Yokota demonstrates airlift capability for RED FLAG-Alaska

Hmmmm “Red Flag”….This is a very interesting read with some great photo shots of the area. But I do want to redirect you to the article I shared earlier that pertains to the Arctic areas that are under contention. It makes you wonder why we are running “red flag” operations? On the plus side, there are some awesome photos of Alaska in here!


The UN Has Laid the Foundation and Location For World War III

Having lived in Alaska my entire life, I believe this to be pretty accurate in its discussions about Alaska. This is not a bunch of smoke signals being thrown about with assumptions…This is actual facts looked at in the light of day and actual realizations that are seriously common sense. Read and decide for yourself. Alaska will be a key point in the future!

Christian Patriots


The UN Has Laid the Foundation for World War III

Dating back over a 100 years, the United States laid claim to much of the Arctic region.The Arctic region is known to hold large amounts of untapped oil and gas reserves. The United Nations previously canceled all previous land claims in the Arctic region. This is in response to these territories being at the center of several disputes between the United States, Russia, Canada, to a large degree, and it also includes Norway and Denmark, to a smaller degree.

Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which was finalized in 1982, countries can lay claim to the ocean floor well beyond their borders so long as they can provide convincing scientific evidence to prove that a particular seabed is an extension of their continental shelf. Already, countries have sovereign rights to resources within 200 nautical miles…

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Easy BBQ Caribou or Moose Ribs

I just posted a really great recipe for any wild game or store-bought ribs. This is a very simple recipe and can be converted to be sugar free if needed. I guarantee the ribs will not be tough and will be literally falling off the bones!!! Give it a try!

Alaskan Foodie

I have had plenty of wild game and store-bought ribs that ended in failure! If you are like me and have had the toughest caribou ribs known to mankind, then you know what I am talking about. Many people have told me that they prefer not to cook the ribs because they always end up tough. I have heard plenty of stories where people boil them in apple juice (tried it and failed), just grilled them (very tough), or baked them on a cookie sheet (no foil, fail). I have been there and feel your pain.

After discovering this easy way to make BBQ ribs, I won’t go back to anything else. This recipe makes the most tender, fall apart ribs and it really is pretty easy. The hardest part is removing the membrane and after awhile you will become a pro at that too. Just give this recipe a…

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Report IDs ocean acidification threats to Alaska’s coastal resources, Native American communities

It’s pretty sad and I think very tragic that this is happening…Not only to Alaska, but to anyplace that this is happening! 😦

Summit County Citizens Voice

Important crab fisheries to suffer as oceans turn warm and acidiic

A nice haul of blue crabs. Crabs are among the many commercially important species that will struggle as oceans grow warmer and more acidic. bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO —Alaska’s economically important crab fishery and other coastal and ocean resources face significant global warming threats, according to a new study led by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The research findings, to be published online in the journal Progress in Oceanography, show that many of Alaska’s nutritionally and economically valuable marine fisheries are located in waters that are already experiencing ocean acidification.

Communities in southeast and southwest Alaska face the highest risk from ocean acidification because they rely heavily on fisheries that are expected to be most affected by ocean acidification. Some of those Native American communities are also more vulnerable to economic risks because of lower average incomes and  fewer…

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Advancing Digital Teaching and Learning in Alaska

This is amazing!!!! I am so excited about this!!!

Pam Lloyd Blog

Kodiak robotsLast year, Alaska Governor Sean Parnell announced a three-year initiative to create three to four demonstration projects, showcasing efforts to bring school districts together to provide shared teaching and learning experiences through the use of synchronous and asynchronous learning modalities. The Alaska Digital Teaching initiative, passed by the Alaska legislature, created an application process, where more than 40 percent of the school districts submitted their ideas and projects. This  initiative is designed to  provide examples for delivering high-quality interactive distance courses to middle and high school students; increasing student access to a diverse array of courses; empowering  teachers to reach beyond their own classrooms; training teachers; and expanding school districts’ infrastructure, technology and staffing.

Grants under the Alaska Digital Teaching Initiative were recently announced with GCI SchoolAccess customer Kodiak Island Borough School District (KIBSD) among the list of recipients. This grant is intended to increase student engagement and academic performance…

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An Alaskan Weekend in Kennecott, or was it Kennicott?

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The ghost town of Kennicott and the copper mine named Kennecott up on the hill.

Kennecott is the name of the mines and company, while the glacier and town are named Kennicott after a local explorer by the name of Robert Kennicott. The mines and company were misspelled due to a clerical error. After the green streak in the mountain was discovered, the next step was to get it out of the back country of Alaska. They ended up mining some gold in the area to fund the building of the railroad to the copper streak. That green streak was one of the richest copper ore deposits ever found!

