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AUGUST 2013 Departments 9

Spirit of Alaska A message from Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines’ president and CEO.


What’s New The latest news from Alaska Airlines.


People Behind the Spirit Flight Attendant Jacqueline Pope and Maintenance Controller Ed Baldwin.


Journal Notes on life around the Alaska Airlines route system. Edited by Ben Raker 129

138 Mileage Plan Adventures

African Adventure: Primate trekking in Uganda. By Candace Dempsey 144 Reader Information

Features 34

Creative Tradition The enduring artistry of Alaska Native cultures. By Eric Lucas


Touring the Rose City Experiencing Portland and Mount Hood. By Jim Moore


Deep Blue Diving amid Hawai‘i’s natural treasures. By Rob Dunton


Lava Lands Exploring Central Oregon’s geological past. By Kim Cooper Findling

A convenient way to hear from our advertisers. 147 Education

College Transitions: Tips for new students. By Greg Scheiderer 155 Autos

106 Driving Like a Pro

Pure Energi: Ford’s new plug-in hybrids. By Bengt Halvorson 161 Alaska Airlines Guide

to Services Travel tips, flight information, Mileage Plan, air safety, route maps, Vacations and more. 174 Crossword Puzzle


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90 Southern Oregon Charms

Programs help amateurs learn the secrets of professional race-car drivers. By Jeff Layton

Adventures from Crater Lake to Ashland. By Lee Juillerat 98

116 Where Science Meets Fun

Children’s museums and science centers make learning exciting. By Lora Shinn

Central Oregon Wonders Enjoying Eugene and the Oregon Coast. By Gary Hayes

129 Peonies from America’s

176 Photo Page


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Last Frontier This old-fashioned flower is all the more alluring once you discover it’s Alaska’s newest export. By Debra Prinzing



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AUGUST 2013 VOLUME 37, NUMBER 8 Publisher Mimi K. Kirsch Editor Paul Frichtl Senior Editor Michele Andrus Dill Associate Editors Jeff Bond, Paul Clarke, Ben Raker Editorial Interns Madison Dahlstrom, Rosalyn DiLillo, Kimberly Downing, Caroline Gabriel, Kelly Pantoleon Contributing Writers Candace Dempsey, Rob Dunton, Kim Cooper Findling, Bengt Halvorson, Gary Hayes, Lee Juillerat, Jeff Layton, Buddy Levy, Eric Lucas, Jim Moore, Debra Prinzing, Greg Scheiderer, Lora Shinn Art Directors Margaret Elson, Patty Warkentin Advertising Production Manager Theresa Santucci Design & Production Specialist Whitney L. Little

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SALES OFFICES 2701 First Avenue, Suite 250, Seattle, WA 98121 phone 206-441-5871; fax 206-448-6939 email Advertising Director Kenneth J. Krass, ext. 11 Western Washington/Eastern Washington/ Florida/Canada Becca Conversano, ext. 21 Western Washington/Illinois/Kansas/Missouri Stephany Angelacos, ext. 13 Oregon/Idaho/Montana/Colorado/Utah/Michigan Clay M. Schurman, ext. 33 California/Arizona/Nevada/Texas Yael Kallin, ext. 27 Alaska Duane Epton 3705 Arctic Boulevard, #452, Anchorage, AK 99503 phone 907-561-2450; fax 907-344-7262 East Coast Kenneth J. Krass, ext. 11 Hawai‘i Debbie Anderson 3555 Harding Avenue, Suite 2C, Honolulu, HI 96816 phone 808-739-2200; fax 808-739-2201 Mexico Paloma Martinez Presa de la Angostura No. 8, Col. Irrigación, Mexico D.F. 11500 phone 011-52-55-5395-8357; fax 011-52-55-5395-4985

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CEO Production Director Accounting Manager Advertising Data Wrangler Office Coordinator Coordinator for Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines Magazine (ISSN 0199-0586), the monthly inflight magazine of Alaska Airlines, is published by Paradigm Communications Group, at 2701 First Avenue, Suite 250, Seattle, WA 98121. Copyright ©2013 by Paradigm Communications Group, all rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission of the publisher. Subscriptions: $65 in the U.S.; $70 elsewhere. Single-copy price: $8. Photocopies of articles: $3.50. Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. Printed in the United States of America. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Alaska Airlines Magazine, 2701 First Avenue, Suite 250, Seattle, WA 98121-1123.


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Brad Tilden President and CEO



Today, I would like to tell you about a very impressive young man whom many of us at Alaska have come to know and admire over the better part of the last year. His name is Aaron Nee. Born and raised in Hawai‘i, he’s the artist responsible for the specially painted Spirit of the Islands airplane that graces the cover of this magazine. Aaron’s colorful design was selected by a distinguished panel of 10 judges in Recently, Aaron’s accomplishment Hawai‘i and a public vote by Island involved his design for our—OK, his— residents as the best out of 2,700 airplane, which he says took him more submissions in a statewide Paint the than 30 hours to perfect. Plane Contest. So how did Aaron end up with his Aaron is 17, and he’s soon to be a artwork on the side of an Alaska Airlines senior at Kaiser High School in Honojet? It started with some employees who lulu. In many ways, he’s like any other came up with the idea of kid. Aaron likes to go painting an airplane to to the beach (paddling honor the Aloha State’s is his “thing”; his unique culture and preferred vessel is an beauty. We partnered outrigger canoe). He with the Hawaii State also enjoys drawing, Department of Educahiking, ROTC and … tion and the Hawaii school. In fact, he Association of Indepengets virtually all A’s at dent Schools and Kaiser, and he plans to take advancedAaron Nee, with Brad Tilden, sees invited all students in placement classes this his artwork landing in Hawai‘i for the Islands to enter. Daniel Chun, our fall. He’s also received the first time. Hawai‘i regional mantwo awards for his ager of sales and community marketing, artwork. Bobbie Egan, our media relations manAll of us at Alaska have been really ager, and Mark Bocchi, our managing taken with Aaron. He is quiet and humdirector of sales and community marketble, and there’s a sweetness and honesty ing, led a team of employees from across about him that you can’t miss. the company. They handled every detail— Aaron has worked hard for what he’s from designing the contest to assemachieved, but his mother, Robin, tells us bling the panel of judges to organizing his journey hasn’t always been easy. an unveiling ceremony on June 3 in Aaron is a very high-functioning indiHonolulu. vidual who has Asperger’s syndrome, I stood next to Aaron as the 737-800 which is an autism spectrum disorder. touched down in Hawai‘i and he saw his Robin says her son is just more focused artwork larger than life for the first time. on school. “It gives kids with autism And then he got to sign the plane. It was hope that they can accomplish anything a moment to behold! they put their minds to,” she says. ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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Many of you have had a chance to experience our service to Hawai‘i. All of us at Alaska have been overwhelmed by the warm reception we’ve received from the people of Hawai‘i, and we’re proud of our growth in service to the Islands. In just five years, we’ve gone from one flight a day to 26, and we now fly customers between eight cities on the mainland and Hawai‘i’s four largest islands. The Spirit of the Islands airplane celebrates our service to Hawai‘i, as well as the very special relationship and cultural similarities between Hawai‘i (the 50th state to join the Union) and our namesake state of Alaska (the 49th). Both states are bordered by the Pacific Ocean; both are highly dependent on air transportation as a way of life; and both have proud and resilient people. I hope our service to Hawai‘i has been something you’ve been able to enjoy. If you’re lucky enough to live in Hawai‘i, I hope we’ve been a good community partner for your beautiful state. I also hope you get to see our new Spirit of the Islands plane showcasing Aaron’s incredible artwork. We thank Aaron for designing for us one of the most beautiful airplanes in the sky. And we thank you for flying with us today.

Brad Tilden, President and CEO 9

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El Espíritu de Alaska

Brad Tilden Presidente y Jefe Ejecutivo

UN JOVEN ASOMBROSO Hoy quiero contarles la historia de un joven extraordinario que muchos de nosotros aquí en Alaska Airlines hemos llegado a conocer y admirar durante la mayor parte del año pasado. Se llama Aaron Nee. Nació y creció en Hawái y es el artista responsable de la pintura especial del avión “Espíritu de las islas”, que honra la cubierta de esta revista. El diseño colorido de Aaron fue elegido por un panel distinguido de 10 jueces en Hawái y el voto público de los residentes de la isla como el mejor de 2,700 presentaciones del concurso estatal Pinta el avión. Aaron tiene 17 años y está por comenzar su último año en la escuela preparatoria Kaiser High School, en Honolulu. En muchos sentidos, es como cualquier otro chico. A Aaron le gusta ir a la playa (su pasión es el remo y su embarcación preferida es una canoa hawaiana). También disfruta el dibujo, el excursionismo, el Cuerpo de Oficiales Reservistas en Entrenamiento y … la escuela. De hecho, realmente saca As en prácticamente todo en Kaiser y tiene pensado tomar clases de colocación avanzada este otoño. También ha recibido dos premios por su trabajo de arte. Todos los integrantes de Alaska Airlines nos hemos encariñado con Aaron. Es bastante tranquilo y humilde; además, tiene una dulzura y honestidad difíciles de ignorar. Aaron se ha esforzado mucho para alcanzar lo que ha logrado, pero su madre, Robin, nos cuenta que su vida no siempre ha sido sencilla. Aaron es una persona altamente funcional que tiene síndrome de Asperger, un trastorno autista. Robin dice que su hijo simplemente se concentra más en la escuela. “Les da la a los chicos autistas la confianza de que pueden lograr cualquier cosa que se propongan”, comenta. Recientemente, el logro de Aaron fue 10

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el diseño de nuestro ... está bien, SU avión, cuyo perfeccionamiento le tomó más de 30 horas, según nos cuenta. Pero, ¿cómo hizo Aaron para que su obra de arte terminara sobre el costado de un avión de Alaska? Todo comenzó cuando a unos empleados se les ocurrió la idea de pintar un avión para honrar la belleza y la cultura singulares del estado de Aloha. Nos asociamos con el Departamento Estatal de Educación de Hawái y la Asociación de Escuelas Independientes de Hawái e invitamos a participar a todos los estudiantes. Daniel Chun, nuestro gerente regional de mercadotecnia comunitaria y ventas en Hawái, Bobbie Egan, nuestro gerente de relaciones con los medios, y Mark Bocchi, nuestro director general de mercadotecnia comunitaria y ventas, dirigieron un equipo de empleados de toda la compañía. Se encargaron de todos los detalles, desde el diseño del concurso y el armado del panel de jueces hasta la organización de una ceremonia de inauguración el 3 de junio en Honolulu. Yo estaba parado junto a Aaron cuando el avión 737-800 aterrizó en Hawái y él pudo ver por primera vez su legendaria obra de arte. Luego, se acercó a firmar el avión. ¡Fue un momento muy especial! Muchos de ustedes han tenido la oportunidad de experimentar nuestro servicio a Hawái. A todos nosotros aquí en Alaska Airlines nos ha dejado sin

palabras la cálida recepción de la gente de Hawái, y estamos orgullosos de haber crecido hasta llegar a las islas. En solo cinco años, hemos pasado de ofrecer un vuelo por día a 26 y, ahora, transportamos a nuestros clientes entre ocho ciudades del continente y las cuatro islas principales de Hawái. El avión “Espíritu de las islas” conmemora nuestro servicio a Hawái, así como la relación tan especial y las similitudes culturales entre Hawái (el 50.° estado en unirse a la Unión) y el estado de Alaska (el 49.° en unirse) que le da nombre a nuestra compañía. Los dos estados están rodeados de océano, dependen en gran medida del transporte aéreo como forma de vida, y albergan a personas fuertes y orgullosas. Espero que haya tenido la oportunidad de disfrutar de nuestro servicio a Hawái. Si tienen la suerte de vivir allí, espero que hayamos sido un buen socio de la comunidad para su hermoso estado. También espero que tengan la oportunidad de ver el avión “Espíritu de las islas” con la increíble obra de arte de Aaron. Agradecemos a Aaron por haber diseñado para nosotros uno de los más hermosos aviones que se pueden ver en el cielo. Y gracias por volar con nosotros hoy. —Brad Tilden



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WHAT’S NEW MORE SERVICE FROM SAN DIEGO Alaska Airlines continues to add great destinations from San Diego. New daily service between San Diego and Boise, Idaho, will begin November 1, 2013. And seasonal daily service between San Diego and Mammoth, California, will begin December 19, 2013, and end on April 13, 2014. Visit for our lowest fares.

ALASKA TO ADD REGIONAL SERVICE FROM SEATTLE AND PORTLAND This fall, Alaska will begin flying to several new cities from Seattle and Portland. From ski season to spring training, go to and let Alaska help you explore. ń Seattle–Colorado Springs begins 11/1 ń Seattle–Omaha begins 11/7 ń Seattle–Steamboat Springs begins 12/18 ń Portland–Reno begins 11/8 ń Portland–Tucson begins 11/1

NEW MEALS HIT THE SKIES This month, Alaska will begin offering a new slate of fresh meals on most flights more than 2.5 hours long. Featuring Chef Josh’s unique twist on everything from French toast to chop-chop salad, the fresh items are sure to please the palate. Let your flight attendants know what you think!

FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY Read Alaska’s Corporate Sustainability Report Alaska Air Group’s 2012 Corporate Sustainability Report summarizes the company’s progress on environmental, economic and social goals. The report focuses on efforts in 2010 and 2011, and is the company’s first document that conforms to the Global Reporting Initiative, an international standard for triple bottom line reporting: on performance, people and the planet. To take a look at the report, go to 14

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AROUND THE SYSTEM ³ Iron man or woman? Alaska will have volunteers, and its own team, at the Alaska Airlines Iron Horse Relay and Adventure Sports Festival on September 7. Teams take on 70 miles of paddling, riding and running, finishing at the Adventure Sports Festival in North Bend with a zipline, climbing wall and fun for the whole family. Get more info at ³ Alaska held its annual Employee Assistance Fund Golf Tournament in July, joining with sponsors to raise more than $100,000 for the EAF, which helps employees who are suffering financial hardship due to medical or catastrophic events.



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Born to Fly Each year, Alaska Airlines recognizes a handful of its most celebrated employees as Customer Service Legends—the airline’s highest honor. We invite you to learn about

Jacqueline Pope Alaska Airlines Legend

one of our Legends, Flight Attendant Jacqueline Pope. Jackie Pope barely even had an opportunity to dream about becoming a flight attendant before she had her first experience providing inflight service—when she was 5. In fact, Jackie says, her association with Alaska Airlines goes back to her early years in Germany, where her father was stationed as a serviceman, and Alaska Airlines was actively involved in the Berlin Airlift and the airlifting of Yemenite Jews to the new nation of Israel. When Jackie and her family were returning to their home in California in 1953, the stewards on the flight let Jackie hand out box lunches to GIs who were returning home. Today, she says the best part of her job is the interaction she has with passengers. “Every customer has a story to tell, and I love hearing them. You look at all the people we serve and you realize the number of lives we change by what we do and how we act. We have fun with passengers, and we’ve shared tears with some. They become part of our lives during that three-hour flight.”

Jackie’s favorite flights take her in and out of the state of Alaska, which she says she’s loved since she arrived in 1966. She lived in Cold Bay, on the Alaska Peninsula, and got a job with the Department of Fish and Game, working with sea otters and banding black brant birds. When she eventually moved to Fairbanks, she became a flight attendant for Wien Air Alaska, flying along the transAlaska oil pipeline project. In 1976, she moved to Seattle and figured she would go to work for Alaska Airlines. She was disappointed when she wasn’t hired at first, but she was persistent. Jackie spent 2 ½ weeks in front of the company’s headquarters, mornings and afternoons, greeting as many people as she could. She finally got a phone call letting her know that the flight attendant school had expanded by one position, and asking if she would like to apply. More than 37 years later, Jackie still can’t imagine doing anything else— unless it’s fly-fishing for arctic grayling near the Interior Alaska summer cabin

built by her husband, Alaska Airlines Captain Phil Pope, who retired in 2002. In addition to her flight attendant duties, Jackie served for many years on the board of the Association of Flight Attendants, on its grievance committee and with its Employee Assistance Program. Off the job, Jackie volunteers her time counseling and assisting women in the areas of substance abuse and domestic violence, issues she holds dear to her heart. “It takes nothing to be of love and assistance to another,” she says. Jackie’s caring attitude has inspired co-workers, as well. “Jackie is thoughtful to a fault, deeply compassionate and strives to make a difference on each and every flight,” says fellow flight attendant Dee Dee Ford. “She seems to want each person to leave the aircraft in better spirits than when they arrived.” In particular, that applies to military personnel. “Here I am, all these years later, still serving meals to service men and women returning home,” Jackie says. “It’s my honor.” —Paul Frichtl

VOLUNTEER SPIRIT A Sporting Mission Ed Baldwin has been a regular around Seattle-area softball diamonds for many years, as a parent, spectator, player and coach. He spent three years volunteering as an assistant coach for the Highline Community College fast-pitch softball team, where his daughter was a pitcher. Ed is a maintenance controller for Alaska Airlines, where he’s worked for 23 years. He started as a technician, performing maintenance on the airline’s fleet for 18 years. While he loves softball and continued to coach at Highline for another year after his daughter ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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Ed Baldwin with his daughter Faith.

