Alaska Magazine

Exploring and sharing authentic Alaska since 1935.

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From May 10-12, Valdez welcomes pilots and their planes to celebrate aviation culture. The annual event features ven- dors, seminars, an air show, and a short-distance take-off/ landing competition. This comes on the tail of the May 4-5 Great Alaska Aviation Gathering in Palmer, the state’s largest aviation meet-up. valdezflyin.com.

Hawaiian and other Polynesian cultures have an ancient relationship with Alaska, and today Pacific Islanders comprise the largest growing ethnic community in Alaska. Anchorage alone has a Polynesian florist, various Hawaiian restaurants, and a handful of Samoan churches. If you look a little harder in some convenience stores, you’ll find the piece of culinary heaven brought to us from the south Pacific, the Hawaiian delicacy known simply as “musubi.”

Photos & Videos

There are many places to get a great shot of the highest mountain in North America—and not all of them are in Denali National Park. On a clear day, you can spot the towering snow-capped dome from Anchorage. Talkeetna affords a backside view along a picturesque river. Flightseeing provides exceptional close-ups. But going to the park delivers some choice locations for creative composition.

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Keep frostbite at bay There’s a saying: there’s no such thing as bad weather if you have the right gear. Because I run trips through the winter months to some of the most inhospitable places on Earth and have damaged a few piggy toes with frostbite, I’ve learned the hard way what it takes to stay safe and (almost) toasty in the frigid north. I photograph polar bears, auroras, and the Iditarod—all of which can be found above the Arctic Circle from October through March—when smart folks opt for the beaches of Hawaii and Mexico. But truly, those people are unnecessarily missing out—big time. I blame my frostbite on stupidity, of course, but also on the adrenaline and awe that numb my common sense. Despite jackhammer shivering and the icepick piercing stings of 30 below temperatures, I refuse to exchange what just might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a cup…

Puffins cover of Alaska magazine

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