USA.  It is he largest of the Shumagin Islands off the Alaska Peninsula in southwestern Alaska.  The island has a land area of 171 square miles (443 square kilometers), making it the 35th largest island in the United States.  The island holds an ancient petrified wood forest and a more recent ghost town that was the site of a small gold rush in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  We took Zodiac boats from our ship anchored in Delarof Harbor to the pebble beach of the harbor, where a group of twelve of us embarked on a two-hour kayak paddle around the harbor and part of Unga Island.  The terrain was quite rugged, with tall cliffs, low rising hills and pounding surf; it is also treeless, except for a few trees around the village brought over by Norwegian settlers.  The island is another island home to thousands of seagulls and puffins and many sea otters in the kelp.

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #2

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #2

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #3; the arches at the end of the peninsula reminded us of Los Cabos, Mexico

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #3; the arches at the end of the peninsula reminded us of Los Cabos, Mexico

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #4

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #4

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #5

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #5

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #6

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #6

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #7

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #7

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #8

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #8

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #9

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #9

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #10

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #10

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #11

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #11

 

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA -- #12; the intrepid explorer and your blogger relaxing on the shore in front of part of the old ghost town, waiting for a Zodiac to return to o

Delarof Harbor, Unger Island, Alaska, USA — #12; the intrepid explorer and your blogger relaxing on the shore in front of part of the old ghost town, waiting for a Zodiac to return to our ship after kayaking

 

Legal Notices: All photographs (except the two photographs of the kayakers) copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #1

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #1

 

We anchored off Aghiyuk Island and took a tender ashore for a couple hours of hiking from the black rock beach up to a couple of saddles in the hills that gave us excellent views of the beach and cliffs on the opposite side of the island.  Aghiyuk Island is the northern most and largest of the Semidi Islands.   It has high dramatic rock formations and its gentler slopes are covered with ankle to mid-shin high vegetation.  The location is well known for its abundance of seabirds, marine mammals, and the marine resources upon which they rely.  The Semidi Islands are a group of islands of the state of Alaska, United States, lying offshore in the Gulf of Alaska.  The islands are part of Kodiak Island Borough and are located southwest of Kodiak Island, about halfway between the Alaska Peninsula mainland and Chirikof Island.

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #2

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #2

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #3

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #3

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #4

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #4

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #5

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #5

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #6

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #6

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #7

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #7

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #8

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #8

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #9

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #9

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #10

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #10

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #11

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #11

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #12

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #12

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #13

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #13

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #14

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #14

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #15

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #15

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #16

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #16

 

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA -- #17

Aghiyuk Island, Semidi Islands, Alaska, USA — #17

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Fishing on U-Rascal from Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

Boarding Captain Chris_s U-Rascal in Kodiak, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

Boarding Captain Chris’s U-Rascal in Kodiak, Kodiak Island, Alaska, USA

 

Early on a rainy morning we chartered Captain Chris’s U-Rascal in Kodiak, Kodiak Island, Alaska, USA, for a day of sea fishing.  The eight of us caught quite a lot of fish (25 rockfish, 8 salmon, 11 halibut and a few other fish that we used for bait).  The crew cleaned all the fish and gave us quite a few bags of fillets that we brought back to the ship where the chefs in the seafood/steak restaurant prepared dinner for us and some friends for two evenings.  We (and another fisherman/chef) also kept some fillets in our refrigerator and freezer in our apartment for lunches and dinners that we will cook in our apartment’s kitchen for us and some friends.  Notwithstanding the stormy weather, it was a fun and fulfilling day at sea.  And the fish at our group dinners in the restaurant was fresh, well prepared and delicious!  A wonderful way to celebrate the success of our fishing.