Faith transferred to the University of Washington, Ed wanted to commit more of his time to projects with his church. His love for helping others has led him to Central Washington, where he worked with the Yakama Nation converting an old home to a church, and helped with youth programs. Also this summer, his mission work takes him to Davenport, Washington, to work with youth programs and to coordinate community handyman projects. Whether he’s on a softball diamond or a mission project, Ed is equally enthusiastic. “Really, it’s all about helping others,” he says. —P.F. 15

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Christine Uwera, of Rwanda’s Gahaya Links cooperative, shows one of her peace baskets.


Fun, food and entertaining attrac-


tions for the whole family—includ-


Garden Isle County Fair ing the Kauai Coffee Celebrity Chef Cook-off for Charity, the Garden and Anthurium Club exhibits—will be highlights of the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair, at Lı¯hu‘e’s Vidinha Stadium, August 22–25. This annual fair, which emphasizes locally grown products and fresh foods, is one of Kaua‘i’s largest events, drawing crowds of up to 50,000 people. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau and other local community and agricultural organizations. Alaska Airlines is the title sponsor of the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair. To learn more, visit www. —Madison Dahlstrom


Island Orchid Show, and the Bonsai

by a Hutu-Tutsi cooperative of women in Rwanda and intricate tapestries embroidered by the South African group Mapula are among the fine products of womenrun artisan groups on display at Seattle’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture through October 27. “Empowering Women: Artisan Cooperatives that Transform Communities,” a traveling exhibit curated by New Mexico’s Museum of International Folk Art, illustrates the powerful artistic abilities—and craftbased economic potential—of women who create art through 10 different international cooperatives. In addition to handmade artwork, the exhibit shares fascinating stories and photographs of the artists at work. To learn more, call 206-543-5590 or visit Powerful women of a different sort are recognized in “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power,” showing at Seattle’s EMP Museum through September 22. This exhibit honors more than 70 iconic female music performers, from Billie Holiday to Britney Spears, with videos, exclusive interviews and artifacts—including Lady Gaga’s first piano. For more information, call 206-770-2700 or visit —Madison Dahlstrom



Racing through the Rockies Top cycling teams from around the world test their endurance this month in the nearly 600-mile, seven-stage USA Pro Challenge (August 19–25)—on a course known for grueling climbs and incredible scenery. Returning to the race in 2013 is the winner of last year’s team competition, RadioShack Leopard Trek, and the world’s No. 1–ranked team, UK-based Sky Procycling. Spectators can watch as riders from these and 14 other teams face tests such as climbing to the top of Independence Pass—the race’s high point at 12,095 feet—and powering through an eight-lap circuit finish in Denver. At the end of each stage, jerseys will be awarded to individual riders in different categories. The rider with the best overall time earns the yellow Leader Jersey after each stage, and the rider with the best time at the end earns the title of overall champion. Racers in the USA Pro Challenge take on steep mountain climbs such as this one from Stage 3 of the 2012 race.

Fans will also have opportunities to participate in events surrounding the 2013 USA Pro Challenge. These include a 9 km run on August 25 in Denver, on the same course the pro cyclists will use just hours later. There will also be an all-ages bike ride earlier in the month, on August 11 in Fort Collins. For more information, visit —Kelly Pantoleon


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delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., during the Civil Rights Movement’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The nation will honor the anniversary of this historic occasion on August 28.

SUNSETS AND FLASHLIGHT TOURS This summer, visitors to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix have the opportunity to experience glorious Arizona sunsets while surrounded by the region’s intriguing desert plants, animals and habitats. The garden remains open until 8 p.m. throughVisitors explore a station on the Desert out the year, which, in summer Botanical Garden’s Flashlight Tour. months, allows guests chances to view the multihued twilight. Also, on Thursdays and Saturdays through August 31, the garden is hosting special Flashlight Tours in the evening hours. These self-guided tours have learning stations with staff available to answer questions. This format allows guests to move at their own pace, a particularly useful feature for families with children. At the stations, visitors learn about desert life forms such as tortoises, snakes, cacti and birds. Flashlights allow guests to view nocturnal wildlife and the fantastic forms of the desert night. For more information, call 480-941-1225 or visit —Kelly Pantoleon


Sculptures and Ships by the Bay More than 300 tons of sand will be sculpted into elaborate shapes and structures at the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge & 3D Art Exposition, being held August 30–September 2 at San Diego’s B Street Cruise Ship Terminal Pier. Attendees will watch as artists from Europe and North America complete intricate 10-ton to 15-ton creations that are far from typical sand castles. At the end of the


Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr.

competition, Sculptors’ Choice and People’s Choice Awards will be presented, based on voting by exhibition, leading metal, stone, glass and wood sculptors will be on hand selling their works. Also on Labor Day weekend, the Maritime Museum of San Diego, located two blocks north of the pier,



artists and spectators. At the accompanying

Top Secret No More A collapsible World War II–era motorbike, a two-man submersible used by British spies and a robotic dragonfly developed

will host its Festival of Sail, featuring cruises, a Tall

by the CIA are just a few of the nearly 300

Ship Parade and re-enactments of sea battles in

historical artifacts on display in “Spy: The

San Diego Bay. To learn more, call 619-236-1212 or

Secret World of Espionage,” showing

visit; or visit www. JON GEBHART —Kimberly Downing

The selfpropelled Insectothopter, a robotic dragonfly developed by the CIA in the 1970s, is thought to be the world’s first unmanned aerial intelligence vehicle.

through October 6 at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Museumgoers learn the stories and secrets of real-life spies and explore the evolution of gadgets—some of which were declassified specifically for the exhibit—from the extensive collection of intelligence historian H. Keith Melton as well as from various intelligence organizations. Visitors can also test their spy skills through interactive activities that include navigating a laser field, experimenting with voice-altering technologies and using a “bone-conductivity” device that sends otherwise-inaudible messages to one’s ears by gently vibrating the jaw. The exhibit will travel on to California’s Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and Library in October and will appear at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center in 2014.

Sandman Blues, by John Gowdy, was a “World Masters” entry in the 2012 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.


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For more information about the Philadelphia showing, call 215-448-1200 or visit —Caroline Gabriel


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Idaho native Chris Williams played in this June’s U.S. Open as the world’s No. 1–ranked amateur.

THE NATURAL first golf club at the age of 5, hitting a ball around the public University of Idaho Golf Course in Moscow, Idaho. He enjoyed it, but he liked baseball, too, and he excelled at both. Then in seventh grade, he decided to focus on golf. It was a good decision. By his senior year of high school, Williams had won four consecutive Idaho 4A state championships. He received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Washington and play for its consistently high-ranked golf team. By the start of his senior year at the UW, he’d shattered nearly every record in the school’s history, set records at 14 golf courses— he can’t remember them all— and become the top-ranked amateur golfer in the world. This May, Williams (whose teammates at UW called him “Willy”) won the Ben Hogan Award as the top player in men’s



college and amateur events. In mid-June, Williams played in the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. Though he missed the cut at this event—by one shot—he signed an endorsement contract with Nike and went pro just days afterward. Later in June, at the Travelers Championship, his first professional event, he shot 3 under par, tied for 30th place and earned $32,584. And he’s still never had an independent swing coach or taken a formal lesson.

Williams remembers when his dad handed him his first club. “He said, ‘Play if you want,’ but he didn’t force me,” says Williams. “He was very hands-off. He never told me how to hit it; I just watched him and my brother Pete, and I figured it out on my own. It just came naturally to me.” That’s an understatement. And Chris Williams remains an understated athlete. He doesn’t pay much attention to rankings; he doesn’t even know how they work. He just plays— pretty much all day, every day.



The Arts’ Kind of Town Modern and contemporary works from 16 countries and more than 120 galleries are due to appear at Expo Chicago (September 19–22), now in its second year at historic Navy Pier.

and the performance-art percussionists Blue Man Group. Several local restaurants will highlight culinary arts with special menus and art-themed cocktails. For more information, call 312-867-9220 or visit www. the exhibition “Impressionism, Fashion, and

Vernissage benefit gala, will also lectures and performances.

Theater, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Also showing in Chicago at this time is

The fair, which opens with the feature large-scale installations,

His brother Pete, who is 10 years older, played collegiate golf at the University of Idaho, and their dad is also a low handicapper. Still, by the time Chris was 12, he had already beaten them both. Now Williams aims to continue using his natural swing and focused temperament on the PGA Tour. Instead of moving to warmer climes such as Arizona or Florida, he plans to stay in the Seattle area as he adjusts to life as a pro. “It’s about comfort level,” he says. “I want to stay near [UW] Coach Matt Thurmond, who fuels my competitive fire, and still interact with the guys on the team. It’ll help me keep my routine.” That routine so far includes winning at every level. Odds are that Williams will keep winning on the PGA Tour— and that he’ll do so in his usual way. Naturally. —Buddy Levy

Expo Chicago returns to Navy Pier in September, along with a wealth of other citywide arts events.

This year, Expo Chicago will expand off the pier by partnering

Modernity,” which continues its run at the Art Institute of Chicago through September

29. Approximately 80 paintings and drawings—by Monet, Renoir,

with various institutions around Chicago for the first-ever Expo Art

Manet and others—combine with 19 period dresses to illustrate the

Week (September 16–22). During this citywide celebration of arts

interplay between fashion and Impressionism. To learn more, call

and culture, visitors can enjoy shows by the Chicago Shakespeare

312-443-3600 or visit —Kimberly Downing


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Last Frontier Fairs Two family-friendly events, the Tanana Valley State Fair and the Alaska State Fair, aim to showcase the state and bring communities together late this summer for fun, entertainment and education. First up, the Tanana Valley State Fair (August 2–11), in the Fairbanks area, includes The Alaska State Fair features giant-produce competitions, native Alaska animals (such as the caribou shown here), and exhibits and performances.

agriculture competitions and experiences for fairgoers of

all ages—from lawnmower races to pie-eating contests to a classic Antique Tractor Pull. To learn more, call 907-452-3750 or visit Celebrations continue August 22–September 2 when the Alaska State Fair, held in Palmer, 45 minutes northeast of Anchorage, presents events such as the 18th Annual Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off. Last year’s winner set the Guinness World Record for heaviest cabbage, at 138.25 pounds. Other fair activities include the on-site display of the world-class “King Tut” exhibition, a Dutch oven cook-off, a two-day rodeo, and nightly entertainment with performers including comedian Bill Cosby and rock band Foreigner. For more information, call 907-745-4827 or visit —Madison Dahlstrom


New Smithsonian Aerospace Exhibits Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum recently launched three exhibits that will show at the museum through December 1, 2013. MARK AVINO, COURTESY: SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

“High Art: A Decade of Collecting” is a 50-piece exhibit of paintings and photos relating to flight and space travel. Featured works include the paintings Home Sweet Home by Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean and The Fledglings by Rudolph Dirks. The “Suited for Space” exhibit displays photos, X-ray images and space-suit artifacts that reveal how equipment for space travel has evolved over the past five decades. Audiences can view images of boots, helmets, gloves and suits, some of which were worn by astronauts such as John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin. “Suited for Space” will travel to Tampa, Philadelphia and Seattle between January 2014 and March 2015. The third exhibit is sculptor Angela Palmer’s Searching for Goldilocks, a work consisting of 18 glass sheets that represent sections of the universe in

Astronaut Alan Bean wore this space suit on the 1973 Skylab 3 mission.

which people search for “just right” conditions for life. For more information, call 202-633-2370 or visit —Kimberly Downing


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American’s Best BBQ Homestyle By Ardie A. Davis and Paul Kirk; Andrews McMeel Publishing In this grilling guide, Kansas City champion pitmaster Paul Kirk and contest judge Ardie Davis have collected favorite home barbecue recipes from some of the nation’s most famous competitive grillers, complemented by tips and commentary from these chefs. With more than 100 recipes for starters, sides, entrees and desserts, this cookbook provides ideas to turn even casual summer barbecues into feasts. —Rosalyn DiLillo The Day the Crayons Quit By Drew Daywalt; pictures by Oliver Jeffers; Philomel Books Southern California author Daywalt and New York Times best-selling illustrator Jeffers give voices to hardworking crayons in this creative kids’ book. Blue needs a break from filling in oceans. Yellow and Orange squabble over the color of the sun. Their comments and complaints are presented in a set of letters that are seemingly drawn in—what else?— crayon. —Kelly Pantoleon


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JOURNAL calendar BRONX, NY Through September 2 “Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909– 1929: When Art Danced with Music,” a multimedia exhibit about the renowned dance company and its founder; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC;


are found in Central and South America, contain chemicals that for centuries have been the source of antimalarial medications. Before modern quinine drugs made The exhibition “Wild Medicine” features an use of cinchonas, people Italian Renaissance garden, released the plants’ healing based on a 1545 original. powers by chewing their bark. This medicinal plant and more than 500 other species are on display through September 8 at the “Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World” exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden. Among its other features, “Wild Medicine” includes a sensational Italian Renaissance garden, a re-creation of one of Europe’s oldest botanical gardens, from 1545. Other highlights include “The Renaissance Herbal,” a collection of rare books and manuscripts that illustrate the historical role plants have played in medicine; an imaginative “Four Seasons” sculpture display; and interactive demonstrations showcasing the healing powers of plants. Most of the medicinal plants for the exhibition, including exotic and endangered species, were grown in The New York Botanical Garden glasshouses. For more information, call 718-817-8700 or visit —Madison Dahlstrom

Through September 8 “Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion,” avant-garde fashion; Seattle Art Museum; 206-654-3255 or Through September 15 “DallasSITES: Charting Contemporary Art, 1963 to Present,” 50 years of North Texas art; Dallas Museum of Art; 214-922-1200 or Through September 23 “Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes,” works by the multitalented architect and artist; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; 212-708-9400 or


Bay Area Art Festivals Several Bay Area locations are featuring art festivals to wind down summer in style. The

August 22–September 2 Minnesota State Fair, food, fun and more than 100 acts; Minnesota State Fairgrounds, Minneapolis/St. Paul;

Palo Alto Festival of the Arts (August 24–25; expects upward of 150,000 visitors, with attractions ranging from a steel sculpture garden to a giant Italian chalk art display. Another longstanding tradition, the Millbrae Art & Wine COURTESY: MLA PRODUCTIONS

Festival (August 31–September 1;, which has a Mardi Gras theme this year, will feature the work of 250 jury-selected artists, along with a popular kids’ Playland area that includes a zipline. Rounding out Labor Day weekend will be the nautical-themed Sausalito Art Festival (August 31–September 2; www., featuring a

August 30–31 Ka¯‘anapali Fresh, a festival devoted to Hawaiian food and culture; Ka¯‘anapali Beach, Maui, HI; September 1–30 California Wine Month, events at participating venues statewide;

120-foot marine schooner sculpture as well as 260 artists and many other attractions and events, some of which will relate to the 34th America’s Cup (which will hold its finals in San Francisco Bay, September 7–21). Other late-summer festivals in and near the Bay Area will include

More than 60 artists are due to participate in this year’s Italian Street Painting Expo at the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts.

the ocean-oriented Bodega Seafood Art & Wine Festival (August 24–25;, Silicon Valley’s vibrant, multicultural Mountain View Art & Wine Festival (September 8–9; and the community-oriented Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival (September 14–15; santaclaraca. gov/index.aspx?page=2360). —Kelly Pantoleon


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September 6–8 Orlando Fall Home & Garden Show, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL; 407-685-9800 or September 28 Museum Day Live!, free admission to more than 1,400 institutions nationwide;


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Maya Art in LA Though perhaps best-known for its innovations in astronomy and calendar systems, the ancient Maya civilization also produced skilled artists whose works were widely celebrated, even during their own lifetimes. Maya These incense-burning censer stands are found near the entrance to “The Ancient Maya World,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


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ceramicists, for example, were highly educated members of their culture’s elite class who created graceful pottery and decorated it with intricate geometric motifs and representations of rituals. Today, the works of Maya artists can be appreciated in the exhibition “The Ancient Maya World: Masterworks from the Permanent Collection,” showing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through March 2, 2014. Among the exhibit’s 38 pieces are two nearly 4-foot-tall censer stands from the Maya Late Classic period (a.d. 600–900), from the Palenque area of Mexico, within the modern state of

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Chiapas. Censer stands were used for burning incense and often depicted and honored divine beings. They were an important part of the Maya ceremonial culture. For more information about the exhibit, call 323-857-6000 or visit

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CREATIVE TR ADITION The enduring artistry of Alask a Native cultures By Eric Lucas

Joel Isaak first became fascinated by salmon skin when he was a young boy at his town’s tr aditional fishing camp on Alask a’s Kenai River. His family caught hundreds of salmon each year along a sandy beach near Soldotna, and while helping process the catch, the 8-year-old began to mull the char acteristics of sockeye skin. “It seems so light and thin and flimsy, but have you ever tried to use a slightly dull knife on it? No go. You can cut your finger, but not the fish skin,” Isaak says. “Consider shark skin—it’s one of the world’s strongest leathers. Salmon are not sharks, but their skin is a lot more dur able than you’d think.” 34

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Left: Da-ka-xeen, the Thlinget Artist, 2007. This digital photograph by Da-ka-xeen Mehner depicts the artist, seated on the left (and pictured above), juxtaposed with an archive image of an early 20th century elder. This work, along with the artwork at right, can be seen at the Alaska Native Arts Foundation Gallery in Anchorage.


