Archive for September, 2010

Awesome Alaska

What is our eastern most state?

What is our western most state?

The eastern most is Alaska. The western most is Alaska.

Alaska is so big it crosses the 180th parallel, the International Date Line, making it both our western and eastern most state.

Alaska is BIG. The distance from tiny Attu Island in the Aleutian Chain to the area down along the Southeast coast of Alaska, know as the Pan Handle, would span from San Diego to Tallahassee. It is larger than our twenty-one smallest states combined. It is bigger than Texas, California, Montana, combined with our three smallest states. It covers the same distance as four times zones in the lower 48 states. It is one-fifth the size of the lower 48 states combined.

Barrow is so far north they have 82 straight days the sun never sets.

Under the North Slope of Alaska there are 10 billion barrels of oil. The Trans-Alaskan Pipeline running from the North Slope to the Gulf of Alaska when full of oil contains over $300 million worth of oil. If the oil of Alaska were put in barrels and stacked one on top of the other the stack would reach to the moon —- eighteen times.

There are between 12 and 15 volcanos perking at all times. One-half of the glaciers in the world are in Alaska. There are 5,000 rivers of ice. The Malispina Glacier is larger than the country of Switzerland.

They have unimaginable mountains. Mt. Whitney in California is the tallest mountain in the Continental United States. Alaska has 14 peaks that are taller.

The tallest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest, sits on a plateau base of 14,000 feet before soaring up. If its base were at sea level as is Mt. Denali, then Mt. Everest would be only 15,000 feet. Measured the same way Denali, also known as Mt. McKinley, is 20,320 high.

We have just returned from fishing for Silver Salmon and men in Alaska. Three days were spent on a yacht in Resurrection Bay fishing for salmon. The weather one day caused me to wonder if we were type casting for “The Deadliest Catch.”

I visited at length with men bating their lines to go flounder fishing 14 hours out at sea. These men earn $130,000 a year to make six trips and they do earn it.

I fished for men at the Anchorage Baptist Temple the largest church in the state where the funeral of Senator Ted Stephens was held the same week.

The church has always been active in community life related to social, ethical, and moral issues. The secular press engaged in a prolonged campaign to discredit the pastor and church. For sometime it hurt the church badly. To counter this the church has bought five radio stations and one TV station that give a fair representation to Christianity, church, and pastor. They cover the vast territory just described and are changing lives.

Their harvest of souls is much greater than even my catch of Silver Salmon —- and I did well.