 

Parts of Kodiak Island were barely visible in the fog, mist and rain; fishing on U-Rascal from Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

Parts of Kodiak Island were barely visible in the fog, mist and rain; fishing on U-Rascal from Kodiak Island, Alaska, USA

 

Another fishing ship (much larger) passed us as we were fishing on U-Rascal from Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

Another fishing ship (much larger) passed us as we were fishing on U-Rascal from Kodiak Island, Alaska, USA

 

The intrepid explorer caught her first salmon of the day on U-Rascal from Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

The intrepid explorer caught her first salmon of the day on U-Rascal from Kodiak Island, Alaska, USA

 

The intrepid explorer with her first salmon of the day on U-Rascal from Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

The intrepid explorer with her first salmon of the day on U-Rascal from Kodiak Island, Alaska, USA

 

The intrepid explorer caught a large halibut on U-Rascal from Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

The intrepid explorer caught a large halibut on U-Rascal from Kodiak Island, Alaska, USA

 

The intrepid explorer_s halibut on U-Rascal from Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

The intrepid explorer’s halibut on U-Rascal from Kodiak Island, Alaska, USA

 

Legal Notices: All photographs (except the photograph of the intrepid explorer catching a salmon) copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Frazer Lake Salmon and Bears, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

The floatplane base in Kodiak, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA, where we charted a plane to head to Frazer Lake

The float plane base in Kodiak, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA, where we chartered a plane to head to Frazer Lake

 

Several of us chartered a float plane in Kodiak, the main city on Kodiak Island, Alaska – to the southwest of Anchorage – to fly us to Frazer Lake where the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) a number of years ago built a fish ladder after stocking the barren lake with salmon eggs and fry.  The annual salmon run has attracted a large number of Kodiak brown bears who come to the weir and feast on salmon.  This was an excellent photography trip and an educational experience as we learned about the ADF&G efforts to constructively manage the local ecosystem.

 

Our first sight of Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

Our first sight of Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

 

Our floatplane tied up for the day at Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA; from here we hiked a little over one mile (1.6 km) to Frazer Falls

Our float plane tied up for the day at Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA; from here we hiked about one mile (1.6 km) to Frazer Falls

 

At 30 feet high, Frazer Falls is impassable for sockeye salmon searching for a nice spot upstream to spawn, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

At 30 feet high, Frazer Falls is impassable for sockeye salmon searching for a nice spot upstream to spawn, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

 

From the ADF&G signpost: “The 30-foot Frazer Falls once prevented sockeye salmon from reaching Frazer Lake, but a vision and hard work created a dynamic fishery.  Frazer Lake was barren of sockeye salmon until 1951, when biologists stocked the lake with eggs and fry.  Mature salmon returned to spawn in 1956, but could not complete their journey, so scientists backpacked them around the falls.  To enable returning salmon to reach Frazer Lake on their own, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game designed a fish pass in the early 1960s.  In 1964, returning adult salmon ascended the new fish pass without assistance to spawn.  ADF&G made numerous improvements over the years to ease passage around the falls and strengthen the salmon run.  Today, the immense Frazer fish pass increases spawning and rearing habitat for this population of sockeye salmon.  It provides additional fish for harvest each year and supports the fourth largest sockeye run on Kodiak, substantially benefitting the local economy.”

 

The fish pass up Frazer Falls was constructed in the early 1960s by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA; the Frazer Lake sockeye population has

The fish pass up Frazer Falls was constructed in the early 1960s by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA; the Frazer Lake sockeye population has increased from six in 1956 to well over a million

 

Through their life cycle, salmon help sustain the Kodiak community.  Every summer adult salmon return to Frazer Falls from the Pacific Ocean to lay and fertilize their eggs.  The spawning salmon die, leaving their carcasses.  Bears, foxes, ravens, eagles, and insects thrive off of the energy-rich remains of spawned-out salmon.  Animals leave scat and their own bodies that decay and provide energy for plants.  Alevins (a young fish; especially, a newly hatched salmon when still attached to the yolk sac) hatch in the spring.  Salmon fry eat insects and grow in the shade of plants that received energy from decaying salmon.  Within about two years fry mature into smolt and leave for the sea.  Sockeye salmon spend one to four years growing strong at sea before returning to the rivers where they were hatched.