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Isaak has turned that boyhood wonderment into a series of signature artworks that are bringing the now 24-year-old artist acclaim—and that perfectly epitomize 21st century Alaska Native art. The term “Alaska Native art” brings to mind towering cedar totems with colorful natural icons carved in swirling geometric shapes; elegant bentwood boxes delicately painted in similar designs; fine hand-carved jewelry in silver or stone; and luminous robes decorated with vivid natural designs or buttons. Pieces such as these represent a cultural heritage that dates back millennia, and that stretches from the Iñupiaq villages in the far north to Yup’ik communities along the Bering Sea to Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian settlements in Southeast Alaska. These artworks and cultural artifacts have been collected for centuries, are prominently featured in major museums around the world, and are still being made by

wall panels; parka silhouettes may be shadowed onto paper canvases; historic photographs may be altered to position modern Alaska Natives next to 19th century elders. These works are art and craft, traditional and innovative, provocative and appealing—and, taken as a whole, they provide one of the Great Land’s most dynamic cultural forces. Isaak typifies the movement. For the past three years he has been making what he calls “family self-portraits,” masks made of tanned salmon skin on which he embosses his facial features and those of his relatives. Introduced to the wider world at an opening last winter at Anchorage’s Alaska Native Arts Foundation Gallery, the masks present an evocative blend of thoroughly modern artistic concept and traditional materials and techniques. I examine the pieces closely; almost translucent, the masks have an evanescent quality that heightens

hundreds of Native artists today. But art does not stand still, and from the Arctic to Southeast Alaska, from Inuit to Haida, artists with Native heritages are expanding the styles, materials and concepts of their people’s traditions into new territory that is intriguingly different, yet recognizably indigenous. Today’s artists are moving beyond old debates and divisions between “art” and “craft,” and are developing unique creative forms inspired by the past but invigorated by the present. Totems may be divided into pieces and turned into

Above: Tiq’u vava (Dried Salmon Mask), a work by Joel Isaak (right), features the facial features of Isaak’s family members embossed on the skin of sockeye salmon.



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Anchor age’s Original Residents For more than a thousand years, the Dena’ina people have inhabited Alaska’s Cook Inlet region—but not until now has a major museum devoted significant space to their culture and traditions. The Anchorage Museum’s new exhibit “Dena’inaq’ Huch’ulyeshi: The Dena’ina Way of Living” is expressly designed to change public awareness and perception of the people who greeted the first European settlers in the Anchorage area. “Too many people thought of no people there,” says Aaron Leggett, special exhibits curator at the museum and a Dena’ina who has spent the past few years putting together this show. “I could even say ‘I am Dena’ina’ to other Alaska Native people and they’d know nothing about us.” The Dena’ina were Alaska’s most numerous Athabascan people, before introduced diseases and other postcontact challenges reduced their numbers. They were also Alaska’s only coastal Athabascans, melding interior and Pacific lifestyles into a unique blend. Though the Dena’ina were largely unknown in modern times, their history has not vanished, as Leggett discovered as he sought Dena’ina art and artifacts for the exhibit. More than 200 ethnological items will be on display, gathered from museums around the world and supplemented by artifacts from local sources. Caribou-skin garments, arrows fletched with hawk feathers, interior-style beadwork and gut raincoats are among the treasures on display; dioramas depict subsistence activities such as drying salmon; and archival photos document traditional lifestyles. “We’re in a cultural vacuum no more, we hope,” Leggett says. The exhibit opens September 15 and runs through January 12, 2014; for more information, visit anchoragemuseum. org. —E.L.


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Right: Gold Kupak II, a work in acrylic polymer, ink and walrus stomach, by Sonya KelliherCombs (above). Below: Breaching Killer Whale, 2008, a glass sculpture by Preston Singletary, at the Anchorage Museum.

their abstraction—but the facial features are distinctly figurative, and they are made from a natural material that’s long been central to North Pacific indigenous life. Historically, salmon skin was fashioned by Native women into utilitarian objects such as waterproof bags and containers. “By itself, it’s water-resistant; if you oil it, it’s pretty much waterproof, so you might use a five-gallon bag for, well, a laundry bucket,” Isaak explains. “The fact that I’m male using this material means I’m blending traditional roles as well as traditional and modern artistic philosophies.” Isaak takes great delight in the fact that he is pushing boundaries in several directions— which is another common feature among many of today’s Alaskan artists. The common impulse to categorize things is unnecessary, argue Alaska art experts who happily welcome innovations such as Isaak’s, innovations that typically prompt a number of questions that invite categorization: Art or craft? Male or female? Indigenous or not? Traditional or modern or even postmodern? “We shouldn’t have to pick, should we?” responds Anchorage Museum curator Julie Decker, who advises the museum’s acquisitions committee on the purchase of about 30 pieces of Alaska art each year, and who created a museum exhibit illustrating the dynamic world of contemporary Native art, “Re/Marks” (through April 13, 2014). The three dozen pieces in the exhibit cover several decades of contemporary Native art and run the gamut from comfortably representational (the art-world term that means “looks recognizably like what it is”) to abstract but familiar, such as James Schoppert’s deconstructed, nonlinear totems. These totems not COURTESY: ANCHORAGE MUSEUM

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Though there are many galleries

any foreign-made item imported

and shops throughout Alaska

into the United States for sale

that offer visitors authentic

here must bear a conspicuous

Native art for sale, some other,

label identifying the item’s

usually cheaper, items are manu-

country of manufacture, and

factured overseas. Alaska Native

that any item purporting to be

advocates urge that visitors who

Native-made be so in fact. But enforcement is difficult,

wish to support indigenous Alaskan artisans be mindful of

and it’s easy to find souvenir

their purchases while in the

items that do not comply with

Great Land.

this rule (and this is true

“Our members out there in

throughout the country, not

rural communities have homes

just in Alaska). If you have any

to sustain, bills to pay, families to

doubt about the origin of an

support,” says Trina Landlord,

item, just ask.

executive director at the Alaska

Notable purveyors of

Native Arts Foundation. “Our

authentic, verified Alaskan art

mission is to help them find a


way to be full-time artists, and

€ The Alaska Native Arts

low-priced competition from

Foundation Gallery,

non-authentic foreign manufac-

500 W. Sixth Avenue in down-

turers is a real issue.”

town Anchorage. The gallery participates in the city’s very

Buying an item with the Silver Hand label ensures that

popular year-round First Friday

the item was made in Alaska by

art walks, which encompass two

an Alaska Native, but not all

dozen shops and restaurants.

Native artists are enrolled in the

€ Gift shops at the Anchor-

state program. Landlord says

age Museum (;

the key for visitors who wish to

Alaska Native Medical

be sure they are supporting

Center (; Museum of

Native artists is to ask about any

the North (;

piece they are interested in and

Alaska State Museum and

seek a certificate of authentic-

Sheldon Jackson Museum

ity—which is exactly what


thoughtful institutional buyers in

Numerous private stores and

Alaska do now, whether they

art galleries throughout Alaska

represent state museums or

also make sure their Native art

businesses such as the Native-

is authentic and correctly

owned Seward Windsong Lodge

labeled. Again, just ask for

and Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge,

additional information. For more information about

owned by Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated (CIRI), a Native

buying Native art, visit the


Federal Trade Commission page

“Inquire about the artist’s

devoted to the topic at

cultural affiliation, see if the

Additional information is also

shop has a biography of the

available from the U.S. Depart-

artist, ask for a detailed descrip-

ment of the Interior’s Indian

tion of the piece—that is, the

Arts and Crafts Board, at doi.

material, when it was crafted and

gov/iacb, and from the Office of

where, and so on,” Landlord

the Alaska Attorney General’s


Consumer Protection Unit, at

Federal law requires that


AAM 08.13 Alaska Native Art.indd 39




The Rose Berry only approached this classic indigenous Alaska Art Gallery form from a modern perspective, but also, at Museum of the Decker says, brought the artist critical North in Fairbanks. feedback within his Tlingit community because of concerns he had abandoned traditional precepts. “We cannot return to the old ways, but we must retain the old ways and reflect them in our attitudes and in our art. This will be our contribution,” explained Schoppert, who died in 1992. Some modern Native artists have encountered challenging experiences in the outside world, as well. Artist Sonya KelliherCombs, now a revered veteran of the Alaska art world, laughs today about an experience she had years ago as a budding artist. She was determined to gain a review in a major art magazine for a solo show of her work at the Anchorage Museum, and contacted one of the magazine’s correspondents and offered to pay for him to come to Alaska to view the show. “I didn’t care what he wrote—I just wanted a major critic to see it,” Kelliher-Combs told a gathering of artists and art fans at the museum last spring. “He refused. He told me, ‘If you really want to be an artist, you have to move out of Alaska.’ I didn’t want to do that.” Today, her pieces—which incorporate paper and indigenous fibers and feature silhouettes along with traditional symbols and patterns—hang in museums across North America and command high prices from collectors. Younger artists no longer face the same level of skepticism about working in Alaska. Anna Hoover, an Aleut-Norwegian multimedia artist and videographer, has shown her work in Russia and New Zealand as well as in many U.S. locales; has received grants from arts foundations in Alaska and the Lower 48; and has shown her films documenting Native cultures and art to audiences across the United States. Now, Hoover is establishing a foundation to provide a residency retreat center in Anchorage for Native artists to gather and work. “To the outside world, Alaska’s not just a big place with gold and oil any more,” says Hoover, who also commercially fishes in 39

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Bristol Bay each summer. “There are quite a few young Native artists doing worthwhile, appealing and thought-provoking work, and the world is taking notice of what’s happening here.” On the other hand, some Native artists have benefited by journeying far from Alaska. Many have studied at the seminal Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and some have sidestepped art-world obstacles by delving into classic anthropology. Delores Churchill, a revered elder widely credited with reviving Haida basketry as an art form, found early in her career that if she wanted to rediscover the exact techniques her ancestors had used, she’d need to travel to London. There, in the British Museum, was the best collection of historic Haida baskets; she obtained a grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts to spend several months studying the baskets, which enabled her to better understand the weaving techniques her forebears had used. The novelty of needing to cross the

Performers during the 2013 Fairbanks Festival of Native Arts, an annual celebration at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

ocean to find historic Native art—that had originally been collected as anthropological craftwork—illustrates the way that old tensions between “art” and “craft” have evolved from conflict into catalyst for today’s Native artists. Historic precedent is the reason, for instance, that the storage archives at Fairbanks’ Museum of the North have separate sections devoted to “art” and “craft,” but it’s clear that the distinction is often unnecessary. Guided by collections manager Angela

Linn, I’m standing between two rows of storage cabinets beneath the museum’s main floor: on one side, the ethnographic collection, on the other, the art collection. On one side, I peruse a modern work of non-Native concept art in which a gold pan is holding a high-heel-clad mannequin leg; on the other, I bend down to look at an exquisite sealskin bidarka (kayak) model, 18 inches long, holding a 4-inch doll figure. The entire model is made of delicate skin or gut, features marvelously intricate hand

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Support Authentic Alaska Native Art

The Next Generation Berry Picker, Earl Atchak, Cup’ik, Chevak; (c) 2003, University of Alaska Museum of the North, Rasmuson Foundation Art Acquisition Fund Collection, UA2003-13-1,-2

It is illegal to advertise or sell art or craftwork by falsely stating or falsely implying that it is made by an Alaska Native or American Indian. Before making a purchase, ask for a written guarantee of authenticity and for documentation about the artist and his or her tribal affiliation, the materials used, and the price. Look for the Silver Hand symbol; this certifies that an item is an authentic Alaska Native handicraft. For a free brochure on the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, or to file a complaint about counterfeit American Indian or Alaska Native art, contact: U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Arts and Crafts Board 1849 C Street, NW, MS 2528-MIB Washington, DC 20240 Toll Free: 1-888-ART-FAKE or 1-888-278-3253 Email:


AK_0813_FPAds01.indd 41

The Alaska Attorney General’s Office investigates claims of counterfeit Alaska Native art and other unfair and deceptive marketing and sales practices in Alaska. For a free brochure on Alaska Native Art, or to file a complaint, contact: Office of the Alaska Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit 1031 West 4th Avenue, Suite 200 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Toll Free: 1-888-576-2529


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stitching and is outright gorgeous. The bidarka is in the ethnographic collection—craftwork of undetermined Aleutian origin, added to the collection in 1944. The gold-pan-mannequin is in the art collection. I mention the interesting choice of categorization to Linn; she nods. “We debate this all the time. Is it art? Craft? It doesn’t make much difference here in the basement of the museum, I suppose, but it is of huge significance out in the real world of artists trying to make a living—‘art’ consistently commands higher prices than ‘craft,’ ” she says. “And museum buyers set the tone for the world of private art collection,” she says, explaining that if a piece is called “ethnographic,” the unintended result may be to arbitrarily categorize the work and diminish its value. Museum of the North, an adjunct of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, holds an upstairs gallery that discards all these labels and categories. The Rose Berry Alaska Art Gallery has sealskin parkas— the ultimate ethnographic “craft”—side by side with Sydney Laurence paintings of Denali, an excellent example of Europeanstyle representational art. Ancient is next to new; Native beside Western; and sculpture, textile, painting, beadwork and jewelry are all exhibited as one. Museum director Aldona Jonaitis deliberately created the gallery to bypass traditional organizational categories; to her, a work is art if people want to see it—and its significance is carried within the artwork and the viewer’s reaction to it. But Jonaitis (author of Understanding Totems, a recent guide from the University of Washington Press) fervently advocates one level of categorization: Art should not be called “Native” or indigenous unless it is crafted by a Native person, and art buyers ought to honor the distinction. “If you care about indigenous people, then you care about empowering them to thrive—and one key way to do that is to make sure that when you buy something purportedly Native, it is actually made by a Native person,” Jonaitis says. Such an objective might seem easy to achieve in Alaska; around 15 percent of the AUGUST 2013


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stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population is Alaska Native or American Indianâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;close to 100,000 people, according to census ďŹ gures. Many Alaska Natives practice a subsistence lifestyle that includes, during the dark winter months, crafting objects ranging from dolls to bracelets to paintings to totems that are offered for sale at Native outlets, mainstream galleries or gift shops. Many such artists enroll in the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Silver Hand programâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;administered by the Alaska State Council on the Artsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; which allows them to attach a label identifying their work as Native-made; Silver Hand participants must be enrolled members of one of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more than 200 Native villages or federally recognized tribes. Sounds simple, but by no means do all Native artists enroll in Silver Hand, and not even all the 1,250 members of the Alaska Native Arts Foundation are Silver Hand enrollees. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some of our members just say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Well, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m Native, and I produce art, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need the government to tell me what kind of artist I am,â&#x20AC;? says Trina Landlord, ANAF director. The organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission is to provide a forum and broaden exposureâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and thus improve livelihoodsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; for Native artists. ANAFâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chief arena for that is its downtown Anchorage gallery at 500 W. Sixth Avenue; though fairly small, the gallery has an active schedule of shows and exhibits, and has been the launchpad for many young Native artists, such as Joel Isaak, whose salmon skinâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;mask show opening drew 500 art fans. In addition, pieces by many well-known Native artists (whether the subject of current shows or not) are available for sale. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where I ďŹ rst spied two marvelously engaging pieces by Da-ka-xeen Mehner, a Tlingit-German artist whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s now a professor at UAF (and was one of Isaakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mentors). Mehner produces such a wide range of art that one cannot categorize him as painter, carver, sculptor or photographerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;he does all that, and moreâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;but his two possibly best-known pieces both feature him as a performance artist in a piece of conceptual photo art. My favorite shows Mehner, dressed in ancestral regalia, posed in a chair across AUGUST 2013


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from a heritage photo of an early 20th century Tlingit elder, taken in a Ketchikan photo studio. The headdress-clad elder looks vaguely disconcerted; Mehner, for his part, looks puzzled, and if you inspect the image closely, he has a camera in his hand. “One day I was looking through old photo archives, and I stumbled on this picture,” recalls Mehner, a Tlingit member of the Killer Whale Clan. “Then I noticed that the model was named Da-yuc-hene,” which sounded similar to Da-ka-xeen’s name. “I thought, ‘Hmmm. ... ’ You see the result.” He laughs, which he does a lot. As serious as the Native art ethos and universe may seem, humor is an integral part of the Native world, and humorous stories consume vast amounts of time whenever artists gather. For instance, I’m meeting Fairbanks elder Dixie Alexander for lunch to learn about her lifetime of Athabascan beadwork and garment artistry—a true national treasure—and somehow the subject of the Navajo comes up. The Arizona tribe is Athabascan in origin; northern Alaskan Athabascans and the Navajo are cousins, and anthropologists believe the latter arrived in the American Southwest only a century or two prior to the Spanish conquistadors. “Yeah, we sent them down there for buffalo, and they never came back,” jokes Alexander. “No buffalo for us.” But she turns serious when discussing her art and her mission—and how recognition will help it survive and grow. “I started when I was 9, and I fell in love with it,” says Alexander, now 56 and still plying her art every day. “It’s very important to Native people like me to teach my craft and pass it on into the future.” And low-key as he may be, Mehner, too, urges that all art fans interested in Native Alaskan works be sure they are looking at—and buying—real Native art (see “Buying Native Art,” page 39). “When I was in school I didn’t like that label, ‘Native art,’ ” says Mehner, a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. “But I’ve come to continued on page 160 embrace it. My AUGUST 2013


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Raccoon butterfly fish school off the Kona Coast, a popular dive site on Hawai‘i Island.

