A Glimpse of Seward

Credits:  Chrissyw template, JSprague Brown Paper texture, JSprague “Home Away From Home” Brown Solid Paper

Known as the gateway to Kenai Fjord National Park, Seward was where we ended our cruising.  Our next destination, Anchorage is just 126 miles away and we will get there by train.  But before that, the next posts will be exploring Seward.  And here’s a glimpse in sepia.

For more Sepia Scenes, click here.

Sitka

Nestled on Baranof Island and protected by a myriad of small-forested islands, Sitka is a town not lacking in character.  Aside from it being home to native Tlinglits with the cultures still being practiced today, it was also the capital of Russia-America until its transfer to the U.S. in 1867.  It is in Castle Hill that the Russian flag was lowered and the American flag raised.

Easily managed by foot, we walked around town browsing through shops, walking along the harbor.

The first Russian church built in America, St. Michael’s Cathedral is a picturesque focal point in Sitka, topped by its magnificent onion-shaped dome.  And in addition to many historical sights and museums, as in many of Alaska towns, Sitka has a wide range of outdoor activities… fishing, kayaking, hiking, biking…

Oh and that focal photo?  That’s my way of taking my hat off to one of the best tasting, juiciest burger I’ve ever had.  Not exactly a “burger person”, this particular one called me at first sight and am I glad I listened.   😉

Hop on over to Little Red House for more fun mosaics.

Eagles in Abundance

Scenic Sunday

Bald Eagles have been the national bird of the U.S. since 1782.  While they are still protected under federal law, the birds are no longer “endangered” and about half of the 70,000 live in Alaska.  They are spotted year round but are especially abundant March through early July.

As the photos reveal, it was bald eagles galore for us that one day in June.  They were perched atop poles, on the beach, in flight around the harbor waiting for spawning herrings to appear.  They were spectacular.

For more scenes from across the globe, click here.

Sitka in Detail

Famous for its spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife and culturally rich history, we wandered around this former “Russian Capital” with an experienced Southeast Alaska photographer taking shots upon shots of its beautiful surroundings.

Sitka up-close from a beach

Please go to Little Red House for more fun mosaics from all over.

Alaskeros in Juneau

Juneau surges during the summer with thousands of cruise ship passengers, a significant source of income for the capital of Alaska.  Twelve decades ago the young city was swamped with prospectors.  Juneau was founded as a gold-mining camp in 1880, Filipinos already worked in the gold mines, mostly as ore sorters, it was however the canneries that drew the largest numbers of Filipinos to the territory.

Between 1878 and 1949, 134 canneries were built throughout the region employing workers from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including Chinese, Filipino, Japanese and Alaska Native.  Women and children worked in the canneries while the men fish.  Changing US immigration laws brought many more Filipinos to Alaska after 1922.  They were encouraged to go to the United States by industries seeking low-wage workers at a time when Chinese and Japanese immigration was being restricted.  All they needed was a birth certificate and a steamship ticket because until 1935, the Philippines was an American territory.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Filipino laborers spent their summers working in fish canneries and on farms in the West Coast during the rest of the year.  They were known as “schoolboys” as many of them earned the money that enabled them to pursue their education.

These Filipino seasonal migrant workers in the US are also known as Alaskeros.   They were instrumental in the formation of the first Filipino-led union in the US.  The Filipino cannery workers dominated the work force and during the depression, wages from unskilled jobs dropped by 40% hence the union.  In 1938 they were successful in abolishing the repressive contractor system that prevailed in the canneries.

Filipinos Today

At the height of the salmon cannery industry, there were about 9,000 Filipino workers in the territory, today the Filipino population number at least 13,000 evident not only in the Manila Square in downtown Juneau where a bust of our national hero, Jose Rizal lies but also in the food.

Highly recommended by the bartenders of our cruise ship is a stall selling Filipino style Barbecue and we had to have some.

The verdict…  unquestionably Pinoy BBQ.

Mendenhall Glacier

Credits:  Template by Crystal; Eyelet Twill in Natural by K Pertiet;  Solid Paper by J Crowley both from J Sprague’s Grand Intentions Kit.

Alaska’s most famous river of ice is attracting a lot of curiosity from visitors from around the world.  Fed from an icefield high above Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier is about 13 miles long, by no means the largest of Alaska’s numerous glaciers but perhaps the most visited given that it is only 13 miles from downtown Juneau and is accessible by bus and a mile-long walk.  One can also opt to bike.

As with 90 percent of Alaska’s glaciers, Mendenhall is shrinking at an increasingly rapid rate.  A sign that the world we live in is changing faster than we ever imagined.

Visit Little Red House and enjoy the many wonderful mosaics.