McCarthy is the name of the creek and the town that popped up below the mine due to the “dry” Kennecott mine not allowing gambling and or other assorted affairs. Today, the mine is a ghost town that is being restored and McCarthy has a winter time population of between 15-20 families. They say that the population is rising due to the tourism in the summer. The McCarthy road from Chitina to the mine is closed in the winter but you can use snowmobiles to travel the 60 miles or use the airport.

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The Kennecott Mine up on the hill above me. You can only go in this building with a guided tour.
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One of the many buildings that are still standing after 100 years.
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There was a flood that destroyed some buildings in this area and you can really see the signs of the years.

Construction of the railroad to the mine began in 1908 and stretched 196 miles. The current McCarthy road is built over top of most of the old railroad. For 27 years, the railway carried a staggering $200 million in copper ore from the historic Kennicott mining area to the coast of Cordova. The last train delivered the very last load of copper ore on November 11, 1938. During the 1964 earthquake, with a magnitude of 9.2, the railway was destroyed and never rebuilt. Kennicott has been a ghost town since then and, in 1978, President Jimmy Carter declared the area a National Monument because of its cultural and scientific significance. They are now part of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. At 13.2 million acres, it is twice the size of Denali National Park and larger than the country of Switzerland. It is home to 9 of North America’s 16 tallest peaks, over 150 glaciers, 4 major mountain ranges, and the largest glaciers outside the polar ice caps.

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McCarthy and the Ma Johnson’s Hotel. My kids walking the wet streets. Those are permitted vehicles only.
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I found it interesting to see the blending of the old with the fairly new in this photo. Notice all the bikes on the right.
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This is a gently restored hardware store that was being used to house the live band for the McCarthy Whitewater Festival that was going on during the weekend that we visited.

Today, instead of the tram that was used to pull yourself across the river, they have a foot bridge. There is a bridge down a ways that only permitted motorists can use to cross the river and those are usually only the locals or deliveries. Once on the other side, you can choose to hike the short distance to the small base town of McCarthy or you can take the shuttle. You can also skip McCarthy and just head straight up to the mill town of Kennecott. The shuttle to McCarthy is free but the ride to Kennecott is $10 for a round trip and they will give you a little ticket for your return trip. It is a 5-mile hike and so worth the shuttle ride, because you will want to save the hiking for the trail to the glacier or up to the mines. Another good option is to bring a bike and I highly recommend it as many people bike in the area.

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The footbridge that leads across the river. I am standing on the McCarthy side of the river after getting out of a shuttle. Our vehicle is parked in the lot on the other side.

For accommodations, there is the Kennicott Glacier Lodge (http://www.kennicottlodge.com/) that is right on the mountain and within the old mining town itself. It is a restored building so expect the rooms to reflect that. Another option is to stay at the historic hotels within McCarthy. You have the McCarthy Lodge and The Ma Johnsons Hotel (http://www.mccarthylodge.com/) with many services available nearby. On the road side of the foot bridge, you will find many campgrounds, Bed & Breakfasts’, Lodges, and cabins nearby. We stayed at the Kennicott River Lodge (http://www.kennicottriverlodge.com/) in one of their cabins that could accommodate 6 people and a dog. We were very glad that we did and found that they are extremely accommodating and had all the services that we could possibly want. We had a great view of the glacier, mill town, and a glacier lake in the foreground.

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Our cabin that somehow accommodated all 6 of us plus a dog. Believe it or not, there was a loft with 2 twins that pushed together for my hubby and I, and 2 bunk beds (4 beds total) on the main floor with a couch that pulls out. http://www.kennicottriverlodge.com/

One of the things that I found confusing, beyond the spelling of the Kennicott/Kennecott names, was whether the glacier was called the Root Glacier or the Kennicott Glacier. Well, it turns out that there are two glaciers in the area which explains all of the dirt, ice, and water that flows beneath them. The glacier actually closest to the mine is called the Root Glacier and beyond that, and partially connected, is the Kennicott Glacier. You can hike both if you are of able body. They have hiking tours (http://kennicottguides.com/ or just google Kennicott guides) available for the cost of a guide and cramp-ons for your boots. We didn’t have a guide and we chose to just hike to the Root Glacier for a shorter experience since we are amateur hikers.