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7/17/13 11:42 AM

Diving amid Hawai‘i’s natural treasures

Deep Blue

By Rob Dunton

AAM 08.13 Hawai'i Dive.indd 51

7/18/13 11:37 AM





Photograph provided by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson. Hyatt Hotels & ResortsÂŽ encompasses hotels managed, franchised or leased by subsidiaries and afďŹ liates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. The trademarks HyattÂŽ, AndazÂŽ, Grand HyattÂŽ, Hyatt RegencyÂŽ, and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. Š 2013 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.

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RIGHT: The cargo ship Sea Tiger was intentionally sunk off O‘ahu to form an artificial reef, which now attracts an abundance of marine life, including schools of bluestripe snapper.

PRO’S PICKS O‘AHU THE PRO: Will Mauthe with Reef Pirates. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, he’s been diving O‘ahu for the past 11 years.

TOP PICKS BABOON’S NOSE—a reef/wall that is outside of Hanauma Bay, accessible by boat a few times a year. Typical sea life consists of turtles, hundreds if not thousands of endemic fish, sharks, whales (November– April), dolphins and some of the most colorful corals you can find on the island.


BOTTOM: Green sea turtles, an endangered species, are a favorite wildlife sighting for divers in Hawai‘i.



AAM 08.13 Hawai'i Dive.indd 53


cargo holds, and as we exit we see a spotted eagle ray swimming on the periphery. We continue forward toward the pilothouse—the ship’s command center in its heyday. I peer inside and flick on my dive light to illuminate the interior, finding it lush with growth. Butterfly fish dart in and out of the glassless window openings, while a moray eel stares down from a nook near the ceiling. More fish await us inside, enjoying the protection of the enclosed space. Trapped air bubbles expended by previous divers form a mirrorlike ceiling. We exit the pilothouse, kick past a large green turtle slumbering on the foredeck, then sail over the decayed front railing to drop along the dramatically arched prow to the sand below. We peer up at the massive amalgamation of steel and marine life silhouetted against sun shimmering through 130 feet of azure sea, then make our way back to the surface where our dive boat awaits.

MAHI WRECK—an old World War II minesweeper in Yokohama Bay on the west side of O‘ahu. This is probably one of only two spots on O‘ahu where you are guaranteed to see schools of spotted eagle rays—up to 10 to 30 at a time. Along with the rays, divers find a variety of sharks: hammerhead, Galapagos, sandbar, whitetip (oceanic and reef). YO-257/SAN PEDRO WRECKS (both at same dive site). This is by far the best Waikı¯kı¯ dive. Diveable year-round but known for strong currents. Sharks, rays (best thing I’ve ever seen here was a 20-foot manta in the middle of the day!), schools of barracuda, harlequin shrimp, mantis shrimp and massive turtles. ROB’S RECOMMENDATIONS: Other notable dive and snorkeling sites are the Firehouse area at Pupukea Beach Park, Kuilima Cove, Makaha Beach Park, Fantasy Reef, Three Tables and Sharks Cove, which has an amazing collection of caves (summer only; can be crowded).


he cobalt Pacific laps against the hull of our dive boat as we strap on air tanks and fins. Off our starboard lies iconic Diamond Head, and glimmering high-rises line Waikı¯kı¯ Beach nearby, while 130 feet below us rest the remains of the Sea Tiger, a cargo ship scuttled in 1999 to form an artificial reef. I’m with my dive buddy, Kevin Whelan, and our dive master, Will Mauthe, a native of Wisconsin who has been leading dives on O‘ahu for the past 11 years. As we stride off the deck into 75 degree water and sink below the surface, the outline of the ship is immediately visible. We descend effortlessly toward the stern and in less than a minute, we approach the deck of the 168-foot-long wreck. More than 300 striped snapper hover in a school nearby, taking advantage of the rusted steel frame encrusted with a tapestry of green, yellow and pink corals and hydroids, and home to a wide array of sea life. Will leads us through half-court-size openings in the deck to explore the vast

PORTLOCK/CHINA WALLS—a drift dive on the east side of Maunalua Bay. Only diveable when there is little to no swell and winds are light. There are two turtle cleaning stations here, two caves to enter, and various small caves that are usually full of nonthreatening whitetip reef sharks, Hawaiian dragon morays and Commerson’s frogfish. On occasion, there are also pods of spinner dolphins in the distance. During whale season, this is a great amphitheater in which to hear their songs and, one hopes, to see them.

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Hanauma Bay, Oahu



With warm, clear water, excellent topography and abundant animal life, Hawai‘i is a magical place for divers of all levels. Located 2,400 miles from the nearest continent, the remote Hawaiian archipelago consists of 132 islands, reefs, seamounts and atolls stretching more than 1,500 miles, and offers some of the finest diving in the United States. Each of the four most accessible islands have distinct undersea personalities with unique sights to explore: O‘ahu’s wrecks; Hawai‘i Island’s

giant mantas; Kaua‘i’s lava tubes and access to sites near Ni‘ihau; and Maui’s Molokini Crater, with proximity to the grottoes of neighboring L¯ana‘i and the schooling hammerhead sharks off nearby Moloka‘i. While travelers traverse the globe to witness Africa’s magnificent animals, equally impressive creatures can be easily spotted within a mile of the islands’ shores. Humpback whales (Hawaiian name: kohol¯a), giant mantas (h¯¯ah¯alua), green sea turtles (honu), spinner dolphins

ABOVE: Hanauma Bay, east of Honolulu, is a great place for novice snorkelers to explore Hawai‘i marine life. RIGHT: A diver floats in sunlight among lava tube caverns at a dive site known as The Cathedrals, off La¯na‘i. ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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TOP: A diver at a Maui reef photographs schooling bigscale soldierfish and bluestripe snapper.

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(nai‘a) and monk seals (‘ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua) are but a few of the grand animals living in the surrounding sea. In addition, more than 20 percent of Hawai‘i’s reef fish are found nowhere else on Earth. The opportunity to safely experience the islands’ biodiversity is available to anyone willing to don a mask, slip weightless into warm water and peer into the window of the undersea world.


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O‘ahu is home to a broad range of excellent snorkeling and dive locations ranging from tranquil bays to lava tubes and wrecks. It is the latter that Kevin and I have come to dive, all but one intentionally sunk to create refuges for local fish and coral along the sandy ocean floor off Waikı¯kı¯. We selected Reef Pirates as our dive outfitter for its small-group approach to diving (six divers max) and the ability to have a bit more say in where we would dive. Our second dive takes us to two wrecks: the San Pedro (an 80-foot Korean fishing boat sunk as an artificial reef in 1996) and the YO-257 (a 190-foot 1940s U.S. Navy oiler scuttled outside the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor in 1989). We tie up to the mooring line attached to the San Pedro, gear up and follow the line to the sunken ship. As we approach the ship’s deck, we can see the impact of large storms and swells over the past 17 years. The hull is cracked, with gaping holes throughout, but the core of the ship remains. A large green sea turtle rests in the shadow of the hull, and other turtles swim to and from the vessel. The stern is pitched off the sand, and the propeller and rudder are still intact, covered with colorful corals and hydroids. We pass over steel fragments the size of SUVs as we follow Will 100 yards across the sand to the YO-257. A large school of striped snapper moves slowly near the hull. We glide along the deck, and up and down external stairways. We enter the dark interior, switch on our dive lights and illuminate walls carpeted with corals and algae. We make our way to the base of the ship’s large smoke stack and swim into it. As we float up through the oval tube, I hear a distinctive whirring sound. We exit, and Will AUGUST 2013


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points toward a white Atlantis submarine as it emerges out of the blue. As the sub glides past the wreck, cameras flash from within, and we’ve become part of someone’s vacation stories. We turn around and enjoy a relaxed journey back to the dive boat, where our captain waits to ferry us back to shore. Will drops us in the heart of Waikı¯kı¯ at

our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Waikı¯kı¯ Beach Resort and Spa. We walk past the hotel’s massive indoor waterfall and atrium, and head to the resort’s N¯a H¯o‘ola Spa for a shower and rejuvenating deeptissue massage. The spa is elegant, understated and blissful, with superb views of

LEFT: Because it feeds during daylight hours, the day octopus is exceptional at camouflage. ABOVE: Monk seals are an uncommon sight in Hawai‘i. This one was photographed near the island of Ni‘ihau, near Kaua‘i.


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You’ll experience a rebirth, too.

Waikı¯kı¯ Beach and the shimmering Pacific. I opt for a Hawaiian-style massage called lomi lomi that features a blend of coconut oils, and after an hour, my tired muscles have been rejuvenated. I’m ready for more diving, and over the next two days, Kevin and I explore more of O‘ahu’s best scuba and snorkeling sites: the historic Corsair—a World War II fighter plane that ran out of fuel; the Sea Cave—a collapsed underwater cave located

PRO’S PICKS HAWAI‘I ISLAND THE PRO: Keller Laros. Jack’s Diving Locker. Hails from Tiburon, California. Celebrated his 10,000th dive in 2012.

TOP PICKS MANTA RAY NIGHT DIVES—There are a couple of regular sites dive outfitters visit. Wherever you find the mantas, this is an amazing experience. SUCK ’EM UP—Don’t be frightened by the name. This lava tube is about 90 feet in length with radiant skylights and abundant marine life, and is only 10 minutes away by boat. Frequently spotted are Moorish idols, puffer fish, butterfly fish and a few moray eels. TURTLE HEAVEN—Green sea turtles here seem as friendly (or curious) as any you’ll find, and spinner dolphins are occasionally spotted. Frogfish, pipefish and scorpion fish are also common on this beautiful reef.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park s

PAWAI BAY—a protected marine sanctuary with great fish, lava tubes, arches, exciting topography and a big drop-off. “I was there yesterday, and we had a whale shark swim past,” Laros told me. LA‘ALOA/MILE MARKER 4—a great shore dive with interesting lava tubes and arches as a backdrop.

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AAM 08.13 Hawai'i Dive.indd 58

ROB’S RECOMMENDATIONS: For great snorkeling and a look into Hawai‘i’s past, head to Pu‘uhonua o Ho¯naunau National Historical Park, one of Hawai‘i’s most sacred places. Adjacent to the 180-acre park on Ho ¯naunau Bay is a natural cut in the lava shoreline, locally known as Two-steps, that makes for an easy entry for delightful snorkeling and diving—please don't enter or exit the water in the national park area. Fish and sea turtles abound in the area. There are picnic tables close to the entry, and often the local outrigger clubs are out practicing. I saw many spinner dolphins on my last visit to Ho ¯naunau Bay. AUGUST 2013


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between Portlock Wall and Paliea Point; and the lava labyrinth at Sharks Cove on the North Shore.

Hawai‘i Island Hawai‘i Island is renowned for its giant manta rays, and Garden Eel Cove in Keauhou Bay is one of the best places to spot them. As the birthplace of King Kamehameha III, the town of Keauhou is considered one of the most historically significant places in Hawai‘i. While numerous petroglyphs, heiau and sacred places, and other important sites in the area draw visitors, Kevin and I choose to spend our first night on Hawai‘i Island sitting on the bottom of Keauhou Bay in near total darkness. Flashlight in hand, I wrap my legs around a lava boulder for stability and wait for the mantas to materialize. The sun set an hour ago, and the light emanating from the Fair Wind Hula Kai catamaran above me and from the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay on the adjacent bluff attracts plankton like moths to a flame. The swarms of plankton in turn attract giant mantas. My breathing is rhythmic, almost meditative, punctuated by a stream of bubbles each time I exhale. Minutes tick by slowly, uneventfully. My body rocks with a cadenced sway as mild surface waves expend themselves on the shoreline 50 yards away. Finally, out of the inky blackness, the white wings of a giant manta appear. Heading toward the plankton teeming in front of my dive light, the otherworldly creature glides closer and closer, its skeletal structure clearly visible through its gaping mouth. Swooping in just inches from my head, it makes a slow, graceful arc, funneling the food bonanza into its maw. In minutes, three more mantas emerge to join the dance. Kneeling on the stony bottom next to us is dive master Katie Christenson. Originally from the Twin Cities, Minnesota, she has spent the past four years leading dives in Kona, and before our dive, delivered an in-depth introduction to giant manta rays on board the Hula Kai. She explained that giant mantas do not have stingers like sting rays and are safe to dive and snorkel with. She showed us photographs of the comALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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monly sighted mantas so we could learn each individual’s markings, and one by one, I identify the four as they circle around me. The size, majesty and grace of these incredible animals are breathtaking. I’m mesmerized by the experience and lose track of time. After 45 minutes, Katie taps my shoulder and waves her dive light. Time to head back to the ship, where warm showers, hot chocolate and corn chowder await. The next morning, Kevin and I meet dive master Keller Laros of Jack’s Diving Locker and climb aboard the Kea Nui. I have found the reef diving along the Kona Coast to offer some of the best visibility and most vibrant corals in the Hawaiian Islands. Keller guides us to two thrilling dive sites. First we explore Kaloko Arches, a maze of perforated lava tubes where brilliant rays of light dramatically light a collection of tunnels and caves, and the fish that reside there. The canyons of stone protect coral structures and minimize surge and current, allowing redlip parrot fish, Hawaiian whitespotted toby and schools of yellow tang and bluestripe snapper to relax in the calm. Our second dive is at Pawai Bay, a protected marine sanctuary where the quality and diversity of corals is exceptional. Table coral, cauliflower coral, antler coral and spotted coral are just a few of the species I recognize. Keller leads us through fascinating arches, shallow lava tubes and inlets inhabited by fish of every description: longnose and teardrop butterfly fish, damselfish, bluespine unicornfish, black durgan triggerfish and a yellowmargin moray eel, to name just a few. To discover and navigate the secrets of so many unique dive sites, and to identify and learn the habits and personalities of hundreds of fish and sea creatures would take a lifetime. Or you can do what I do: Dive with people such as Keller, who recently celebrated his 10,000th dive.

Maui Maui holds a special place in my heart. It is where I first scuba dived back in 1985 after a half-day resort course and a catamaran ride to Molokini Crater. For the first time, I 60

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LEFT: A giant manta ray glides past a snorkeler. ABOVE: The Molokini Marine Life Conservation District is the most popular dive area near Maui, with a number of guide operations serving the extinct volcanic crater.

entered the ocean with a tank on my back, and within a minute, a sea turtle swam up as if to welcome me to the other, wetter portion of the planet. On my return home, I completed my scuba certiďŹ cation within 60 days and have been diving ever sinceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; 28 years and more than 1,000 dives. The Molokini Marine Life Conservation District remains the most popular dive area near Maui. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an extinct volcanic cinder cone situated three miles off the

coast, with considerable marine life and coral formations that appeal to snorkelers as well as divers. There are about a halfdozen frequented dive sites at Molokini. The shallower dives at Tako Flats or Middle Reef run along the large ďŹ nger reefs that spread out like an open hand inside the crescent. These provide longer dives with good lighting that illuminates the vibrant colors of the ďŹ sh and corals, but also attracts more divers. More advanced

divers can ride the currents on deeper drift dives along the Back Wall and Reefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s End, and seasoned divers looking for a wider array of diving experiences will ďŹ nd plenty on the nearby islands of LÂŻanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;i and Molokaâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;i. Having dived Molokini a number of times, on this trip to Maui I spend most of my time diving LÂŻanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;i. After a quick, glassy crossing across LÂŻanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;i Channel, we tie up to a mooring at a continued on page 62

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TOP PICKS MOLOK Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I HAMMERHEAD DIVEâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;This advanced drift dive starts at Fish Rain, where multitudes of ďŹ sh seemingly rain down in the water column as you drift along Mokuhoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;oniki Rock. The dive then turns westward as you drift out into the channel, looking for hammerhead sharks, gray reef sharks, Galapagos sharks and other large pelagic species. The one-hour boat ride (each way) to this site is frequently rough.


