Saturday, March 15, 2014

Goodbye Alaska... for now!

Well, my friends, my 2014 Alaska aurora adventure is nearing an end.  I'm sitting in the hotel and will be heading to San Diego tomorrow afternoon, and on to my desert home on Monday. Seems like ages ago that I stood under the dome of Juneau’s Marie Drake Planetarium speaking to several groups of wide-eyed stargazers and night sky photographers… but all good things must end, and so must my journey. But I’ll be back, as I have every year for the past 15, because there’s something about Alaska that draws me.

How big is Alaska?  Very big!
If you asked me to describe Alaska in just one word, that word would be "majestic." No question about it.  Majestic.  Whether it’s the towering, rugged snow-covered mountains or the delicate wisps of the northern lights, whether it’s the thunderous crash of glaciers calving before our eyes or the silent glide of bald eagles in search of prey… this is one majestic state. More volcanoes and earthquakes here than the rest of the U.S. combined; it’s so huge that one could cut it in half and Texas would go from the second largest to the third largest state!

Northern lights over Fairbanks
But perhaps the most wonderful part of Alaska is its people. Regular folks. No pretension here.  I doubt there’s a tuxedo or evening gown in the state. Regular, good-hearted folks who are friendly, generous, strong, resilient and, yes—when they enjoy outdoor activities at -40F—perhaps a little nuts. But they’re my kind of people, and I’m proud to call them my friends. And, while I was born and raised in Pennsylvania and now live in California, I am, in my heart of hearts, an Alaskan!

Thank you all for your kind hospitality and friendship; as always, I’m counting the days until I return next February. And to all my Facebook friends and fans around the world… thank you, too, for joining me along the way. I hope that, through my photos and words, I’ve been able to share with you my amazing adventure, and that you one day will discover the same excitement and wonder—the same majesty—that is Alaska.

Eight stars of gold on a field of blue...

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