Sunday, December 4, 2011

Peninsula Panhandle Ports; Juneau and Sitka

Tlingit totems.

Sitka, Alaska, the city itself, is like a living historic center.  It was settled by the Tlingit Indians when it was “discovered” they Russians. Alexander Baranof, Chief Manager of the Russian-American Company built a trading post in the late 1799 where Sitka is now. Relations between the two cultures deteriorated and the Tlingit’s burned down the Russian sector. Baranof returned, rebuilt, and became governor of Russian Alaska.
Salmon fishing was the main industry of this area until the 1950s when Salmon populations dropped. Today, tourism, commercial fishing, and the government are the economic mainstay of Sitka, Alaska. When we arrived, whole place was buried under an unseasonably large dump of snow. After skating around the slippery little town for a day or so, I finally broke down and bought a pair of boots--my only souvenier from this trip.
Temperate rainforests, such as this lush area, sport a larger biomass compared to tropical rainforests with their larger biodiversity...(or so I've been told.  It looks quite biomassive to me.)

Juneau grew from a Native fishing village inhabited seasonally to harvest fish, to become a hub for a large-scale hard-rock mining industry. The mountains surrounding Juneau were honey-combed into a giant underground gold mine: the Alaska-Juneau Mine (better known as the A-J Mine) and the Alaska-Gastineau Mill, owned by The Treadwell Gold Mining Company. The AJ Mine, at its peak, was the largest gold mine of its type in the world. Economic factors caused the mine to close in 1944. At that time it had produced more than $75 million in gold. It still has more miles of tunnels underground than there are surface roads in Juneau.

Mendenhall Glacier:

A growler, or bergy bit?  From a calving glacier.  So very blue!

This lovely little home was being decorated right as I took this picture, so I didn't get the finished product, but nonetheless, what is a post about Juneau without a picture of the governor's mansion?

And finally, a couple of studies in contrast.  Just for fun.

1 comment:

baby said...

Penny, the bishop's wife agreed months before to meet us in front of Red Dog Saloon for church on Mother's Day '08 and true to her word showed up. We enjoyed the members so much we stayed for both wards. Juneau is delightful. We loved seeing the Mendenhall Glacier as a member drove us back to town.