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THE PRO: Mikol Westling with Lahaina Divers. Born in San Diego, California, lived in various places up and down the California/ Oregon coast, and has been diving for more than 10 years.

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ÂŻNAâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I DRIFT DIVEâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;an intermediate dive LA exploring LaÂŻnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique lava-based topography. This dive offers spectacular traverses through lava tubes, arches and pinnacles, with chances to see raccoon butterďŹ&#x201A;y ďŹ sh competing for the eggs of sergeant major damselďŹ sh, plus longďŹ n anthias, tinkerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s butterfly fish and nudibranchs including the jolly green giant. As always, keep an eye out for the resident pod of spinner dolphins, manta and spotted eagle rays, and blacktip reef sharks. CARTHAGINIAN WRECKâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;once a sailpowered whaling vessel converted to a ďŹ&#x201A;oating museum, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Carthâ&#x20AC;? was purposely sunk in 2005 (at a 100-foot depth) and has become a lively and photogenic reef. Keep an eye toward the blue, as some pelagic species have

site called Second Cathedral on the islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s south side, in clear waters over a reef that is visible 30 feet below. This intermediate site is famous for its maze of arches, caves and caverns, and the rather rare opportunity to see black coral, which usually is found at depths exceeding 150 feet. We drop to the bottom at 65 feet and enter one of the many cave openings. As if I were entering a medieval tower in broad daylight, the comparatively dim interior appears black until my eyes adjust and I see dim light streaming in celestial beams. Our dive master shines a ďŹ&#x201A;ashlight on the ceiling and illuminates what looks to be a Gothic chandelier, but is a sizable bush of black coral. As we weave in and out of the different chambers, I see schools of bluestripe snapper and bright yellow pyramid butterďŹ&#x201A;y ďŹ sh. I meet a from page 61


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been known to cruise by, including spotted eagle rays, blue fin trevally, tuna and manta rays. REEF’S END, MOLOKINI CRATER—a dive site near the end of Molokini’s crescent reef. The dive starts over a sand channel where divers can see Hawaiian garden eels and freckled snake eels, then continues to the outer edge of the crater where frogfish, white mouth and spotted moray eels, and octopuses, as well as three busy fish-cleaning stations, may be found. Watch for pelagic species cruising by or entering the crater, including bottlenose dolphins and manta and eagle rays. ¯NA‘I— FIRST AND SECOND CATHEDRAL, LA Formed as lava tubes, these moored sites offer spectacular diving in and through the lava topography of La¯na‘i. First Cathedral is a large lava bubble that many say looks like the inside of a church, complete with holes that look like an illuminated altar and stained-glass window. Second Cathedral is a series of swim-through lava tubes and is home to a stand of rare albino black coral known as the Chandelier, which hangs from the ceiling of one of the lava tubes. The Cathedrals are home to large schools of fish, many found hiding in the holes formed by the lava, and have been visited many times by a pod of resident spinner dolphins. ROB’S RECOMMENDATIONS: Maui also has some great shore dives: Mala Wharf, Five Caves, Ulua Beach, Black Rock, Makena Landing, Napili Bay and Honolua Bay.

curious trumpetfish closer to the surface, and see moray eels peering out from the cracks they call home. The crossing to the eastern side of neighboring Moloka‘i is an adventure in itself, as the Pailolo Channel, 8 ∂ miles wide at its narrowest, is one of the windiest and roughest in the Hawaiian Islands. Once across the channel and beneath the surface, the world is much calmer, though currents remain strong. At a site called Fish Rain, where visibility can reach 150 feet, scores of fish appear to rain down, driven by the natural movements of a water column. As we ride the strong currents along Mokuho‘oniki Rock, the currents carry us out into the blue, where one, then five, then dozens of hammerhead sharks undulate in the water above us. With our awkward kicking, metal tanks and loud bubbles, we ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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are clearly foreigners in this cerulean landscape, but these powerful pelagics seem oblivious to our presence. Instead, they slowly, gracefully and efficiently torque their bodies to propel themselves through the water that is their home, another world we are fortunate to visit, if only for a time.



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While Hawaiian green sea turtles are regularly spotted throughout the islands, the largest concentrations I’ve seen are in Kaua‘i, and one of the most dependable spots to find them is a dive site called Sheraton Caverns on the South Shore— a labyrinth of lava tubes cooled by the sea and forming a residence for dozens

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KEYHOLE DRIFT DIVE, NI‘IHAU—a stunning hole through the wall of the halfsubmerged volcanic crater called Lehua Rock. This is a drift dive along a steep wall beginning with huge schools of pennant and pyramid butterfly fish, schooling horse-eyed jacks, and gray and whitetip reef sharks suspended in the current; also a great spot for large eagle rays. Surface inside the crater, which is a favorite gathering place for spinner dolphins (summer only). TURTLE BLUFFS, SOUTH SHORE—lava-rock ledge with sparse coral cover but tons of marine life. This is one of the most reliable spots for whitetip reef sharks—juveniles and adults sleeping under ledges. Octopuses, leaf scorpions and yellow margin moray eels are commonly seen here. The best part of the dive is a green-turtle cleaning station atop a 40-foot plateau where turtles lie suspended in midwater while green-eyed surgeons, achilles and yellow tangs rid them of parasites and algae growth. Lucky groups of divers may be blessed with humpback whale sightings in winter at this site. SHERATON CAVERNS, SOUTH SHORE— hands down the most popular and loved dive AUGUST 2013


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site for two main reasons: swim-throughs and lots and lots of green sea turtles, as well as many nudibranchs and fish species. KOLOA LANDING, SOUTH SHORE—once the second-largest whaling port in the state of Hawai‘i, this shallow cove is now a popular shore dive for students and instructors as well as seasoned divers. This is a small, protected bay, and you can almost always count on calm surface conditions and minimal current. Pieces of anchor chain from the whalers of the 1800s can be found throughout the site. ROB’S RECOMMENDATIONS: During the calm summer months, great scenery, snorkeling and turtle encounters can be had on the North Shore at Ke‘e Beach (outside the reef) and Tunnels. As Sabine notes above, neighboring Ni‘ihau offers divers some of the most pristine diving in the area (though it is a 2- to 3.5-hour channel crossing each way and can be rough).

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While at home or during your travels, use your iPad or other tablet device to read our digital editions, which offer engaging, insightful travel articles to help you plan your next getaway, plus additional information from our advertisers. EDITION M
















of sea turtles and other sea life. At Kukui‘ula Harbor near Po‘ip¯u, Kevin and I join Seasport Divers, one of the most established dive shops on Kaua‘i. We meet Sabine Templeton, a native of Baltimore who had planned on earning a degree in marine biology, but couldn’t face spending that much time out of the water so became a dive instructor instead. A Seasport captain motors us out to Sheraton Caverns, located just past the surf break in front of the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort where Kevin and I are staying. We gear up, preview the site and follow Sabine into the water. With my hand on my regulator, I step off the dive boat and into the warm emerald waters. Just a few feet below the surface, a school of brilliant yellow convict tang approaches us and flutters about our fins. At 35 feet we reach the top of the reef, and as we drop into the narrow canyons and fingers, the place reminds me of a sunken edifice created by Antoni Gaudí and M.C. Escher. Passageways, ravines and tunnels twist, curve and fold in upon themselves, creating a rounded, organic apartment complex for turtles and other sea life. The first turtle we see floats by in a slow, effortless ascent toward the surface. Sabine points out various nudibranchs, frogfish, pennant butterfly fish, triggerfish and a camouflaged octopus that seems almost invisible. Every few minutes, we come across a new turtle—some feed; others head AUGUST 2013


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to the surface for a breath of air; still others seem to doze on shaded ledges and in the shallow caves within the reef. The lava rock is carpeted with a wide array of textured corals and algae, a source of food for the turtles and fish. As we move deeper into the ravines and lava tubes, sunbeams dramatically illuminate the dark spaces. When we return to the boat, I am astounded to think that this magical microcosm of the undersea world exists just 100 yards offshore from our hotel rooms. We next dive Fast Lanes, a slightly deeper site at 55 feet to 95 feet with a similar lava flow terrain. We explore the little channels and spot needlefish, bluespotted cornetfish, two whitetip reef sharks (6 feet to 7 feet long), turtles, a moray eel and a school of 100 eyestripe surgeonfish. As I watch Sabine playfully kick on her back above the ocean floor with a school of fish surrounding her, I understand her decision to abandon her pursuit of a degree in marine biology to spend more time in places like this. Author’s Note: People frequently ask me about my favorite dive sites in Hawai‘i. Most are highlighted here, and others are included in the lists provided by local dive masters. Conditions and crowds vary dramatically from day to day, and wildlife sightings are unpredictable. Changing sea conditions can render a great dive site a silt-ridden dive on any given day. Pick a good dive outfitter with quality staff, gear and boats, and trust them—they want the best dive experience as much as you do. For a broad overview of dive sites in the islands, have a look at Rob Dunton is a freelance travel writer and photographer based in Santa Barbara.

getting there Alaska Airlines offers daily service to O‘ahu (Honolulu), Maui, Kaua‘i and Kona/Hawai‘i Island. For flight reservations, go to or call 800-ALASKAAIR. To book a complete Alaska Airlines Vacations package to Hawai‘i, go to or call 800-468-2248.


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OREGON A Special Section of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Edition Magazines august 2013

The Summer Kite Festival at Lincoln City is a colorful annual event on the Oregon Coast.


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TOURING THE ROSE CITY Experiencing the Portland area’s sophistication and natural beauty | By Jim Moore


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The jetboat cruises through

the heart of Portland on the Willamette River, and we feel the summer sun warming our faces while a light river spray keeps us cool. Oregon’s largest city has always been associated with the river, and the Willamette Jetboat Excursions tour we’re on is the perfect way to orient a pair of out-of-town visitors to the community as I set out to show them the essence of my hometown. Yes, Portland sometimes feels more like a town than a city—and right now it’s easy to see why. As we continue upstream, it’s all here in view: To the right, the leafy West Hills rise up from the busy downtown core, studded with the stately homes built by some of the city’s early residents. Closer to the water, the Pearl District, once the home of warehouses and railroad yards, is now known for its high-rise condominium buildings, hip bistros and shops. To the east looms the large Rose Garden arena, home to the National Basketball Association’s Portland Trail Blazers, located next to the iconic glass spires of the Oregon Convention Center. As we head farther south, the industrialchic buildings of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) come into view. The museum attracts visitors of all ages to enjoy its science exhibits, hands-on experiments and IMAX theater. I look back to the west to see Tom McCall Waterfront Park, where another summer festival has brought big white tents and large crowds. The current event, celebrating the local microbrew industry, is located adjacent to the Portland Saturday Market, which is thriving in its new waterfront setting after 40 years of continual operation. As we pass the festival and market, I can smell the delectable aromas of grilled foods and elephant ears, and am already planning





Left: Visitors enjoy Portland’s International Rose Test Garden, which features more than 10,000 blooming rosebushes in a variety of colors. Above: A couple views Mount Hood and downtown Portland from the West Hills area of the city.

where we should go for lunch. I’m showing friends from Southern California the true spirit of the community. The couple is under the impression that they already know the Rose City, thanks to watching the quirky and popular television comedy Portlandia. However, I explain that Portland is more complex than they may realize. It is a beguiling combination of factors: a metropolitan city that still projects a warm intimacy; a world-class destination for food and drink where casual dress is the norm; and a vibrant hub of creative energy where 10 minutes from downtown you can be walking through a deep forest. Part of this feeling of intimacy comes from the geography of the area and the fact that the city remains relatively small. While Portland’s metropolitan area has a bustling population of more than 2 million people, the city, itself, has about 590,000 residents. Originally sited for its 73

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Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a wild and wonderful place that invites you to come out and play. Where big mountains meet tall trees. Where days are filled with history, huckleberry picking, farmers markets and wineries. Where endless things to see and do make more reasons to smile.


Mt. Hood

Willamette Valley


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Two-wheel tour After we finish the jetboat tour, I take my

friends out for a closer look at some of the area’s highlights, in a quintessentially Portland way—by bicycle. Perennially ranked as one of the top cycling cities in the United States, Portland is an easy city for riding, featuring more than 180 miles of ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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bike lanes, plus protective bike features at major intersections and even bike-only traffic lights in multiple locations. It is estimated that more than 17,000 residents bike to work each day. However, we’re aiming for pleasure, not business—even if there will be some climbing involved. I rent my friends two road bikes from Pedal Bike Tours and we head out on a pleasant afternoon. Summer and fall are typically sublime here: low humidity, and days or even weeks of uninterrupted sunshine, moderate temperatures and cool evenings. We ascend into the West Hills and arrive at Washington Park, home of three iconic Portland landmarks. The International Rose Test Garden includes more than 10,000 blooming and fragrant rosebushes in a variety of colors that are spread across 4∂ acres. We park the bikes and stroll through the garden, enjoying the fragrant air. Up the hill is the renowned Portland Japanese Garden. Opened in 1967, the park has more than


position at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers, Portland has an identity that remains strongly influenced by these waterways and the more than 10 bridges that cross them. The city is divided geographically and, in some ways, culturally, into the Westside and the Eastside. The Westside is known as the home of the downtown business and retail centers, as well as the city’s historic Pearl District and many upscale residential neighborhoods that weave through the hills that border Portland’s narrow downtown core. In contrast, the Eastside includes generally industrial land along the river. Farther to the east are eclectic residential neighborhoods of tree-lined streets and vintage homes. And it all sits in the virtual shadow of Mount Hood, the ever-present sentinel looming to the east of the city.

Above: Cyclists ride along the Willamette River in downtown Portland. The City of Roses has more than 180 miles of bike lanes and is considered one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation. Below: Powell’s City of Books, with the world’s largest collection of new and used books, fills an entire city block. The iconic location is a favorite attraction for Portland visitors and residents.


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Above: People walk through Portland’s Forest Park. At more than 5,000 acres, the park is the largest forested natural area within an American city. Opposite page: Adult Asian elephant Samudra plays with youngster Chendra in the elephant pool at the Oregon Zoo. The zoo’s Asian elephant exhibit is considered among the best in the world.


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5 acres of tranquil beauty and is considered one of the most authentic gardens of its kind outside of Japan. We ride the two miles to the top of the hill and arrive at the Oregon Zoo, which is known for its world-class elephant-breeding program. The Asian elephant exhibit is undergoing a major remodel with a new $53 million habitat scheduled to open in 2015. We take a ride on the miniature railroad, explore the natural-terrain enclosures and finish the day by enjoying an evening concert on the zoo’s amphitheater lawn. We don’t have to worry about riding our bikes home in the dark—we simply take them on board a Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light-rail train, which whisks us right downtown. Portland boasts one of the best public transit systems in the country, with interconnected bus, streetcar and light-rail systems that allow easy and affordable access to every part of the city. For example, the MAX goes right to the Rose Garden, or to JELD–WEN Field, where the Portland Timbers, the professional men’s soccer team, and the Portland Thorns, the professional women’s soccer team, play.

