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Get a cup to go at this unique coffee house Tolkien fans, take note. You don’t need an eagle from Mordor to visit the Heart o’ the Shire. Just catch a flight to Naknek. Heart o’ the Shire, a hobbit-themed coffee shop, sits at milepost 2 of the Alaska Peninsula Highway, a strip of pavement that connects Naknek to King Salmon and nowhere else. The two towns share 850 residents and only one taxi, but the region buzzes each summer with Bristol Bay cannery workers and tourists visiting Katmai National Park and Preserve. That means out-of-town travelers stumble upon the Shire each summer. “It’s kind of fun when people discover you and they’re surprised,” said co-owner Eseta Sherman. Eseta has run the coffeeshop since 2008 alongside her husband, Richard, and their four kids, Maica, Aniva, Bethany, and Jesse. That first season, they operated from a double-wide trailer and a tent.…

“For most anglers, a 30-inch trout is a fish of a lifetime. To catch one that is truly wild and native is even rarer still. However, every fall on the Naknek river in Bristol Bay Alaska, fish like this are caught virtually every day. AK30 explores the suspense, drama, and beauty of chasing these truly wild rainbow trout. Only at IF4 in 2020! To find out more about the 2020 International Fly Fishing Film Fest go to flyfilmfest.com/

Visitors can see everything from bears and murres to sand dunes and salmon.

[by David Shaw]

It’s Denali National Park’s fault I live in Alaska. Fourteen years ago, I accepted a position as a field biologist, banding birds at the far end of the park’s only road. For two months I awoke every clear morning to a view of Denali itself, the Great One rising 20,320 feet into thin air. I was hooked, and have been here ever since.