 

A mother brown bear who spent the morning “fishing” (with her paws and mouth) for sockeye salmon for herself and her three cubs, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

A mother brown bear who spent the morning “fishing” (with her paws and mouth) for sockeye salmon for herself and her three cubs, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

 

Feasting on a sockeye salmon, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

Feasting on a sockeye salmon, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

 

Mom is joined by the first of three cubs who would like her to share her “catch”, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

Mom is joined by the first of three cubs who would like her to share her “catch”, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

 

A second cub joins mom and the first cub, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

A second cub joins mom and the first cub, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

 

Later, one of the cubs spotted a sockeye salmon and heads across the river to try and catch it, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

Later, one of the cubs spotted a sockeye salmon and heads across the river to try and catch it, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

 

The family taking a break from fishing and dining, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

The family taking a break from fishing and dining, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

 

Back on the “hunt” at the end of the fish weir, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

Back on the “hunt” at the end of the fish weir, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

 

As we left, the family continued their fishing and eating, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

As we left, the family continued their fishing and eating, Frazer Lake, Kodiak Island, Alaska USA

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Knik Glacier by Air, Anchorage, Alaska USA

When we arrived at Rust_s Fying Service (next to the International Airport that has one of Fed Ex_s largest cargo facilities in the world) we found out that it was too overcast at Mo

When we arrived at Rust’s Fying Service (next to the International Airport that has one of Fed Ex’s largest cargo facilities in the world) we found out that it was too overcast at Mount Denali (formerly Mt KcKinley) to fly up there, Anchorage, Alaska USA

 

Six of us had planned on flying from Anchorage 100 miles (160 kilometers) by float plane to Mount Denali (formerly, Mt McKinley), the tallest mountain at 20,310 feet (6190 meters) in the United States (Alaska, Hawaii and the “Continental” – or “lower 48” – states), but, despite it being a rare sunny in Anchorage, the mountain was socked in and unapproachable by air that morning.  We discussed options with our outstanding floatplane pilot, Mark A. Stadsklev (50,000 flights in 40 years and an Alaska wildlife and landscape book published from his photography), and he suggested we do a shorter, but very scenic, trip up to the Knik Glacier, lake George and back down the Knik River.  We had a great morning with some memorable sights, including landing on Lake George (a USA National Natural Landmark), and very good photographs (below).  Note that there are no roads anywhere in the region, so the only two options are a really long and dangerous ATV (all terrain vehicle) drive or a flight over the surrounding mountains to reach the glacier (and float planes can land on Lake George, as we did).

“Knik Glacier is located on the northern edge of Alaska’s Chugach Mountains…  [It] is one of central Alaska’s greatest rivers of ice.  Often referred to as Alaska’s ‘sunny glacier’, a unique microclimate or ‘rain shadow’ has created a truly diverse ecosystem.  A northern desert surrounded by snow covered peaks, hanging glaciers, and waterfalls.” – www.knikglacier.com

 

Instead, out floatplane pilot, Mark A. Stadsklev, suggested that we fly to Knik Glacier, Anchorage, Alaska USA

Instead, our floatplane pilot, Mark A. Stadsklev, suggested that we fly to Knik Glacier, Anchorage, Alaska USA

 

A glimpse of the largest floatplane operations center in the United States, Anchorage, Alaska USA

A glimpse of the largest floatplane operations center in the United States, Anchorage, Alaska USA

 

“The Knik Glacier is located 50 miles [80 kilometers] north of Anchorage.  Situated on the northern edge of Alaska’s Chugach Mountains, Knik Glacier is one of the biggest glaciers  in south central Alaska.  At 28 miles long [45 kilometers] and over 5 miles [8 kilometers] across, Knik Glacier is actually a small remnant of a past ice age.  During the Pleistocene ice age 600,000 years ago the Chugach Mountains were covered in ice over 1/2 mile thick [805 meters].  Knik Glacier connected to a massive ice field that extended hundreds of miles into the ocean.

 

There are no roads up here, so the only way to reach Lake George after flying over the Knik Glacier is by floatplane, Anchorage, Alaska USA; additionally, there are some boat operators w

There are no roads up here, so the only way to reach Lake George after flying over the Knik Glacier is by floatplane, Anchorage, Alaska USA; additionally, there are some boat operators with tours up the Knik River to the lake and the tidewater edge of the glacier where it enters the lake

 

The mountain area around the Knik Glacier is filled with snow and small, mountaintop glaciers, Anchorage, Alaska USA

The mountain area around the Knik Glacier is filled with snow and small, mountaintop glaciers, Anchorage, Alaska USA

 

More mountains and additional glaciers on the way to Lake George; Knik Glacier, Anchorage, Alaska USA

More mountains and additional glaciers on the way to Lake George; Knik Glacier, Anchorage, Alaska US

 