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This is my nephew Mike, youngest son Jakob, and my daughter Katerina. My oldest son Billy and his dog were way ahead of us on the trail. They were much faster hikers. About half of the trail was in this condition, which was fairly nice.
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My nephew Mike and my youngest son on the knoll of the moraine near the Root Glacier. You can see two hikers on the trail leading to the right. The rocks slid a lot but the knoll is where we ended up eating lunch.
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On the left, on the toe of the Root Glacier, you can see my oldest son Billy and his dog Boo. You can also see a guided tour heading out onto the glacier. The guide helps them put on cramp-ons and schools them on how to walk on the glacier.
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You can see my oldest son Billy and my nephew Mike walking down from the edge of the Root Glacier. Very nerve-wracking for a mom.
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The beautiful Jumbo Creek. I recommend taking a rest here if possible before you hit the rough terrain beyond the falls. Very refreshing as a return rest too.

The trail to the toe of the Root Glacier is around 2 miles and most of it is a fairly easy hike. There is the last 3/4 mile of the trip that is down hill and partially in the moraine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moraine), so you can expect sliding rocks and some of it is a strenuous hike. I found it even more difficult coming back up out of there. Now if you are used to hiking and are used to mountain climbing, you might get a slight laugh out of my version of strenuous. I am an asthmatic so it made this hike a bit more difficult for me as I have not been hiking much this year. I did have to use an inhaler on several occasions during the hike, sad to say (Just a warning for those in my current condition.) The hike is worth the pain!

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This is a view from the front deck of our cabin. You can see the Root Glacier on the left (very rainy at that moment), the Kennecott Mill just to the left of the tree, and the glacier lake with little icebergs in the foreground on the right of the tree. McCarthy and the foot bridge was further to the right.

There are a few beautiful creek crossings, some wonderful views of the glacier and surrounding mountains, and the exhilaration of completing the 4 miles round trip is so very worth it. The glacier was beautiful but ended up not being my most favorite part, although the kids loved it. Jumbo Creek, and its waterfall that you cross, was my most favorite part of the hike. Making it back to Kennicott and saying “Wow! I made it!” was a really great feeling for me. I pushed myself and, while most hikers would find it a casual hike, I felt accomplished. I now know that I need to hike more often and condition my body for what I really want to do because there is nothing worse than your mind saying “I want to go see that!” and your body replies “oh…there is no way that is happening!”.

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My daughter, Katerina, and my ponytail. 😉 You can see where we are eating lunch. We are facing the glacier but you can see the trail that we arrived on and all the rocks that we slid around on.
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Kuskulana River Bridge: one lane, no stopping on the bridge! Have fun looking down but be careful and stay on the bridge. You can explore under the bridge too!
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A view from underneath the Kuskulana Bridge. My kids climbed around on a ramp that walks across with rails. I couldn’t get up on there because the climb is a steep jump up on concrete.

Kennicott, McCarthy, and the Root Glacier are worth the 60-miles (on a dirt road) road trip and worth seeing if you see nothing else in Alaska. You must have a spare tire and a tire repair kit if you attempt this trip in your vehicle, although I have never had a flat. The old railway spikes have a tendency to come up to the top of the road from time to time. I have seen little front wheel drive cars, as well as RV’s, make this trip with no problems whatsoever. You will also cross the single lane Kuskulana Bridge over Kuskulana River Canyon that is around 525 feet across and 238 feet above the river. Take plenty of pictures of this historic bridge and enjoy the mesmerizing views! Make sure you have plenty of gas as the last gas available is in either Kenny Lake or Chitina. Also, make sure you have plenty of room on your camera or smartphone for lots of pictures. Have a great trip…we sure did!!!


One large family and a dog!

Getting reservations for a large family, with a dog, is harder than it seems. No matter the location, I find it difficult to gain accommodations that would suit all 6 of us, plus the dog. This is our family: One dad, one mom, one 12 year old son, one 17 year old son, one 18 year old daughter, one 20 year old nephew, and our dog (large breed.) Now one would think that Alaska has a lot of larger families and thus would have accommodations to compliment that knowledge; however I am finding the opposite to be true.

Hotels are most likely out of the question unless I am willing to rent several rooms in a dog friendly hotel. On a few occasions, I have found hotels that have full suites available but most often they do not like pets. I must say there are a few out there and I greatly appreciate their thoughtfulness to accommodate larger families. I am even more grateful when I see that it is very clean and there are no bed bugs in the establishment.

Some B&B’s might be willing to accept a larger family but I have found that they most often do not accept pets. I have never been able to stay at a B&B due to our family size and the pet issue. That being said, I have always wanted to stay at one and have always admired those who run them. It is a lot of work and dedication to open one’s home to the general public.

