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Alaska

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"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike"

-- John Muir

After traveling through Alaska this past summer, I feel as if my body and soul have truly been nourished.  The first leg of our 2 1/2 week tour found us exploring the vast interior of our 49th state.  We started in Fairbanks, flew to the Wiseman which is located in the Arctic Circle, took the Alaskan Railroad into Denali National Park, stopped in Talkeetna (think Northern Exposure), and then anchored down in Anchorage.  All I can say about the interior is it is unbelievably enormous and absolutely, unequivocally, breathtakingly gorgeous! 

The second leg of the journey was, dare I say, even more memorable!  We flew to Juneau and boarded the Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic Sea Lion, a 152 ft ship which can accommodate 60 passengers (think small), and set sail to explore the Inside Passage of Southeastern Alaska.  We were blessed to have the founder/CEO/President of Lindblad, Sven-Olof Lindblad, join us as a fellow passenger with his two adventurous children.  If you've never taken a Lindblad cruise, then you should for it is fun and fun is good (Dr. Seuss inspired)!  Lindblad has, in my humble opinion, the best naturalists, excellent food, an unparalleled passion for the safe-keeping of our planet, well-kept vessels and the most courteous and knowledgeable staff you could ever imagine and great itineraries to boot!  We sailed with them in the Galapagos and were so utterly impressed that we decided do it again in Alaska!  The  week long expedition took us to places such as:  Tracy Arm Fjord, Petersburg, Frederick Sound, Tongass National Forest, Williams Cove, Pavlof River, Inian Pass, Sitka and Glacier Bay National Park.  Once again, words don't do this part of the world justice -- check the photos out!  Simply sublime!

And to think that we purchased all of this in 1867 from the Russian Empire for a mere $7.2 million at about 2 cents per acre!  Unconscionable!

Hope this finds you and yours happy and healthy!  Try to get to Alaska -- I promise, you won't be disappointed!  Great for families too!

Ten days later, as I disembarked, my head was spinning from the overwhelming magnificence of it all!  I believe in the age-old phrase, "Pictures speak louder than words," so...  Without further adieu, won't you please join me as I take you on a two-part photographic journey to, in the words of a third grader, "the coolest place in the world that I've ever been!"

Remember to always stay curious!

-- Ken Carlson --