The middle snow field looks very inviting for heli-skiing (helicopter); Knik Glacier, Anchorage, Alaska US

The middle snow field looks very inviting for heli-skiing (helicopter); Knik Glacier, Anchorage, Alaska US

 

“Knik Glacier is a master sculptor carving valleys and shaping rock into landscapes of exquisite natural beauty.  Surrounded by 10,000 foot [3,048 meters] snow-covered peaks, hanging glaciers, and waterfalls, the Knik Glacier has carved out one of Alaska’s most spectacular natural amphitheaters.  Knik Glacier is the centerpiece of the 17,000 acre [6,880 hectares] Lake George National Natural Landmark.  The National Natural Landmark Program recognizes over 500 sites in the United States.  Established in 1962, the program aims to encourage voluntary preservation of sites that illustrate the geological and ecological history of the United States and to strengthen the public’s appreciation of America’s natural heritage.  In order to be selected a site must of national significance and the best example of a regions biotic or geologic features. — www.knikglacier.com

 

Knik Glacier, Anchorage, Alaska USA

Knik Glacier, Anchorage, Alaska USA

 

One tour operator’s web site notes: “if you can’t visit, you can see the glacier in films; it’s been the set for several Hollywood movies, like “Star Trek V” and “Avalanche; in 1991 Paramount PIctures used Knik Glacier to film a portion of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.  Knik Glacier was the setting for a scene in which Captain Kirk and Dr McCoy are rescued from the Klingon ice planet prison Rurta Penthe.”

 

This spectacular view shows the Knik Glacier flowing down around the mountains with black moraine stripes visible, into Lake George; Anchorage, Alaska USA

This spectacular view shows the Knik Glacier flowing down around the mountains with black moraine stripes visible, into Lake George; Anchorage, Alaska USA

 

“The Knik Glacier was selected because of a rare geologic phenomenon that occurs here called a “jokulhlaup” (an ice dammed lake).  Jokulhlaups occurred here annually until 1967.  In winter the Knik Glaciers would advance and press its mass of ice, up to 400 feet [122 meters] thick, against the side of Mt. Palmer and block the flow of water from Lake George.  In spring the Lake George Valley behind Knik Glacier would begin to fill with water.  The 5 mile [8 kilometers] lake would swell to over 20 miles [32 kilometers] and water levels would raise 180 feet [xx meters].  The Water levels would eventually rise over the ice dams and the annual breakout would occur.  Millions of gallons of angry surging water would roar down the valley loaded with silt, debris and glacial ice.  This natural wonder occurred annually until 1966 and played a significant role in the lives of Native Americans and early pioneers.  The town of Matanuska had to be relocated due to the annual flooding. Just before 1900 three Indian villages along the Knik River were destroyed by a great flood.  Transportation routes between Anchorage and Palmer would be blocked for a week or two every year.  Early pioneers held a lottery annually to predict the exact time and day the breakout would occur.  Since 1967 a decrease in glacial advance has prevented the formation of Lake George, but a renewal of these awesome events could occur at any time.

 

The tidewater edge of Knik Glacier in Lake George, Anchorage, Alaska USA

The tidewater edge of Knik Glacier in Lake George, Anchorage, Alaska USA

 

“The tremendous events caused by the advance of the Knik Glacier have been replaced by tremendous events of a receding Knik Glacier.  Knik Glacier is on the move! In 1997 the Knik glacier woke from a long slumber.  In response to a global warming trend the Knik Glacier, like many Alaskan Glaciers, is getting smaller.  A new lake over 3 miles [5 kilometers]long and over 400 feet [122 meters] deep has been exposed at the glaciers face and this lake is getting bigger every year.” – www.knikglacier.com

 

Part of the tidewater edge of Knik Glacier, Anchorage, Alaska USA; note that along the edge there are 400-foot (120 meter) ice walls that rise out of Lake George that is filled with iceb

Part of the tidewater edge of Knik Glacier, Anchorage, Alaska USA; note that along the edge there are 400-foot (120 meter) ice walls that rise out of Lake George that is filled with icebergs that are floating, turning, and breaking apart

 

From the Knik Glacier and Lake George we flew down the 25-mile (40 km) long Knik River which empties into the Knok Arm section of Cook Inlet by Anchorage, Alaska USA