Motels generally do not seem to care how many people will be staying in the room and will usually rent it to you without question. More often than not, they will allow pets; however they frequently smell musty and are sometimes dirty. I have also found bed bugs in many motels and that is something I never appreciate.

Cabins are usually a better bet but you have to find one that can accommodate so many people. I have been lucky enough on many occasions to find cabins that can house 6 people comfortably and it is usually a 50/50 chance that they will allow a large dog. My family prefers the cabin style rentals due to the privacy that they afford, but that is only if they have decent bathroom availability. Some have outhouses and that is okay…IF they are clean!

Lodges are usually out of the question for large families with pets due to the very nature of a lodge. It is usually on a more grand scale and most often related to some sort of fishing or hunting adventure. Where would you stash your dog on a fishing trip anyhow? But, again, I am sure there are some out there that might allow large families and pets with the usual “fees” tagged on top of it.

That brings me to the other part of our dilemma. Fees! Families are usually looking for savings on their trips due to the very nature of the cost of a family to do anything beyond just existing in day to day life. So when I go to websites and they say “double occupancy + $25 for each additional person + $75 pet fee”; let’s just say I cringe and keep looking elsewhere. The additional fees that go beyond the double occupancy, plus the pet fees, taxes, and meal expense make it very difficult for families to do anything together. It seems like the lodging industry is just out to make a buck on the larger families instead of being understanding and accommodating them for the same price in the same room or cabin as a smaller family. Does it seriously cost $25 extra to do the laundry of towels and blankets for each additional person?

I wanted to write about this subject because I know that many other families are out there and have situations just like mine. Maybe someday soon, all my kids will leave the nest and it will get better but we have been dealing with this for a very long time. It’s frustrating to say the least and I am hoping that someone, somewhere, will read this and realize that larger families need to get out and have fun too! For the most part, we have stuck to campgrounds and tents but this is Alaska! We don’t want to camp every single time and some places are very cold at night. Our summers are short and there are seriously a lot of mosquitos in most areas of Alaska. If you have a large family and have dealt with this situation in your adventures, then I totally understand your frustrations.

This Guy Went to Alaska and Caught a 482-Pound Halibut

Wow! Great story about a giant halibut caught by a California elder in Alaska!!! Nice job!


After a 40-minute struggle, 76-year-old Californian Jack McGuire recently caught the world’s largest halibut, the Associated Press reports.

McGuire’s monster fish weighed a whopping 482 pounds and was 95 inches long, smashing the previous record set in 1996 (a very respectable 459lbs). Unfortunately his catch will go unrecognized by the International Game Fish Association, because McGuire’s boat captain shot the fish before it was brought onboard to keep it from flopping about and hurting someone.

According to the AP, McGuire “applauded the decision” to kill the fish despite his disqualification from record-holder status.

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Sonya’s Beer Battered Halibut

Sharing my delicious halibut recipe on Alaskan Rumors! I hope you enjoy it! If you like what you see, you are welcome to join my other blog (Alaskan Foodie) at http://alaskanfood.wordpress.com/ 🙂

Alaskan Foodie

I have been making beer batter for Halibut and Cod for a long time. I love beer battered Halibut! These days I cannot make it due to having a wheat allergy but I am working on a recipe for that too. I will connect you to it when the recipe is done being perfected. In the meantime, I don’t see why the rest of my family can’t enjoy some great fish n’ chips!!

This recipe is one of my favorites, but it is very messy to make as dipping the battered halibut into panko creates quite a mess. You can also make this without the panko if you prefer. Just fry it from the point of dipping in the batter. I hope you enjoy it.

Sonya’s Beer Battered Halibut


2-4 lbs of Halibut (or other white fish)
12 ounces dark beer or ale (something with a lot of flavor)

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How Blueberries and a Tiny Town in Alaska Could Change the World

Alaskan Foodie

I have been to this village on numerous occasions. I can verify that the blueberries in Alaska are delicious; however they have a different flavor as they are a different variety than the ones found in the rest of the United States. I think that it is really great that this village is doing this. It is sorely needed and it’s about time someone tried it.

The people of the villages in Alaska are really struggling and some are losing the battle. They don’t want to move into town but how else can they get a job and pay for food; since they are not able to hunt or fish back home and cannot afford to buy their food? But in the city, one must have not only the workplace skills but the social skills to nail a job in a highly competitive world.

Yes, this is a great answer…

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Ask an Alaskan about Alaska!

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