Tranquility base The next day we start with a hike in Forest

Park, which is located to the northwest of the downtown core and is reported to be the largest forested natural area within an American city. At more than 5,000 acres—the park is crisscrossed by maintenance roads and hiking trails—it is a popular location for running, mountain biking, hiking and picnicking. We work out the bike-riding kinks lingering from the previous day by walking a few miles along the park’s many trails. I’ve set aside some time in the afternoon for us to explore Powell’s City of Books, an iconic bookstore and a favorite stop for locals and visitors alike. Taking up an entire city block, Powell’s describes itself as the world’s largest independent bookstore of new and used volumes and is believed to stock more than 1 million books on its shelves. Even as a frequent visitor I still need a map to navigate through the maze of nine rooms, each painted a different color to help us find our way. We revel in the store’s hushed atmosphere and each of us comes away with a few new discoveries to read. AUGUST 2013


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After leaving Powell’s, we stroll through downtown Portland and visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden, which opened in 2000. Despite being located in the middle of a bustling city, this garden offers a place for quiet outdoor reflection. With keyholearched doorways, a teahouse, small wooden bridges over koi ponds, and lush foliage, it’s a natural oasis. Next, we walk a little more than a mile south to the Portland Art Museum, which is inspiring a new generation of visitors with a broadened selection of exhibitions. This summer, the museum is hosting the world premiere of “Cyclepedia: Iconic Bicycle Design.” The exhibit includes a display of 40 unique bicycles that are drawn from the collection of the famed Austrian designer and bike aficionado Michael Embacher. The bikes range from the aerodynamic to the whimsical and offer insights into the possibilities and potential of bike design. The airy, light-filled rooms of the museum let us imagine these creations out on the open roads. Finally, it’s time to engage the brain in a different way by heading across the Hawthorne Bridge to visit OMSI, a revered haven for science lovers, rainy-day visitors and harried parents alike. We spend the rest of the afternoon touring “Mummies of the World: The Exhibition,” which features the largest collection of mummies and related artifacts ever assembled. The exhibit will be on display at the museum through September 8. We continue exploring the museum’s fascinating collections of brain teasers, natural relics and immersive activities. I could probably stare for hours at the labyrinthine contraption known as the Gravitram ball maze. ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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R For the first time on public display, this remarkable exhibition of artifacts and manuscripts opens windows into the hearts and minds of iconic leaders like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy. W W W. O H S . O R G PORTLAND, OREGON

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after 6 months

TAKE OFF WHAT DIETING WON’T Having undergone abdominal surgery as a young child, Heather was always aware of the two trapped pockets of fat that had developed around the scar tissue on her belly. In spite of her diligence with exercise and diet, they seemed immobile. Over the years, she’d explored one cosmetic procedure HM[LYHUV[OLYOVWPUN[VÄUKHZVS\[PVU “Heather was the ideal candidate for SmartLipo™ MPX,” says Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr. Daniel Levy. “It allows me to precisely target stubborn pockets of fat and eliminate them in a single treatment. Most importantly, general anesthesia is not required, so it’s much safer than traditional surgery and the recovery is swift.” “With each pregnancy, my stomach would stretch out and, while it would come back in, I could never seem to lose those stubborn pockets of fat. It even affected the way I dressed. Since having the procedure done, I feel much more comfortable in formÄ[[PUNJSV[OLZ¹L_WSHPUZ/LH[OLY “The other amazing thing about SmartLipo™ MPX, is that recovery time was so quick. Of course, I was sore for a couple of weeks, but I was still able to care for my three kids and continue with the responsibilities of daily life. “It has been a great experience throughout. Dr. Levy and his staff are so wonderful and friendly. The one thing I love is that it feels

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so spa-like. You get to slip into a warm robe and it’s much more relaxing. In comparison, during a consultation at another medical clinic, I had to wear a paper gown and felt awkward. Here, they go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. That was unexpected. I thought once I’d completed the procedure, that would be it. Both Dr. Levy and my personal trainer would check in every so often to see if I had any questions and if everything was going well. I felt very cared for. “The combination of the SmartLipo™ MPX, and the core work with a personal trainer made all the difference. Having the fat removed gave me a jumpstart. Then I ILNHU[VKL]LSVWHIKLÄUP[PVU0»]LUL]LY had before. I can see muscles. I dropped an entire pant size and lost nine pounds. “I can’t quite believe how my whole life feels easier. My husband is also thrilled. He says he needs to write a thank-you note to my trainer and Dr. Levy. The results have been amazing!”

So Long Saddlebags. Farewell Flabby Arms. Bye, Bye Baby Belly. Hello, Dr. Levy. SmartLipo™ MPX effectively tightens and tones problem areas leaving them smoother and more youthful looking.

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The ever-present peak While it’s not part of Portland proper,

Mount Hood is such an overwhelming presence on the horizon, and such a fun place to explore, that we set off early one morning for the mountain. We travel the 57 miles from Portland to the Huckleberry Inn located in the town of Government Camp. There, we enjoy the inn’s famous pancakes, topped with its namesake sweet local fruit and then travel about six miles up the road to Timberline Lodge. A remarkable creation of the Depression-era Works Progress Administration, the sprawling, rustic lodge was hand-built, largely using wood and stone found on the site. It was completed in 1937 and dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. We sit by its massive stone fireplace relishing cups of coffee—at an elevation of about 6,000 feet, the air can be cool up here, even in summer. Although skiing is available at Timberline Lodge through Labor Day weekend, my friends opt for the simpler joys of visiting the rides and attractions at the Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl. On the way back to Portland, we stop near the town of Rhododendron to see a replica of the last tollgate of the Barlow Road. The 80-mile, one-way, east-to-west toll road carved out of the forest in 1846 extended the Oregon Trail overland from The Dalles to Oregon City. One of two bigleaf maple trees that were planted around 1883, by tollgate operator Daniel Parker, still stands next to the tollgate.

Portland’s culinary scene Even though I keep my friends pretty busy on this trip, I make sure to include visits to some of the area’s many great restaurants. For our first breakfast we visit the popular Northwest Portland neighborhood. Anchored by Northwest 23rd Avenue, this area just west of Portland’s downtown is a shopper’s dream. Northwest 23rd, from West Burnside Street in the south to Northwest Vaughn Street in the north, is lined with a mix of brewpubs, restaurants and unique boutiques. One morning, we eat a breakfast of ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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TEA ... FOR TWO An icon of Portland, the Tea Court has been restored to its original splendor. Sip tea by the marble fireplace, surrounded by artwork from the Vanderbilt Estate.

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wild-salmon scramble and made-fromscratch biscuits with sausage gravy at the venerable Besaw’s, known for its 100-yearold mahogany bar and historic ambiance. One evening, I take my friends to Paley’s Place, located two blocks east of Northwest 23rd Avenue, where celebrated chef Vitaly Paley and his crew produce continually surprising combinations of ingredients within a cozy old house. We feast on sweet corn and soft egg ravioli, and enjoy a cassoulet of smoked vegetables and heirloom beans. Among downtown’s new culinary hot spots is the Pearl District, which has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent decades from being a center for warehouses and light industry to becoming a trendy residential area with high-end art galleries and restaurants. While my first dinner with my visitors involved a simple picnic on the zoo lawn, our second dinner features a cornucopia of colors, textures and flavors, courtesy of the Peruvian cuisine at Andina. We sample a wide variety of dishes, including delicacies such as Arroz con Pato (duck served two ways: a crispy confit and a seared breast, with cilantro-infused rice, a passion fruit sauce and baby carrots) and Seco a la Norteña (lamb shank slow-cooked in a cilantro-and-black-beer sauce). The atmosphere is festive, and the decor is as understated as the menu is colorful. Another example of a historic neighborhood finding new life is the northeast’s Alberta Arts District. Once home to autobody shops, rental homes and industrial sites, it’s now a thriving area of avant-garde clothing boutiques, and yoga and fitness studios, as well as a number of restaurants. On our third morning we shop the popular Alberta fashion scene, starting with Erica Lurie’s Garnish Apparel boutique (she also has a store in the Pearl District), where the designs are so original and appealing that one of her salesclerks won last year’s design competition on the television program Project Runway. For a farewell feast, I treat my friends to Le Pigeon on East Burnside. Awardwinning chef Gabriel Rucker has become AUGUST 2013


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a celebrity, but you’d never know it by the low-key atmosphere of this tiny meatfriendly enclave. The few tables are shared communally; service is unobtrusive; and on many nights you’re able to watch Rucker cook at the open kitchen just a few feet away. The imaginative menu changes constantly to coincide with the freshest available meats and produce. On this evening, we sample a tender and flavorful goat ragu. We also enjoy halibut with a calamari-saffron risotto. Two words sum up eating at Le Pigeon: savory and sublime. Desserts in Portland tend to ride a roller coaster of popularity. The latest hit Portland’s is small-batch Salt & Straw ice and uniquely cream shop is flavored ice cream. After known for such exotic flavors as dinner, we visit one of the Pear and Blue city’s most popular ice Cheese. cream shops, Salt & Straw. We try such eccentric flavors as Pear and Blue Cheese, Arbequina Olive Oil and, in my opinion, the best flavor combination of them all: Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper. As we stroll down Alberta Street, enjoying the richness of each spoonful of these unique ice cream flavors, I ask my friends to look back on their visit and offer their new impressions of the city. We review forests and gardens, science and culture. We discuss rivers and bike lanes, fashion and hipsters. And we end the conversation by talking about walkable neighborhoods and satisfying meals. Now, I think they understand Portland.

Create memories at Black Butte Ranch, Central Oregon’s premier destination resort. Enjoy horseback riding, swimming, tennis, dining, spa, golf and more. Condos, cabins and custom homes make for a perfect getaway. Stunning mountain scenery included.


Jim Moore is a Portland-based writer. For more information about visiting the Portland area, please go to travelportland. com. Alaska Airlines serves Portland daily. Get more information and book tickets at or call 800-ALASKAAIR. ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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LAVA LANDS Exploring Central Oregon’s geological past | By Kim Cooper Findling


“There’s a bat!” My 8-year-old daughter, Libby, points to an animal flying out of the cave entrance, and I’m hopeful that she’s right—but no; it’s just a bird. We are descending a staircase into Lava River Cave in Central Oregon, the longest known uncollapsed lava tube in Oregon, and a part of Newberry National Volcanic Monument. A ranger at Lava Lands Visitor Center told 82

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us just moments ago that 12 species of bats live in Lava River Cave, which explains our exuberance. In the winter, this area is closed to the public to protect the bats’ hibernation, but on this sunny and warm summer day, the bats must just be sleeping, or perhaps watching us warily from a darkened perch overhead. After all, we are the intruders here in their underground home. AUGUST 2013


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Lava tubes are formed when flowing lava begins to cool and harden, leaving a natural conduit that eventually empties of molten lava, becoming an elongated cave. There are many lava tubes in the Deschutes National Forest, but Lava River Cave is the only one in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument and the only one open to the public. (Most caves are closed to protect the delicate structure of these geologic treasures and the animals using them, as well as for safety reasons.) As we descend into the dark, it’s as if the climate has pulled a quick change on us. Lava River Cave holds a near-constant temperature of around 42 degrees all year long; soon enough, we’ve left behind the hot, dry air of Central Oregon in exchange for a damp, cool atmosphere. The cave extends for a mile, but we explore in the dusky chill for only a short distance, examining stalactites and stalagmites with the help of a rented lantern before returning to the light, and heat, of day. Newberry Monument was established in 1990 to protect the area around Newberry Crater, the biggest volcano by area in the state of Oregon (the monument covers 55,000 acres that stretch in a

wide swath north from Newberry Crater nearly to Bend). The Newberry area is the result of lava flows 400,000 to 1,300 years old, and represents one of the largest collections of cinder cones, domes, hardened lava flows, fissures and spectacular geologic features in the world. I’ve brought Libby and her 6-year-old sister, Maris, here today to enjoy the sunshine, experience the landscape and maybe learn a thing or two. While all volcanic in origin, Newberry’s landscape is also very diverse. Just a few minutes before descending into the cave, we were atop Lava Butte, one of more than 400 cinder buttes, or cones, in the monument. Cinder cones are formed when molten lava—flung skyward during volcanic activity—hardens in the air, trapping air bubbles, and falls to the earth to form a giant pile of rubble. We reached the 500-foot Opposite, top: The summit of Lava Butte easily Painted Hills, part of by car, to marvel at an the 14,000-acre John Day Fossil Beds outstanding 360-degree National Monument. view of hundreds of rocky Opposite, bottom: A western pipistrelle peaks and ridges as far as bat chases a moth the eye could see. From near Pine Creek in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Below: Visitors see the Big Obsidian Flow at Newberry Crater. DAVID YOUNG-WOLFF / ALAMY




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Bend and Redmond have become world-famous recreation destinations, and with good reason. The sunny skies of Central Oregon provide a perfect backdrop for year-round play, including cycling, rock climbing, boating, skiing, golfing and a number of other outdoor activities. Central Oregon is considered part of the high desert of the Great Basin. While the easternmost parts of the region are indeed quite desertlike, the western edge of Central Oregon, as it trends uphill into the Cascade Range, is thickly forested and peppered with dozens of lakes. The entire area benefits from the mountains’ rain-shadow effect, making it drier than western parts of Oregon and a great place to play outdoors. This part of the state is home to more than 25 golf courses, many of which are playable all year. The Fazio Course at Pronghorn is one of the most lauded, carved into a high-desert landscape north and east of Bend with views of the Cascade Range; the par-3 eighth hole is notable for the green that sits between two cavernous lava tubes. Crosswater at Sunriver Resort is lauded as one of the best courses in the country, covering 600 acres of woodland and preserved wetland, and threaded by the Deschutes and Little Deschutes rivers. The Glaze Meadow course at Black Butte Ranch (west of Sisters) reopened last summer after a complete renovation; made more open, with wider fairways and renewed mountain views, the course sits in the lap of the Cascades with up-close views of the North Sister and Mount Washington. You can see Smith Rock State Park from the road, but skipping a visit would be a missed


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opportunity. This tuff rock formation north of Redmond is dramatic with its spiky orange-rock beauty. Smith is a world-class rock climbing destination, but even those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground enjoy hiking, sightseeing and wildlife watching at this

for people of all ages and abilities, and offers rewarding opportunities to see wildlife and the river. Itching to test your fly rod? Central Oregon was host in 2012 to the U.S. Fly Fishing National Championships and offers great fishing year-round. The Metolius River springs from a hillside near Camp Sherman; its Above: The 5th pristine and lovely waters hole at the Glaze deliver challenging casting Meadow course at and prized trout. The Black Butte Ranch. Lower Deschutes River Left: Kayaks and Fall River are also form flower petals great fishing waters. To in this sculpture work on your skills near the Deschutes River in Riverbend without even leaving Bend, try the newly Community Park in Bend, part of the renovated Fly Casting Course in the Old Mill city’s Roundabout District, the only Art Route. permanent fly course of its kind in North America. gorgeous volcanic feature on the Bend has no shortage of Crooked River. cultural attractions to compleDuring summer, the Cascade ment its recreation. While you’re Lakes Highway is open to car in the Old Mill District, check the traffic, offering everything from music listings for the Les Schwab a simple scenic Sunday drive to Amphitheater. This outstanding access to mountain hiking and venue offers big-name acts under climbing, alpine lakes, forested summer skies on the Deschutes campgrounds and reservoirs full River, with views of the Cascades. of trout, all with the Three As you drive through Bend, be Sisters, Broken Top and Mount sure to note Bend’s Roundabout Bachelor within reach. The 19-mile Deschutes River Art Route, all publicly funded Trail winds through Bend and and nationally recognized as one through urban and forested of the most innovative landscapes. It’s easily accessible approaches to public art in the


country. The High Desert Museum is part natural and cultural history museum, part zoo; exhibits cover everything from the history of the West to contemporary Native American culture, and animals on site include porcupines, raptors, lizards and sturgeon. Central Oregon is nationally known for its microbrews, and a stop at one or more of the region’s 20 craft breweries is a great idea. Visitors can sign up for a tour on the Bend Brew Bus or take a self-styled tour with the Bend Ale Trail map. There are plenty of options for comfortable lodgings. Black Butte Ranch is a working ranch near Sisters with a 40-year reputation for family-friendly resort lodging; 18 miles of paved hiking and biking paths wander through meadows and forests with peekaboo views of the Cascades. In downtown Bend, the Oxford Hotel offers upscale urban style with an eco-friendly twist. It’s a taste of the city in a small town. Sunriver Resort covers 3,300 acres at the base of the Cascades and features running and biking paths, the Sage Springs Club & Spa, and the 1-year-old SHARC—a massive aquatic center with a lazy river, waterslide and multiple pools, both indoors and out. —K.C.F.


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Hikers pass rock formations including Monkey Faceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;popular among rock climbersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;in Smith Rock State Park.

Mount Adams and Mount Hood to the far north, to the Three Sisters and Mount Bachelor to the west, to the north rim of Crater Lake and Mount Thielsen to the south, Oregonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volcanic history literally surrounds us. (Another outstanding viewpoint for seeing the basaltic lava ďŹ elds and volcanoes of Central Oregon is the Dee Wright Observatory, located on Highway 242 between Belknap and Sisters. The road is only open seasonally but allows access to lava ďŹ elds and panoramic views of the Cascade Range, as far north as Mount Hood. A bronze peak-ďŹ nder in

the lava rockâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;built observatory points to these geologic features.) Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to forget, gazing at this stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rich forests and snowy peaks, that the entire landscape has a volcanic pastâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and potential future, for that matter. The Cascades are part of the PaciďŹ c Ring of Fire, a wide-ranging archipelago of volcanoes that circles the PaciďŹ c Ocean. All known volcanic eruptions in the contiguous United States have occurred in the Cascade Range, the most recent and memorable being the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. But many other smaller eruptions over thousands of years formed features throughout the region, including those found here. Cinder cones often appear red in color from a distance, but as we walked the short trail around the shallow, saucer-shaped crater at the top of Lava Butte, we saw rocks of a variety of colors. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Look, Mom, a purple rock!â&#x20AC;? exclaimed Maris, holding it out for me to examine. Purple, indeed, and pumicelike in appearance, the lightweight rock ďŹ t perfectly in the palm of her small hand.

