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    Posted July 10, 2013 by
    Surrey, British Columbia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel photo of the day

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    Alaska, the last Frontier


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     speedy01 took his first Alaskan cruise from June 19 through the 29. He captured most of his photos from the ship. 'The highlight of the trip was, of course, viewing the mighty glaciers, a sight to behold, as well as humpback whales feeding,' he said. His first image was featured as CNN's Travel Photo of the Day for August 25, 2014.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    Last June I went on a cruise to Alaska, flew to Anchorage and a bus took us through Denali Park, where the wildlife abound. I have been told, this time of year though was not the best as the temperature rose to 30 degrees Celsius, and the wildlife took shelter from the heat, mosquitoes were a major problem, of course, good thing we had protection against the pesky insects.
    Mount McKinley is superb seen from the Lodge deck, a panoramic view of the entire range, not to be missed.
    On the way back, we boarded a train that took us back to Anchorage, a 9 hrs trip through unspoiled nature, the trees are short as the ground is soaked with water, so roots don’t have much of a hold, typical of high altitude areas. We saw a few moose and their babies running away from the train, not much else though.
    Back to Anchorage, we boarded the Sapphire Princess, a very luxurious ship that cruises periodically from Vancouver BC to Alaska. It now has a new bigger brother, the Royal.
    Cruising alongside the shore we approached the Glaciers, what sight to behold! Amazing mountains, incredible scenery, and icebergs in the water all around us, we saw the glaciers break down and tumble in the water with a thunderous noise! Whales were also spotted feeding in those waters. Black footed Kittiwakes were also seen resting on floating mini icebergs.
    The small ports of call along the way such as Skagway, Ketchikan, Juneau, were similar, but with a rich history. Many buildings are built on stilts, and are now transformed into small shops selling souvenirs to tourists. A myriad of tour operators abound in these towns, offering all sorts of entertainment, such as helicopter tours, float planes excursions, bus tours, even a bus that goes into water and floats! In 1870 George Piltz discovered gold in Juneau and he staked a 160 acres town site on the beach, soon prospectors arrived, bound for gold. Juneau was born.
    Today Juneau is the seat of Government for the territory of Alaska, and became a state capital on January 3, 1959.
    Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s ‘First City” because it’s the first major community that travelers come to as they head North.
    It’s hard to believe that 17.000 years ago the entire area was covered in ice! The area profound beauty has earned it the moniker of the “Yosemite of the North”.
    I have documented my trip from the ship; taking pictures of the Glaciers and the stunning landscapes along the way, and this will be my humble contribution.

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