From the Knik Glacier and Lake George we flew down the 25-mile (40 km) long Knik River which empties into the Knik Arm section of Cook Inlet by Anchorage, Alaska USA

 

Part of the Knik River delta, Anchorage, Alaska USA

Part of the Knik River delta, Anchorage, Alaska USA

 

The mountains adjacent to the Knik River as we returned to Anchorage, Alaska USA

The mountains adjacent to the Knik River as we returned to Anchorage, Alaska USA

 

The flatlands along the Knik River as we returned to Anchorage, Alaska USA

The flatlands along the Knik River as we returned to Anchorage, Alaska USA

 

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat local: Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Exterior of the Marx Brothers Café -- the home on Third Avenue in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, dates to 1916 and was one of three identical houses built for the local management of the

Exterior of the Marx Brothers Café — the home on Third Avenue in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, dates to 1916 and was one of three identical houses built for the local management of the Alaska Railroad Company during the railroad’s construction

 

We had our best dinner in Alaska — during the course of three weeks sailing up the Inside Passage and then arriving in Anchorage – at the Marx Brothers Café.  The café’s website notes: “The Marx Bros. Café specializes in innovative contemporary cuisine featuring fresh Alaskan seafood and only the finest quality meats.  Our chef revises the menu each night to reflect unique ingredients and imaginative preparations.  Our cuisine is expertly paired with an extensive selection of wines housed in one of Alaska’s largest cellars.”

 

Photograph of Groucho and Harpo Marx (the Marx brothers) in the front hall of the eponymous restaurant in Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Photograph of Groucho and Harpo Marx (the Marx brothers) in the front hall of the eponymous restaurant in Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

After ordering we asked the maitre’d about the restaurant’s name.  He confirmed that the first night the restaurant opened quite a few years ago was quite chaotic.  The founding partners reflected afterwards that the evening was like being in a Marx brothers’ movie, so they named the restaurant in their honor.

The “official story”: “By 1979, Jack Amon, Van Hale, Ken Brown and Bob Schmidt had made quite a name for themselves in Anchorage’s culinary scene – even if that name was a mouthful!  Together, they had created the Wednesday Night Gourmet Wine Tasting Society and Volleyball Team Which Now Meets on Sunday — a weekly event of food and wine at the Jade Room.  Off nights, they catered festivals and events under the name of The Spaceway Sausage Company.  In the hours after their final dinner on April 1, 1979, they moved their operation and all its accoutrements to a little house on Third Avenue.  The night of the move was spiced with the intrigue and chaos of sleep deprivation and disputed ownership, and anyone walking in on the scene would have thought they were on the set of the old Marx Brother’s movie, ‘A Night at the Opera.’  Nevertheless, they survived the night and named their restaurant the Marx Brother’s Café — officially opening the doors on October 18, 1979.  Over the past 30 years the Marx Bros. Café has grown into an elegant establishment acclaimed by tourists and critics and coveted by locals.”

 

Neapolitan Seafood Mousse- Layers of Maine lobster, smoked salmon and smoked halibut served with toast points, red onion gremolata and American caviar, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, A

Neapolitan Seafood Mousse: Layers of Maine lobster, smoked salmon and smoked halibut served with toast points, red onion gremolata and American caviar, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

Copper River Sockeye Gravlax- House made dill cured sockeye salmon with buckwheat blini, honey mustard, dill sour cream and salmon caviar, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Copper River Sockeye Gravlax: House made dill cured sockeye salmon with buckwheat blini, honey mustard, dill sour cream and salmon caviar, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

Halibut Macadamia- Halibut baked in macadamia nuts with coconut curry and mango chutney, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Halibut Macadamia: Halibut baked in macadamia nuts with coconut curry and mango chutney, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

Kodiak Scallops- With house-made fettuccine, artichoke pesto, summer tomato sauce and grilled artichoke, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Kodiak Scallops: With house-made fettuccine, artichoke pesto, summer tomato sauce and grilled artichoke, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

Marx Bro's Cheesecake- Our own special recipe, rich and creamy, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Marx Bro’s Cheesecake: Our own special recipe, rich and creamy, Marx Brothers Café, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Anchorage, Alaska, USA

When historic City Hall was constructed in 1936, it was – for a little while – Anchorage_s biggest building, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

