Edited by Gerald Boerner
The name “Alaska” evokes images of vast waste-scapes of tundra covered with snow and populated with great herds of caribou. One can almost see the sub-zero temperatures outside. Scattered towns, centers of “civilization”, could be found, especially along the coast of the Gulf of Alaska. It is a territory that is not so much a state of the union, but a natural paradise peopled by the native groups of inhabitants.
In the past half century we have seen the Great Alaska Earthquake, the discovery of massive oil reserves on the north slope, and the Prince Henry Sound oil leak from the Exxon Valdez. The building of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline brought a population surge similar to that seen during the Yukon Gold Rush of earlier times.
But above all of the pivotal events of Alaska history I think of the natural wonders of the vastness that is Alaska. One cannot watch the three or four episodes of Art Wolfe’s “Travel to the Edge” TV show without being in awe of the beauty of this natural world of environmental extremes and animal diversity. And then there is the Grandure of Mount McKinley and Denali National Park. It lifts my spirit to a higher plane. Long may it remain that way.
But when it was purchased from the Russian Empire by William Seward, Secretary of State to two Presidents: Lincoln and Johnson. When it was finally ratified by the Senate it was called “Seward’s Folly” because of the apparent desolation of the land. Today, Seward would seem to be vindicated as we have come to appreciate the wisdom of this decision.
But let’s get on to today’s exploration… GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
[ 3366 Words ]
Quotations Related to ALASKA:
“Alaska has great potential for new oil and gas development.”
— Frank Murkowski
“I missed that question on Alaska. I hear they want to make it a state now.”
— Anson Williams
“The original settlers of Alaska apparently were Russian.”
— Jeff Goldblum