Carol's Journey (Our AK friends) forum: Journey #8

 
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ImageSharon
Feb 6, 2011 1:12 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
♥♥Happy February!♥♥

We came from here: http://cubits.org/bluegardens/thread/view/43999/

I'll start this thread with copies of the last three photos on the last thread. I don't want anybody to miss the photos that Ava left there for us.

Ava said: Lynn and I just got back from an afternoon drive. We came across a sight you all might enjoy. We did....

Thumb of 2011-02-06/Sharran/335a41

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ImageSharon
Feb 6, 2011 1:15 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Here's what Ava said about the photos above:

I believe that might have been Mitch Seavey's son exercising his Dad's racing dogs. Mitch is a past Iditarod winner. Mitch's Dad, Dan Seavey was my 9th grade home-room teacher, btw.

I'd say that the orange tape on the tree is probably a trail marker. We were quite close to the original Iditarod Trail. Although the big race now begins in Willow, the original trail-head is here in Seward. If you have never read up on the history of the Iditarod, you should. It was quite the heroic endeavour.
ImageSharon
Feb 6, 2011 1:16 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Tell us about the Iditarod, Ava....

And ummmmmmmmmm....isn't this your birthday month?? I can't remember the date, but I do think I have the month right. Do tell, Ava.....'cause if you don't, we'll just have to celebrate your birthday every day of this month!!
Imageakfishergal
Feb 6, 2011 1:31 PM CST
Name: Ava Eads
Seward, Alaska
Hahaa....A month long party!! I'm tempted not to tell you just for that reason! But yes, you're right, it's on the 8th. I don't feel all that old, but it sure does make Dad feel ancient to know his youngest kid will be 62 this year.

I'll come back a bit later with some info on the Iditarod. Gotta look up some dates and such so I get my facts straght.
"Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature."

Gerard De Nerval
Imageakfishergal
Feb 6, 2011 2:29 PM CST
Name: Ava Eads
Seward, Alaska
OK.....Here is a rather 'flowery' article about the Iditarod...

How Diphtheria Gave Birth to the Iditarod: History of the Biggest Sled Dog Race
North to Alaska

Only the dogs could save the people.

The city of Nome had been hit with a deadly epidemic - diphtheria. Without lifesaving vaccine, many, if not all, would die.

It was 1925. Anchorage had a supply, but it was nearly 1200-miles away. What could Nome do? It was winter, the ports were blocked by sea ice. Primitive airplanes were no match for the vastness of Alaska. Train tracks hadn't even been laid yet.

That left only one possibility - sled dogs. Huskies would pull a sled guided by a man (known as a "musher") and in relay fashion - one team to the next - speed the medicine across the frozen tundra to the people of Nome.

Would it work? Mail and supplies were brought in that way, but never from such a distance. However, as someone once said, "Necessity is the mother of invention." There was no other choice but to give it a try.

People watched as the musher and his team of huskies raced off into the bitter cold night, their silhouettes growing smaller, then vanishing into a low-hanging full platinum moon. Everyone held his breath.

Plumes of snow flew behind the hissing sled as the team sped across the vast dangerous expanse. What was that ahead? Tracks. Huge ones! The musher knew that if the moose that left them was still around, then danger was very close. Moose mistook sled dogs for wolves and would charge them, causing horrible injury and maybe even death. Curious pairs of glowing eyes watched from the deep woods.

Knowing that lives depended on the mission, the driver yelled "MUSH," cracking the long whip at the same time. The dogs never hesitated. The team sped on.

Tree shadows fell, like bodies , across the trail. There, across the frozen lake, what was that? It was big, and it was dark, and it was waiting. What a relief the musher felt when he was close enough to see it was one of the relay teams. The transfer of the precious vaccine was quickly made.


All across Alaska this scene was repeated. At last, the lights of Nome came into view. The cheers and applause of the waiting townspeople grew louder as the dogs, icicles hanging from their mouths, brought the medicine in. Those good and brave dogs had saved their lives.

Even the bright North Star seemed to twinkle its approval.

Sadly, these courageous dogs would be all but forgotten until 1973, when their memories were honored with a yearly event called the Iditarod (pronounced Eye-dit-a-rod). Each year in March, teams race along the same route as the original.

In Alaska, the Iditarod is the equivalent of the World Series or the Super Bowl. In 1988, Susan Butcher became the first person ever to win this punishing event three years in a row.

