Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Alaska: Vast Would Be A Gross Understatement

Vast. Huge. Mammouth. All of these words have been used to describe Alaska and yet they do not do justice to the incredible size and scope of the state, its landscape and its natural wonders. We've only been here a day and yet we can already tell you that Alaska is positively breathtaking in its sheer, untamed grandeur. This is a land of extremes and a place of varied cultures, customs, peoples and history. It is unique in so many ways one almost doesn't know where or how to begin to catalogue its "specialness." Alaska defies any simple explanation or quick conclusion. There can be no thumbnail sketch of such an epic natural wonder of such a rich, lush palette. Yes, we will post pictures here as we move along but even our very best pictures will be mere feeble attempts to convey the majesty of Alaska. The great naturalist John Muir said this a long time ago: "To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world." It's still true. In his book detailing the exploration of Alaska, Corey Ford describes how the state got its name. Here's what he says: “The name Alaska is probably an abbreviation of Unalaska, derived from the original Aleut word agunalaksh, which means 'the shores where the sea breaks its back.' The war between water and land is never-ending. Waves shatter themselves in spent fury against the rocky bulwarks of the coast; giant tides eat away the sand beaches and alter the entire contour of an island overnight; williwaw winds pour down the side of a volcano like snow sliding off a roof, building to a hundred-mile velocity in a matter of minutes and churning the ocean into a maelstrom where the stoutest vessels founder.” No matter what, the force and power of nature -- in all ways, in all its manifestations -- reign supreme in Alaska. For this alone, Alaska is worth the experience. Stay tuned as we take you along on our Alaska journey!

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