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Alaska Magazine

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Congratulations to our 2022 photo contest winners. Each image tells a story or captures a slice of Alaska’s unique beauty, adventure, or way of life. This year, we’ve included photographers’ Instagram names so you can follow them online to see even more of their explorations around Alaska and beyond. We hope you enjoy these colorful images from around the Great Land. Grand Prize Winner JENNIFER SMITH @jfogle02 Look for this image on the cover of our February Issue of Alaska Magazine. Ice Bear: “Blessed with an early winter and a late salmon run, a Kodiak brown bear finds itself encased in ice. The ice around this young sow’s face makes the perfect heart shape.” Categories Alaska Life: Representing Alaskans and/or their way of life, traditions, culture, or authentic “only in Alaska” moments. CLOSE-UPS: Showing the close-up details of anything Alaskan, from nature to people to urban constructs. Scenic: Emphasizing the…

A Taste of Wild Alaska by Vivian Wagner One July a few years ago, my husband and I sailed and hiked with friends around Kodiak Island, and everywhere we looked we saw them: bright red and orange salmonberries, hanging from bushes, just waiting to be plucked and eaten. It was the first time I’d ever had these berries, and I fell in love with them. We picked handfuls, eating as many as we could right where they grew, and carrying overflowing containers back to the boat. Salmonberries (Rubus spectabilis) are members of the rose family, and they’re related to raspberries, cloudberries, and other brambles. In Alaska they grow predominantly in damp coastal areas in the southeast, southcentral, and southwest regions. Prized as food by indigenous peoples, salmonberries can be eaten raw or used for pies, tarts, pancakes, jam, or syrup. They’re also high in antioxidants and vitamins A and C.…

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.…