How proudly the Alaskan flag flew the day Susan accomplished this incredible feat! The dark blue flag, depicting the North Star above the Big Dipper, was designed by a thirteen-year-old Native American boy for a contest in 1926. The North Star represents Alaska as being our northernmost state.

Alaska, our largest state, was in 1959 the next-to-last to be admitted to the Union, ahead of only Hawaii.

The coastline alone of this giant measures 33,904 miles - 11 times the distance between New York and California. Although the state has an area of 615,230 square miles, only half a million people live there.

Also, Alaska is the only state in the Union that does not have house flies.

Would this be reason enough to make you move there?

[Published by W. Richard Reegan]


I beg to differ with the author about the house flies. We have a great plenty. Also, I remember Shar's mention in an article about her trip to Alaska that there were no mosquitoes here....WRONG! There are enough here to eat you alive. She was just lucky to be here during a cool summer when there were few around....


"Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature."

Gerard De Nerval
ImageSharon
Feb 6, 2011 2:39 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
I knew about the Iditarod, Ava, but had never read that story. How beautiful, I can just see those glorious dogs with icicles hanging from their mouths. What a great story.
Thanks for sharing it with us.

I think we'll just celebrate your birthday all month anyway.

Flies and mosquitoes?? I never saw a one when I was there.
I did see a few UFO's though.
Imageakfishergal
Feb 6, 2011 4:53 PM CST
Name: Ava Eads
Seward, Alaska
Here is a little more 'Alaskana' for you. We 'Sewardite's' are quite proud of this young man.....

"John Ben "Benny" Benson, Jr. (1913–1972) was the designer of the flag of Alaska. Benny was 13 when he won in a contest to design the flag for the territory of Alaska, which became a state in 1959."


"The blue field is for the Alaska sky and the forget-me-not, an Alaskan flower. The North Star is for the future state of Alaska, the most northerly in the union. The Dipper is for the Great Bear—symbolizing strength."

Thumb of 2011-02-06/akfishergal/433464

Benny was from Chignik, near Mom's hometown of King Cove. He spent most of his youth living at the Jesse Lee Home, an orphanage here in Seward. The orphanage was closed (condemned) after the '64 quake.
"Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature."

Gerard De Nerval
ImageSharon
Feb 6, 2011 5:05 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
That's a beautiful story. King Cove is far away from Seward, how did he end up as a child so far away from his birthplace? What happened to his parents?

Now I have to go look up the Alaskan state flag....
Guess I could look up John Ben, too.
Imageakfishergal
Feb 6, 2011 5:53 PM CST
Name: Ava Eads
Seward, Alaska
Here's a little more on Benny Benson........

"Benny Benson was born in Chignik, a small village on the south shore of the Alaska Peninsula on October 12, 1913. John Ben Benson, Jr. was his full given name.

His father, John Ben Benson, was a Swedish fisherman and his mother, Tatiana Schebolein, was an Aleut-Russian. During these years Alaska Native villages were being hit with waves of devastating epidemics and at the age of 3, Benny, his younger brother and older sister lost their mother to pneumonia and lost their house to a fire. This series of events caused Ben Benson, Sr. to split up his family. Benny and his brother Carl were sent to an orphanage in Unalaska and Elsie was sent to Oregon.

The orphanage was called the Jesse Lee Home and it served hundreds of Aleut orphans. The orphanage provided for the children in Unalaska until 1925 and then was moved to a larger facility having a more central location in Seward."

Thumb of 2011-02-06/akfishergal/099f3b

The Jesse Lee Home....
Thumb of 2011-02-06/akfishergal/d6a149
"Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature."

Gerard De Nerval
ImageSharon
Feb 6, 2011 5:59 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Touches my heart.

Ava, the Jesse Lee Home looks sort of like those buildings there in Seward near that red church that I love so much.
Remember?
Thumb of 2011-02-06/Sharran/0255a0
Imageakfishergal
Feb 6, 2011 6:25 PM CST
Name: Ava Eads
Seward, Alaska
Yes, it is a beautiful old church. That is the Episcopal Church. Here is some info...

" St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is the oldest surviving Protestant church building on the Kenai Peninsula. The basement was built in 1904 and the first religious service was held in February 1905.
St. Peter’s was blessed in 1924, when Dutch artist, Jan Van Emple came to Seward for a two year visit. It has been reported that Van Emple ran away from home and came to the New World as a cabin boy. From September to November of 1925, he worked on his first sacred picture, “The Resurrection,” for the rear of the church’s altar. This reredos is a unique work as it depicts the Ascension and well as the Resurrection of Christ.