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At the Lava Lands Visitor Center, at the base of Lava Butte, we had the opportunity to float some of these pumice rocks in water, see a core soil sample layered with ash falls from the eruptions of Mount Mazama (which collapsed to form Crater Lake) and Mount St. Helens, watch video of a lava flow in action and peruse a 3-D map of the entire monument. The Lava Cast Forest, our next destination, is another unique geological gem of Newberry. Lava flowed around living trees here about 7,000 years ago, ultimately incinerating the biomatter, but not before hardening into a cast, or mold, of the tree. During our traverse of a mile-long interpretive trail, the two girls peer into the dozens of rocky, circular holes that remain here, climbing inside the larger ones. “They are like tree ghosts,” Libby says. A little more than 100 miles east and

north of Newberry is the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, which protects one of the longest and most continuous records of evolutionary change and biotic relationships in North America. John Day NM consists of 14,000 acres found in three separate units, each in the John Day River Basin. The deep ravines carved by this river have revealed fossils of great variety and age. Fossils found in John Day include a wide variety of plants and more than 100 species of mammals, including ancient saber-toothed cats, horses and camels. The Sheep Rock Unit is best known for its 30-million-year-old green claystone layers and vertebrate fossils; the Painted Hills Unit is renowned for hues of red, orange, black and tan found in exposed volcanic layers on rolling hillsides; and the Clarno Unit is home to the Palisades, a cliff formed by a series of ancient volcanic mudflows that now sits high above the surrounding landscape. It’s difficult to cover all three units in one day, but a visit to the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center, in the Sheep Rock Unit, allows glimpses into each, as well as the opportunity to study many fossils close up. The Cant Ranch Museum is another worthwhile destination, with exhibits that focus on the human history of the area. 88

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Two weeks after our first adventure, we drive 30 miles south and east of Lava Butte to Newberry Crater itself. Though the primary interpretive center for Newberry is at Lava Lands, the heart of the Newberry Monument is this huge shield volcano. In its crater are many opportunities for exploration, including two lakes, East and Paulina; Upper and Lower Paulina Creek Falls; and the 7,985-foot Paulina Peak, all accessible by car in the summer. The Big Obsidian Flow, on Newberry’s flanks, is the youngest volcanic formation in the monument, at just 1,300 years old. We embark on the Big Obsidian Flow trail through a landscape of black, sharp and frequently glassy obsidian on a day much different from that of our first tour. The weather has shifted, and today the temperature won’t top 60, and the skies are cloudy and windy. Central Oregon is in the high desert, and while the region gets much less rain than western Oregon, temperatures can vary widely, with cool weather even in the summer; conditions can suddenly turn, so it’s wise to be prepared for a range of weather situations. Even under threat of a thunderstorm, however, the obsidian flow is dramatic and lovely, made even more so by the contrasting views of Paulina Lake close by and the Cascade Range in the far distance. Remarkably, the Obsidian Flow still holds a lot of snow, reminding us that at an elevation of between 6,000 and 7,000 feet, Newberry is indeed a mountain. We pick our way through snowfields and the black, glassy sheen of seemingly endless obsidian before making our way back home with a new understanding of the volcanic legacy that lies underfoot.

Kim Cooper Findling is the editor of Central Oregon Magazine and an ambassador for Travel Oregon. For more information about visiting Central Oregon, go to Alaska Airlines serves Redmond/Bend daily. Get more information or book a ticket at or call 800-ALASKAAIR. ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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SOUTHERN OREGON CHARMS Adventures from Crater Lake to Ashland | By Lee Juillerat


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Standing atop Wizard Island in Crater Lake, we

look across the shimmering blue waters to the spectacular undulating caldera walls that surround us. In some areas the caldera rises nearly 2,000 feet above the waterline. While viewing Southern Oregon’s Crater Lake from any perspective is dazzling, most visitors see only the postcard images from the rim. From our perch on Wizard Island—so christened because it was thought to resemble a wizard’s hat—we receive a whole new perspective on this natural wonder. Crater Lake—Oregon’s only national park and the nation’s sixth-oldest—is one of a number of locations in the state’s southern region where rugged natural beauty abounds and visitors are drawn to the area’s many outdoor activities. However, there is more than Mother Nature on display in this area. Such local treasures as Medford’s wine region and Ashland’s world-renowned theater scene also draw visitors to the area. When you’re exploring this part of Oregon, Crater Lake is a great place to start. I make ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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Far left: Wizard Island, the largest island in Crater Lake, earned its moniker because the conelike shape is said to resemble a wizard’s hat. Above: Passengers on a Crater Lake boat cruise enjoy a closer look at Phantom Ship, a small island whose rocky formations are thought to look like the mast and sails of a ghost ship.

annual pilgrimages to swim the lake’s always chilly waters because doing so ensures that I experience this natural marvel in a unique way. The dip requires a 1.1-mile walk down the Cleetwood Cove Trail, the sole path down the caldera wall to the lake. It’s a hike possible only during summer—usually late June to early October—when the trail is free of snow. The park’s average annual snowfall is 533 inches. However, some years Crater Lake can receive as much as 800 inches of snow. The 33-mile-long Rim Drive, which circles the lake, is typically open for driving from mid-July to mid-October, after the snow has melted and road maintenance and repairs have been completed. Normally I swim near Cleetwood Cove, but today my friend Ruby and I have reservations for a boat tour with Volcano Boat Cruises that leaves from the Cove and features a six-hour Wizard Island layover. From the island dock it’s a mile walk to the top of the Wizard’s cone, which rises 760 feet above the lake. On the way down, we take a half-mile detour to Fumarole Bay, where we climb down the rocky shore and into the lake—I stay in the frigid water for 15 minutes; Ruby dunks herself, shivers and hurries out—and later we enjoy the lunches we’ve packed along. Swimmers should be aware that much of the lake is surrounded by steep drop-offs and that Fumarole Bay is one of the few shoreline areas where swimmers can climb in and out of the 91

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Left: Visitors enjoy a calm section of Southern Oregon’s Rogue River during a Rogue Wilderness Adventures raft trip. Other popular activities on the river include boating, fishing and swimming. Right: The sun shines across the RoxyAnn vineyards in the Rogue Valley. The RoxyAnn is one of many award-winning wineries found in the Rogue Valley American Viticultural Area, which is known for growing Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah grapes.

water. Also, wearing a life jacket is always a good idea when swimming in such cold water. Later, after we reboard the tour boat to complete the lake cruise, the park ranger describes the geology behind this unique area. Crater Lake was created 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama—a 12,000-foot-tall active volcano—erupted, collapsed and eventually filled with enough melted snow and rain to offset the water lost through evaporation and seepage. Unusually, the lake has no inlet or outlet. At a depth of 1,943 feet at its lowest point, Crater Lake is the nation’s deepest lake. It is also one of the world’s cleanest and clearest deep bodies of water. The otherworldly ambiance of the lake is evident in the names given to Wizard Island and another island dubbed Phantom Ship. We circle around the small, jagged island, where rock pillars rise 160 feet above the lake’s waterline. The island earned the strange moniker because its rock formations are said to resemble the mast and sails of a ghost ship, especially in foggy or low-light conditions. The rocky spot also can seem to ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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disappear from view at different times of the day from certain vantage points around the rim. We then cruise along the caldera walls beneath towering cliffs whose dramatic sizes are not fully appreciated when viewed from Rim Drive. Our hike back up the Cleetwood Cove Trail is a strenuous workout as we rise about 700 feet on the switchback path to the parking lot. Back on Rim Drive, which has been named one of America’s 10 most beautiful drives, we resume our clockwise circuit, stopping at select overlooks, including one of my favorites, the Phantom Ship Overlook, which gives us the opportunity to look down on the tiny island we had earlier cruised around. For another favorite excursion, we turn off Rim Drive and travel 1.2 miles on Pinnacles Road to a longtime attraction that has been given new life. For decades, an unnamed waterfall near Anderson Bluff was an unmarked secret known to only a few people. To promote the location, Crater Lake Superintendent Craig Ackerman authorized the construction of a 1.1-mile-long wheelchair-accessible trail to the enchanting 35-foot falls. With input from the local Klamath Tribes, the falls were renamed Plaikni, which translates to “from the high country.” Since its opening in 2011, the mostly flat trail—which passes by glorious patches of wildflowers, such as arrowleaf groundsel, Lewis monkeyflowers and 93

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paintbrush—has proved popular with visitors. That evening, we stay at the historic Crater Lake Lodge, which was originally built in 1915 and is known for its grand fireplace, rustic charm and location on the rim of the caldera. The 71 rooms aren’t fancy, but the breathtaking views, especially from those facing the lake, are not to be missed. Dinner proves a delightfully difficult decision. I have trouble choosing between the Northwest citrus duck, rack of lamb and New York strip steak. I’m finally swayed by the wild Alaska salmon, which is served on a bed of seasoned spinach and accompanied by an excellent strawberry, avocado and salsa sauce.

Exploring the Rogue Valley The next morning we leave Crater Lake

Lodge and drive down Highway 62 toward the Rogue Valley. At Union Creek, a resort area 20 miles southwest of Crater Lake, we stop for a hike. From the Rogue Gorge parking lot, we walk a quarter of a mile to view the Upper Rogue River. At this location, the roiling river squeezes through a 25-foot-wide, 500-foot-long chasm and then plunges about 45 feet as it flows over a series of mini-waterfalls. The 215-mile-long Rogue River is a major recreational destination in Southern Oregon. The majestic river begins just inside Crater Lake National Park’s northern boundary at Boundary Springs and flows generally westward, irrigating Medford and the Rogue Valley, and eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean at the town of Gold Beach. A 43-mile wilderness section of the waterway— beginning where it meets Grave Creek and extending to where it reaches the small town of Agness—was designated the nation’s first Wild and Scenic River. Hiking is only one of the activities along the river. Sections of the Rogue River are ideal for boating, fishing and swimming. Various companies specialize in rafting and wilderness tours, which run the gamut from gentle half- to full-day float trips suitable for kids and first-time rafters, to more adventurous, multiday whitewater trips. Over the years, I’ve taken 94

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seven-mile float from Hog Creek. It is Ruby’s peaceful, gentle and not-too-splashy introduction to the river. After our rafting trip, we decide to explore the local wine scene and join a tour of the RoxyAnn Winery in Medford. The award-winning winery is among many found throughout the expansive Rogue Valley American Viticultural Area. The burgeoning wine region is known for its warm temperatures and plentiful sunlight, making it perfect for growing such wine grape varieties as Cabernet Franc, Ashland’s Oregon Cabernet SauviShakespeare Festival is gnon, Merlot and one of the state’s most popular annual events. Syrah. We end up buying two fine wines to take home—a Cabernet Franc for me and a Pinot Gris for Ruby. T CHARLES ERICKSON

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my daughters on half-day, do-it-yourself, mild-water raft trips, paddled a whitewater canoe with friends on multiday camping trips, and taken a four-day combination hiking-rafting excursion that featured sumptuous meals at riverside lodges. Ruby and I follow the river another 1.2 miles, cross a bridge over Union Creek and then work our way back to the parking lot, a 2.2-mile round-trip. As a reward for the extra hiking, we stop nearby at Beckie’s Cafe for slices of its famous homemade huckleberry pie, topped, of course, with ice cream. Back in the car, we follow scenic Highway 62, often paralleling the Rogue River, past the town of Prospect, Lost Creek Lake and the town of Shady Cove. We stop on the edge of Medford, Southern Oregon’s largest city and the region’s commercial and shopping hub, to visit one of my favorite food stops—the Rogue Creamery in the town of Central Point. Although it has been producing fine cheeses from its unimposing stucco building since 1933, the creamery’s reputation skyrocketed in 2003 when its Rogue River Blue brand of cheese was named “Best Blue Cheese in the World” at the World Cheese Awards in London. We nibble samples of savory Rogue River Blue and other craft cheeses at the creamery and then round out the experience by visiting the adjacent Lillie Belle Farms chocolate shop for more tastings. Just as with the cheeses, a sampling or two always leads to our buying a few treats. This time, we buy homemade bonbons, cherry cordials and other chocolate delights. Once we pull ourselves away from the joys of fine cheeses and chocolates, we drive the short distance to Medford and go right to Rogue Wilderness Adventures, one of the region’s outdoor guide and outfitting services. Because Ruby has little river experience, we opt to be part of a half-day,

Visiting the Bard We check in to our Medford hotel, change clothes and relax before driving the 12 miles south to Ashland. We have tickets that evening to a production at the worldrenowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival. From late February till early November each year, the town of Ashland centers around the famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The Tony Award–winning theater company produces 11 plays—this year four Shakespeare works and seven other plays—that are divided among three venues. As usual, the 2013 schedule of plays offers a rich and varied season. We are on our way to see the swashbuckling comedy adventure The Heart of Robin Hood, which is being performed at my favorite Ashland space, the flagship outdoor Elizabethan Stage. This extraordinary setting is an open-air theater, with a stage and backdrop that are reminiscent of theaters during the Elizabethan era. Because it is open to the elements, the Elizabethan Stage is in use only from early June through mid-October. Other plays AUGUST 2013


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being performed here include Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and one of his lesser-known works, Cymbeline. The Taming of the Shrew, which runs through November 3, is being performed at the Angus Bowmer Theatre. Also at the Bowmer are the crowd-pleasing musical My Fair Lady, the Tennessee Williams classic A Streetcar Named Desire and the world premiere of The Tenth Muse. The festival’s third site, the Thomas Theatre, is presenting King Lear, as well as two world premieres: the story of slaves seeking freedom in The Liquid Plain, and the bluesy musical The Unfortunates. We enjoy our first day in the Medford area so much that the following day we tour more wineries and catch another fine performance at the festival. We opt for a change of pace on our final evening in the area by attending the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, which is known as Ashland’s other professional theater. We arrive early to enjoy a gourmet dinner and this summer’s wonderfully comical musical Nunsensations: The Nunsense Las Vegas Review. At the show’s intermission, we share a cabaret tradition: a decadent Dick Hay Pie—named in honor of Richard Hay, the festival’s principal theater designer and scenic designer. The pie is a local delicacy, consisting of peanut butter and vanilla ice cream layered in a chocolate crumb crust and covered with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. The dessert is an appropriate treat to mark the end of our Southern Oregon tour. From exploring Crater Lake, to hiking and rafting along the Rogue River, and enjoying Ashland’s excellent entertainment, we have truly tasted some of the region’s most delicious offerings. Lee Juillerat is a writer living in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

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Residents of Eugene will tell you that Oregon’s

CENTRAL OREGON WONDERS Enjoying Eugene and the Oregon Coast | By Gary Hayes


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second-largest city has something for everyone. Not only is the south Willamette Valley city home to the University of Oregon, but it also is located near the state’s renowned Pinot Noir wine country and some of the nation’s most scenic recreational areas, including the central Oregon coast. This rare mix of attractions fits perfectly with a city that loves the outdoors and proudly wears the nickname of “TrackTown USA.” Eugene manages to blend these elements into a metropolitan mélange that is funky and fun. AUGUST 2013


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To get a sense of the area’s outdoor culture, visitors can explore the city’s many jogging, walking and bicycling trails. One of the most popular locations is Alton Baker Park, a 373-acre green space located across the Willamette River from downtown Eugene. I like touring the park, which includes duck ponds, a disc golf course and art displays. The Cuthbert Amphitheater draws major musical acts, and there is even the 1-acre Nobel Peace Park which honors the 24 Americans who have received the Nobel Peace Prize. The park’s best features are its miles of interlocking ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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trails, including the Steve Prefontaine Memorial Trail. The path pays tribute to the University of Oregon track star and beloved local athlete who died in a 1975 auto accident at the height of his career. The U of O, which is located a few blocks to the east of the city’s downtown core, brings a youthful energy to Eugene. While the community swells with avid green-and-yellow-clad university fans during sporting events, the school offers many additional attractions, including a fine collection of Asian and Oregon art on display at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Also in the downtown area is the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, home of the Eugene Ballet Company, and the city’s opera and symphony. It also hosts the annual Oregon Bach Festival, which is held from late June to mid-July. Beyond the arts, Eugene has gained a reputation for its top-flight craft beer and restaurant scene. Awardwinning Falling Sky Brewing and Steelhead Brewing Company are among many Eugene brewers that feature their own excellent brands. Downtown also offers many fine restaurants. Some of my favorites include the gourmet waffles at either of Eugene’s two Off the Waffle restaurants, the innovative soul food served at Belly and the fine French cuisine at Marché. One longtime attraction is Eugene’s Saturday Market. Launched in 1970, the open-air market has become an institution and now fills downtown’s Park Blocks at Eighth Avenue and Oak Street each Saturday from April to mid-November. Market vendors sell a variety of handmade products. A somewhat more upscale, but equally diverse shopping experience can be found at the Fifth Street Public Market, located at Fifth Avenue and High Street in downtown Eugene. With the city near one of the state’s top wine regions, a trip to area wineries is a must for any visiting wine lover. Within a 30-mile drive of the city, you can visit more than a dozen tasting rooms and wineries, including LaVelle Vineyards, Saginaw Vineyard and the King Estate Winery. Among Oregon’s largest wine producers, King Estate boasts a grand château, an




Left: The surf cascades into a large sea cave, known as Thor’s Well, creating a spectacular sight at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area along the central Oregon coast. This area is home to a number of unusual rock formations. Above: A sandboarder catches plenty of air while sliding down a sand dune at Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, located south of the Oregon coastal town of Florence.