When historic City Hall was constructed in 1936, it was – for a little while – Anchorage’s biggest building, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

Anchorage, for many visitors, is the gateway to Alaska.  With a population of nearly 300,000 (40% of the state’s total population), it is the largest city in America’s 49th state (Hawaii was the last at number 50).  With a skyline not unlike a similarly sized city in the lower 48, Anchorage at first glance may not even seem to be in Alaska.  But lift your gaze a bit further and you find no less than six mountain ranges within view — majestic Mt. McKinley/Denali even makes an appearance on clear days.  The nation’s third-largest state park, Chugach, lies largely within the city boundaries — a true wilderness less than half an hour from the city center.  Among the 52 species of mammals found here are black and brown bears, moose and Dahl sheep.  Anchorage is also known for its cultural sites, including the Alaska Native Heritage Center, which displays traditional crafts, stages dances, and presents replicas of dwellings from the area’s indigenous groups.

 

The intrepid explorer nose-to-nose with an artist_s sculpted and brightly painted Alaskan bear in front of City Hall, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

When historic City Hall was constructed in 1936, it was – for a little while – Anchorage’s biggest building, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

We spent some of our first day in Anchorage, Alaska walking the “Pioneer’s Trail”, a walking tour of historic downtown Anchorage.  Compared with the continental U.S., and certainly Europe and Asia, not to mention Rome and Greece and Egypt and the Middle East, Anchorage is really young.  Alaska became a United States possession (“Seward’s folly” or Seward’s icebox”) when U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward brokered a deal in 1867 to purchase Alaska from Imperial Russia for $7.2 million (about two cents per acre).  Anchorage began to grow after Alaska became a United States Territory in 1912.  With the completion of the Alaska Railroad in 1923, Anchorage grew as the city’s economy expanded as a result of the railroad.  The military provided another big spur to growth in the 1930s and 1940s.  Following the discovery of oil in Prudhoe Bay by ARCO in 1968, the resulting oil boom spurred further growth in the city.  We found that in addition to locals, many residents have moved to Anchorage from across the U.S. in order to take advantage the diversity of its great outdoor sports, attractions and environment.  “Due to its location on the globe, being almost equidistant from New York City and Tokyo, Anchorage lies within 9 ½ hours by air to nearly 90% of the industrialized world.  For this reason, the Anchorage International Airport is a common refueling stop for many international flights and is home to a major FedEx Hub which the company calls a ‘critical part’ of its global network of services.” — Wikipedia

 

Fourth Street had a number of great historic photographs accompanying many posters that gave a brief summary of the highlights of the history of Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Fourth Street had a number of great historic photographs accompanying many posters that gave a brief summary of the highlights of the history of Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

The Anchorage Log Cabin was constructed in Homer, Alaska, in the 1950s, taken down, moved and then reassembled in Anchorage, Alaska, USA; today, on Fourth Street in the center of downtow

The Anchorage Log Cabin was constructed in Homer, Alaska, in the 1950s, taken down, moved and then reassembled in Anchorage, Alaska, USA; today, on Fourth Street in the center of downtown, it serves as part of the city’s visitor center

 

Rondy is the Festival headquarters and Dog Mushing Hall of Fame in Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Rondy is the Festival headquarters and Dog Mushing Hall of Fame in Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

The Kimball Building, from 1915, is now the home of an emporium specializing in teas and coffee and gifts, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

The Kimball Building, from 1915, is now the home of an emporium specializing in teas and coffee and gifts, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

The Grizzly store occupies a building near the 1939 Federal Building and, like it, is an early concrete structure in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, USA

The Grizzly store occupies a building near the 1939 Federal Building and, like it, is an early concrete structure in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

The Federal Building was huge, bold and smacked of permanence when it was completed in 1939 by the U.S. government (Alaska was then a Territory, before statehood was voted on in 1946), A

The Federal Building was huge, bold and smacked of permanence when it was completed in 1939 by the U.S. government (Alaska was then a Territory, before statehood was voted on in 1946), Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

4th Avenue Theatre is a grand, art-deco-style theatre that opened in 1947; it is currently awaiting a major renovation; Anchorage, Alaska, USA

4th Avenue Theatre is a grand, art-deco-style theatre that opened in 1947; it is currently awaiting a major renovation; Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 

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