Instead of apostles, the painting includes people of Alaska. Eskimos, a trapper, a fisherman and a pioneer woman make up the foreground. The little Indian mother is unable to lift her head to up to heaven with the rest because her baby weighs so heavily upon her back.
The prospector, a self-portrait of Van Emple, stands in his rough shirt and suspenders, rugged, true to life, his shallow round pan dropped from his hand and rolled against the open seplchre. The angels on either side of Christ are portraits of Van Emple’s two sisters. The empty tomb is shown against the mountains and waters of Resurrection Bay."

Thumb of 2011-02-07/akfishergal/a430ca
"Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature."

Gerard De Nerval
ImageSharon
Feb 6, 2011 7:03 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Oh. How beautiful.

No wonder I loved that little church.
ImageMagpie
Feb 7, 2011 7:29 PM CST
Name: Jon, Chris or JC Deisher
Eagle River, Alaska
So ... what'dya think?
Ava has covered all the based on this topic. I still occasionally run into people today that were kids at Jesse Lee home ... there is a "Friends of the Jesse Lee Home" organization that is attempting to raise money to salvage the buildings - go here: http://www.jesseleehome.net/
Ava and I went to school with lots of kids from there, they came from all over Alaska. Many were orphans, others were children of families that had fallen on hard times ... almost all were Alaska natives. Some of our best basketball players came from there and there were some excellent Mt. Marathon runners from Jesse Lee, too. Erma Trigg was the first woman to run Mt. Marathon ... she ran with the men before there was a woman's race ... her brother Billy came in 3rd one year.

One interesting feature is that the buildings had trees painted on them as a sort of camouflage against the potential of Japanese bombers or fighters in WWII. The campus was large ... probably over 40 acres, most of which has been sold off and developed for residences today.

The home was run by the Methodist Church. When it was condemned, the name was taken over by the State of Alaska and is still used by a facility for youth in Anchorage ... but it ain't hardly the same as the "old days."
"Magpie" Jon
Alaska images at the Magpie cubit - go to Alaska Photos and Commentary: http://cubits.org/Magpie/thread/view/42616/
Also Post under "Jon Deisher" on FB, LinkedIn & G+ (If you need an invitation, let me know)


ImageSharon
Feb 8, 2011 2:36 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Thanks Chris.
Interesting for sure.

♥♬ Happy Birthday, Ava!!! ♬♥

I hope your birthday is absolutely beautiful.
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Imageakfishergal
Feb 8, 2011 10:30 AM CST
Name: Ava Eads
Seward, Alaska
Thanks Shar....

Look at this cool e-card a birder/photographer friend sent me. This is a Anna's Hummingbird. They are seen here occasionally, but these shots were taken in Arizona...
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"Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature."

Gerard De Nerval
Imageakfishergal
Feb 10, 2011 1:10 PM CST
Name: Ava Eads
Seward, Alaska
My Pine Siskins are back here in force now and unfortunately attracting the predators. A Sharp Shinned Hawk just zinged through the porch and drove a few birds into the windows. He didn't get anybody and all the birds that hit the windows survived it. I ran the hawk off and I see that the birds are re-grouping as I sit here typing.

The hawk's banquet table.....
Thumb of 2011-02-10/akfishergal/cad095
Thumb of 2011-02-10/akfishergal/ce971f
"Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature."

Gerard De Nerval
ImageSharon
Feb 10, 2011 2:19 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Beautiful, Ava.

I'll add one of my cardinals to your group.
Thumb of 2011-02-10/Sharran/1cc3a6

Thumb of 2011-02-10/Sharran/358f98
Imageakfishergal
Feb 10, 2011 3:24 PM CST
Name: Ava Eads
Seward, Alaska
Beautiful birds, your Cardinals, Shar. We will never see a Cardinal up here unfortunately, as they are not a migrating bird. Of all things, a Meadow Lark was reported in Homer this week. They are very rare here and absolutely unheard of during the Winter months. Mother Nature is pulling some very strange tricks on us these past few years, ain't she?
"Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature."

Gerard De Nerval
ImageSharon
Feb 10, 2011 3:42 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Yep.

Very strange that i am snowbound.
Imageakfishergal
Feb 11, 2011 8:54 PM CST
Name: Ava Eads
Seward, Alaska
Hurray! ....My drain cut loose today!!.... Hurray!

I've been pouring rock salt down the drain every couple of days for a week or so and running water constantly. Thought I was going to have to wait till spring for it to thaw, but no. It worked!! YAY!!!
"Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature."

Gerard De Nerval

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