About Alaska


I thought I would share a few things about Alaska I have gleaned from various sources.

First a map of North America gives a good perspective of where we are.

North America


©1996 MAGELLAN GeographixSM Santa Barbara, CA (800) 929-4MAP

 The image I have next is a shot of a 3 dimesional model of Alaska produced by projecting 3D coordinates from USGS mapping for Geographical Information Systems (GIS) applications. It shows the overall topographical relief of this vast place.

AK Shade


Now some factoids;

  • Alaska has the largest land area of any U.S. state at 570380 square miles and is larger than all but 18 countries.
  • Alaska has about 1/5 of the total land area of the 48 contiguous states.
  • 17 0f the 20 highest peaks in the U.S. are in Alaska
  • Alaska has 29 volcanoes
  • and 33,000 miles of coastline
  • Alaska consist of 1/2 the world’s glaciers

  • Since the Aleutian Islands cross over the 180 degree longitude line, Alaska is in fact the westernmost, northernmost, and easternmost state.
  • Alaska is the only state to have coastlines on three different seas. The Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea.
  • Alaska is only 55 miles from Russia at the closest point.


    The Story of Alaska’s Flag

    us-ak Flag

    The Alaska state flag was designed by John Bell (Benny) Benson, a thirteen year-old in an orphanage in response to a contest sponsored by the Alaska Department of the American Legion. The prize was awarded in 1927. The flag was adopted by the Territorial Legislature in May, 1927 as Alaska’s official flag.

    The flag is dark blue, with eight five-pointed gold stars in the shape of "the Big Dipper" and a larger gold star representing the pole star, Polaris.

    When Alaska entered the Union in 1959, the territorial flag became the state flag. All the designs for the contest, as well as Benny’s prize–a gold watch engraved with the flag–are in the Alaska State Museum in Juneau. He did also win a $1000 trip to Washington, D.C.. to present the flag to President Coolidge, but never went because first his father was ill, and then President Coolidge was out of the country, so the $1000 was put to his education instead. Benny also picked the forget-me-not as the territorial (later state) flower.
    Source: Velma Moos Potter, God Flies Benny’s Flag, Frontier Publishing, Seattle, 1989
    John Andrew Lowe, 24 July 1995


    State Song (about the flag)

    Eight stars of gold on a field of blue
    Alaska’s Flag may it mean to you
    The blue of the sea, the evening sky
    The mountain lakes and the flow’rs near-by
    The gold of the early sourdoughs dreams
    The precious gold of the hills and streams
    The brilliant stars in the northern sky
    The "Bear," the "Dipper," and shining high
    The great North Star with its steady light
    O’er land and sea a beacon bright
    Alaska’s Flag to Alaskans dear
    The simple flag of a Last Frontier


    I have selected a few of my photos to share…

    The blue of the sea I caught chasing the light last October


    The deep blue of the evening sky (Taken in the 1070’s)

    Wildman Moon Shot

    The gold in my dreams is in the western sky;

    April Sky Gold


    Brush of Gold in the Sky




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    16 Responses to About Alaska

    1. Bri says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this with us.  I watch the Deadlest Catch on Discovery all the time.  I ever watch the reruns.  lol   I have been to Alaska but did not stay long.  I had a wonderful trip and had hoped to go agian.  But my health has failed me and it doesn\’t look like I will be able to return.  I do so,  enjoy the photos of this majestic land.  Thank you agian for giving me a view of a place so rare.

    2. Embrace says:

      Dear Steve,
      This is a lot of History . I have a love for Histroy espically Canandian, and this an excellent blog with so much information. Thanks for sharing all of it. I read some things in Nation Geo. lately but it was more on logging.
      Your Photos in the blog are ver nice Steve 🙂
      Bear Hugs

    3. Barb says:

      Hi Steve 🙂
      Thanks for picking a map that has Edmonton marked on it! 🙂  And I really found the topographical map interesting.  Love all your photos…some of my favourite from your collection, but do you really feel as old as that picture taken in the 1070\’s? <snicker>
      Hope you\’re having a great day up there in wilds of the north.

    4. PEP says:

       I learned something new today. I never realized before how close Alaska is to Russia. My 10 year old cousin was reading your blog with me and recognized the \’big dipper\’ on your state flag before we had read the facts you provided :-).

    5. account deleted says:

      Alaska is the last great frontier… You capture it well…
      I especially loved the night sky photograph… Extremely impressive.

    6. Embrace says:

      Good Morning Steve,
      Wow what a surpise this morning . You have a new look. Love the new profile photo. The Hat does it I think.
      Loved your comment about about our partners , Your Carolyn wont wait. Thats so funny.!!
      Take Care today and Have fun !!! 🙂 🙂 

    7. Embrace says:

      and I love love the sunset photo, it reminds me of the Prairie, Well done. All of them are as always.
      Bear Hugs my Freind 

    8. Aimee says:

       i would love to go there some day…
      *~*   :o) smiles are contagious…  :o)  so pass one on …  :o)  soon the whole world will be smiling… :o)   *~*

    9. J W says:

      Steve, your space brings me to life each time I visit.  You are to be greatly admired for the love you have for nature and the pride for home.  The photographs are simply glorious!!  Thanks for sharing with us.

    10. account deleted says:

      I thought this video was interesting… Is it the same where you are?
      Liz … oops, mean Lizzard

    11. Cindy says:

      Morning Steve!  Thanks for the Alaska history and geography lesson and for sharing your wonderful pictures.  I always liked the map where they place the actual size of the state of Alaska on top of the lower 48.  That\’s the only one that really shows how huge your state is.  It makes Texas look puny.  Those little maps they show on the weather makes Alaska look just slightly larger than Hawaii.  WRONG! 
      Hope all is well with you and that you have a great weekend.  Cindy 

    12. Sheila says:

      Steve, It is so interesting to look at this map and the distances we Space friends share and be amazed that a plastic keyboard and monitor can bridge that gap.  You really are a-way-up-there!!
      How fitting you chose blue and gold as the color theme for your beautiful Alaskan pictures, as the orphan Benny Bell did for the Alaskan flag.  Say, those are the same colors in the Forget Me Not!  I can\’t pick a favorite, so I won\’t (too early in the day for those kinda of decisions), they are all gorgeous.  I won\’t have trouble remembering your flag – I love (especially during a winter night) to get my bearings by finding the "Big Dipper" in the sky, no matter where I am and what I may be doing.  Thank you Steve for "bridging" the gap for all us….oh by the way, have you seen my bridge? Come by when you get the chance!
      hugs,your North Carolina frienda-way-down-hereSheila 

    13. Cheryl says:

      I can still remember when you became a state…I was in the 6th grade and everyone was excited.  Great information and even better pictures. 

    14. Embrace says:

      Steve, My Alaskan Buddy,
      We have lost of of our best  today. Hope you have a good day. 
      L and BHs

    15. Nessa says:

      What a great article and so informative – I also did not realise how close to Russia Alaska was.  Your photographs are truly stunning! 

    16. xenia lynn teresa says:

       I went to your other site, and saw the bear pictures. Reminds me of the time when I had to deal with raccoons.  Gosh did I feel somewhat neanderthal, then.  Well, I\’ll be visiting. You have nice pictures up here.

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