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excellent restaurant and more than 1,000 acres of gardens, grounds and vineyards.

Sandy Oasis Eugene is also known as a gateway to the state’s

scenic central coast. When visiting the region, a good place to start is the town of Florence, located about 60 miles west of Eugene. The beach town sits at the mouth of the Siuslaw River and is a fine base for exploring the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, where towering sand dunes stretch for nearly 40 miles along the coastline. To experience this sandy phenomenon, drive four miles south of Florence to Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park. This area is more than just sand; it is also home to Woahink Lake, which is popular with anglers fishing for trout. The nearby Siltcoos Lake is known for salmon and steelhead fishing. For those who want to see the area by all-terrain vehicle (ATV), there are many local outfitters that specialize in renting equipment and offering tours. For instance, the Sand Dunes Frontier, located near Honeyman Memorial State Park, rents ATVs and offers guided tours in dune buggies and group tours aboard a minibus-size vehicle built to traverse the sand. ZUMA PRESS, INC. / ALAMY

Right: California and Steller sea lions rest on rock outcroppings inside the Sea Lion Caves, the nation’s largest sea cave and one of the Oregon Coast’s oldest privately owned attractions. Below: Eugene’s famed Hayward Field has hosted numerous national track-andfield championships and U.S. Olympic trials.


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If you are seeking a bird’s-eye view, visit the Florence Municipal Airport, where helicopter tours are available. Aero Legends also gives exhilarating tours of the coastline in a World War II–era Stearman “Kaydet” biplane. Dune recreation has come a long way since I was a youngster using pieces of cardboard to sled down the mountains of sand on the central coast. Today, the dunes attract visitors seeking the perfect slopes for the growing sport of sandboarding, where participants speed down the dunes on modified snowboards. Beginners will find sandboarding gear for rent, as well as lessons and training slopes, at Sand Master Park on the north end of Florence. The park features 40 acres of privately owned sand dunes. For the best dune hiking, I travel to the John Dellenback Dunes Trail, near the Eel Creek Campground. This area is closed to ATVs and allows hikers to trek into this unspoiled landscape—surrounded by giant dunes—and walk the three miles to the beach. The Old Town district in Florence is a welcome sight after a long day of sandy adventures. I stop at the venerable Waterfront Depot Restaurant & Bar to enjoy one of the house specialties—crab-encrusted Alaska halibut, served with a chile cream sauce. The next morning, I buy a latte and croissant at 101

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my favorite local coffee shop, the Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters, and then prepare to continue my trip north.

Coastal Attractions A few miles up the coast on The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene is known for fine collections of both Asian and Oregon art.

U.S. Route 101, also known as the Oregon Coast Highway, the road climbs steeply before revealing spectacular views of the coastline and ocean. Here, I pull into the parking lot of the Sea Lion Caves, one of the Oregon coast’s oldest privately owned attractions, which last year celebrated its 80th anniversary. Although this cave has been a must-see stop on the Oregon coast since the early 1930s, it became much easier to visit in 1961 when an elevator was installed, whisking visitors down 208 feet to the nation’s largest sea cave, home to hundreds of Steller and California sea lions. On this visit, I see dozens of the massive mammals basking on the rocky ledges below the Sea Lion Caves’ viewpoint, where they are often seen during the spring and summer. From just beyond the Sea Lion Caves, I can see

the newly renovated Heceta Head Lighthouse in a stunning setting about a mile and a half to the north. The historic lighthouse, which is open to tours daily from 11 A.M. to 3 P.M., can be reached by taking a short trail from the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint and passing by the Light Keeper’s House, which is now a romantic bed-and-breakfast. The Coast Highway entices travelers with many viewpoints and beach-access spots. However, make sure to leave time for the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, located about 11 miles north of the Heceta Head Lighthouse. This stretch of coastline offers many remarkable and intriguing sights. I park at the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center (there is also parking at the highway wayside at Cook’s Chasm). From the viewpoint at the highway turnout, I watch ocean waves flow up the narrow channel, the water crashing on the rocks with a powerful boom. Short trails lead down to the shore, where volcanic rock and surf have combined to create a number of unusual formations. When the tide is right in certain spots, ocean water bursts out in saltwater fountains. These spectacular sites have

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earned such names as Spouting Horn, Thor’s Well and Devil’s Churn. Spouting Horn is the first formation I encounter. It is created at high tides, when some of the waves rolling up Cook’s Chasm are forced through a small opening in the rock formation, creating a geyser of fine mist that resembles the spout of an enormous whale. Nearby is Thor’s Well, which looks like a large round hole in the rock plateau, but is actually a sea cave whose ceiling long ago collapsed. I’m mesmerized watching the ocean surge into the cave, sending seawater gushing out of the ceiling opening. The surf then drains back into the massive hole, or “well,” in the rock plateau as the swell recedes, creating a 360-degree waterfall. Paved trails lead along this active shoreline, and a short hike will take you to Devil’s Churn, another deep and narrow channel that turns the ocean’s waves into an angry, crashing froth. At low tide, visitors can carefully explore colorful tide pools throughout this area.

Beach Towns After witnessing nature’s water pyro-

technics at Cape Perpetua, I continue north, driving 26 miles to the town of Newport, home to several other popular coastal attractions. The town’s Oregon Coast Aquarium is considered among the top facilities of its kind in the country. One of its most popular exhibits is “Passages of the Deep,” in which visitors walk through large, clear acrylic tubes suspended underwater and are able to observe sharks and other fish up close. Other exhibits include one of the largest walk-through aviaries in North America, which is occupied by tufted puffins and several other varieties of seabirds. Visitors should plan for at least two hours at this world-class attraction. Newport also has an interesting historic bayfront that is part working waterfront and part tourist center. The bayfront features a mix of seafood processing plants, entertaining attractions, restaurants, galleries and gift shops. The barking sea lions on the harbor docks frequently can be heard throughout the bayfront, and the blubbery 104

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beasts always attract a crowd. Another worthwhile Newport attraction is the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, offering panoramic views and a scenic lighthouse. It is also a great place to watch birds and marine life. I plan my visit for low tide and descend a stairway to one of the coast’s best tide pool areas, where I often find spiky purple sea urchins, green anemones and many other colorful and fascinating creatures. Just north of Newport is the Devils Punch Bowl at Otter Rock, where the surf and winds have sculpted a large cauldron in which the surf roils and foams. The spot also offers an excellent coastline viewpoint. A few miles farther north is the town of Depoe Bay, which is famous for its own rock formations that force surf into geysers when the tide is right. The town is one of the Oregon coast’s best whale-watching spots year-round and is home to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s Whale Watching Center. Lincoln City is another popular Oregon coast destination, drawing visitors to area beaches and resorts. If you’ve always wanted to experience glassblowing for yourself, Lincoln City offers a great opportunity at the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio. Professional artists will help novices, such as myself, blow their own piece of glass art. I select two shades of vibrant green and, with the assistance of one of the resident artists, blow a fine art-glass float on my first try. The float is a great memento of my trip to the Eugene and scenic central Oregon coast area. Visitors can take in many of these sights on a trip lasting a day or two. However, plan on spending a minimum of three to four days to truly discover the wonders of this remarkable area of Central Oregon. Gary Hayes is a writer and editor living in Cannon Beach. For more information about visiting Oregon’s central coast area, go to Alaska Airlines serves Eugene daily. To buy a ticket, visit or call 800-ALASKAAIR. AUGUST 2013


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A Lamborghini Aventador (left) and a Ferrari F458 Italia are just two of the rare cars that Exotics Racing School students drive at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

DRIVING Like a Pro Programs help amateurs learn the secrets of professional race-car drivers By Jeff Layton


y Subaru Impreza WRX STI howls as it flies across the gravel field. In its wake, pebbles scatter in all directions and mud rooster tails like two chocolate fountains from behind my

back tires. At my high rate of speed, I approach a broad curve that I feel will send me spinning out of control. However, my car holds its line, and I perform a perfect sideways slide.


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The Impreza seems to be floating—picture a hovercraft gliding along angles not intended for anything on wheels. I alternate between the brake and the accelerator, sending my car in and out of skids. I enter a section of wet pavement where I yank the parking brake hard enough to nail a 180-degree turn, a move that would be difficult on a bicycle, let alone a car weighing 3,000 pounds. With the sound of screeching tires in my ears, I can’t help but feel like a real liveaction hero. Was this a well-rehearsed stunt for the next Hollywood blockbuster? Not even close. In fact, I am spending the day in driving school, and my maneuvers are part of my final exam. I’ve always loved going fast and have dreamed of pushing a car to its limits. However, the inherent dangers of the activity have always held me back. That was before I found myself rocketing sideways through the mud at DirtFish Rally School in Snoqualmie, Washington, about 30 miles east of Seattle.

The program specializes in teaching mixed-surface driving techniques that allow students to go “further, faster, safer,” according to the company’s online brochure. Think of such courses as places where normally cautious drivers, such as myself, can slip into protective suits and live out their racing fantasies behind the wheel of a high-performance road machine. DirtFish Rally School is one of a small, but growing, number of driving programs that can be found across the country. They offer a variety of classes that are designed for novices who have no experience but want to improve their driving skills, enjoy the thrill of the ride and do so in a relatively safe environment. Through such programs, I meet other amateur drivers who have experienced the thrill of racing NASCAR stock cars, Formula One racers and even Ferraris and Lamborghinis. These driving schools give me and other drivers the chance to experience what it’s like to push a car to 180 mph. The driving is a thrill I’ll never forget. However,

A Subaru Impreza WRX STI slides through a muddy section of the DirtFish Rally School track in Snoqualmie, Washington.


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Instructors for the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure warm up the NASCAR race cars in the morning with a few laps around the Talladega Superspeedway. Left: A racing adventure instructor takes a passenger on a “ride along” around the superspeedway track.

it’s left me with one problem: Since participating in these classes, I’ve found that driving my family car doesn’t seem quite as thrilling as it once did.

Learning to drive all over again Most racing schools take place on closed tracks, including DirtFish Rally School. However, this year-round program is different. It teaches students to handle all-wheel drive vehicles on various surfaces, including dirt, gravel, mud, and, during winter months, even snow and ice. The main purpose of the first class is to learn how to slide sideways while maintaining control—a maneuver commonly known as drifting. Trying such a maneuver around tight corners is going to fulfill my interest in speed, but first I have to learn how to drive all over again. My instructor stands well over 6 feet tall, but his philosophical style is more akin to diminutive Jedi teacher Yoda from Star Wars, advising me that when it comes to driving, “You must unlearn what you have learned.” That may sound strange to the uninitiated, especially to someone like me who has 25 years of driving experience ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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without a major accident or even a speeding ticket. However, learning to drive like a professional means I need to fix a few bad habits. Virtually all of these driving classes, whether they last a half day or three days, start the same way: a morning classroom session where we learn about the track, safety features of the car and some of the basics concerning driving theory. One of the most important lessons I’m taught is how to see the road. “Most people don’t look far enough ahead. They focus on the taillights in front of them, not what’s happening down the road,” DirtFish senior instructor Nate Tennis says. Learning how to avoid such tunnel vision— so you can see the bigger picture of what’s coming at you—is a major part of learning to drive fast. In rally racing, a popular mantra is, “You go where you look,” and my ride-along instructor Tennis gently reminds me of this fact through my helmet intercom system when we spin sideways on the track. By looking out the side window of the sideways car, I’m actually looking down the track instead of out the windshield, which is pointing toward trouble. I am able to glide with the spin and gain control with almost no effort. Yoda is right—I’m beginning to feel like a Jedi. Weight transfer is my second lesson. As it turns out, the brakes on a vehicle can be used for more than just slowing down. In driving theory, brakes are also used to 109

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shift the weight of your car forward in order to give the front wheels the traction they need to guide you through a turn. Accelerating shifts At left: Students receive instructions on a Formula One–style race the weight back so you can use it to gain car at an Allen Berg Racing School. Above: The single-seat Formula One–style race cars sit only a few inches off the pavement, giving traction as you exit the turn. the high-performance machines a lower center of gravity. I also learn that the line you choose when driving affects how smoothly you corner. As you approach a turn, altering your approach even a few inches can make a huge difference in how your ferable to everyday driving. A tendency to drive where car handles. The same is true when you drive on the highyou look is the reason drivers sometimes drift off the way. One of the unexpected outcomes from my classes is road and cross the right-side fog line. being able to apply what I learn to the real world. In your SUV, choosing the right line can go a long way toward The NASCAR effect maintaining control on a snowy mountain road. And the Chris Welker of Piperton, Tennessee, has been a skylessons from “you go where you look” are certainly transdiver since 1996, so he’s no stranger to extreme sports.


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However, when he approached the steeply banked turn at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama, he thought momentarily to himself, “Now what have I gotten myself into?” A lifelong fan of NASCAR, Welker always wanted to know what it was like to experience the G-forces of stock-car racing. When he joined a class at the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure, which puts students in actual NASCAR race cars, he found the experience to be both mentally and physically overwhelming—and a lot of fun.

To imagine what the experience is like, think back to the old Gravitron ride at your local fair. The centrifugal force created by the spinning ride pinned you against the wall of the ride and made it difficult to lift your arms or turn your head. At 180 mph, the feeling inside a race car is much the same. The forces on your body can actually make it difficult to drive the car. “After 40 laps, I could feel it in my rib cage,” says Welker of the pressure from such a high rate of speed. “The centrifugal force of a 180-mph turn pressing on your

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organs—it takes a lot of energy just to stay on target. You feel yourself getting heavy, getting sucked into your seat.” Fans of NASCAR are accustomed to seeing cockpit cameras inside the cars, but nothing can replicate what the body goes through when actually racing in these cars. Welker tells the story of learning to draft during a recent lapping session. His instructor (riding in the seat beside him) gave a hand signal telling Welker to inch closer to a classmate’s car directly in front of him as they sped around the track at full throttle. The instructor wanted Welker to get into the front car’s slipstream, which reduces wind drag on the second car. Welker was creeping up on the sweet spot—the low-pressure air bubble a speeding car leaves in its wake. He knew he’d hit it when he felt a sudden whoomph as the barometric pressure changed. “You feel it in your body,” Welker says of entering the slipstream. “It’s like someone takes your breath away.” He drafted behind the car for two laps before overtaking the car in a slingshot maneuver that sent him rocketing past his classmate. The class has given Welker increased respect for and understanding of NASCAR. He says that now when he watches races on television, he has a sense of what those drivers are experiencing.

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Gaining a sense of what it’s like to be a professional racer is part of the allure of these high-performance racing classes. However, graduates of the programs say it really comes down to the thrill of driving. People from many different walks of life are spending their money on unique experiences, and that includes different forms of car racing. “When 15 years have passed and the hair on the back of your neck still stands up when you think about your day at the track—that’s an intense emotional experience,” says Rachel Greer, an office manager for the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure. “That’s not the kind of experience you can usually buy.” AUGUST 2013


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Greer says about 70 percent of first-time drivers take a class as part of a birthday, Father’s Day or Christmas present, because more and more people want to give the gift of a lifetime memory.

Schools of Speed Allen Berg Racing Schools—Learn open-wheel Formula One racing from former professional drivers, including Allen Berg. The schools are located in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. The vehicles have no windows, doors or instructor riding along—just you and a carbon fiber speed machine that can go from 0 to 60 mph in seconds. Many classes start at $200. Cloud 9 Living—A company specializing in experiential gifts, Cloud 9 offers driving courses on 40 tracks nationwide. Ride-along packages start at $95, and driving packages that include eight to 30 laps start at $199. Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure—Run by a NASCAR legend, the company teaches racing techniques aboard NASCAR-style stock cars. Schools are held on tracks throughout the country. A three-lap ride-along package begins at $195. Introductory driving classes start at $395. DirtFish Rally School—Behind the wheel of an all-wheel drive Subaru Impreza, drivers learn weight transfer and drifting techniques on a course that features high-speed turns through deep gravel and wet pavement. Drivers are also taught to perform a 180-degree turn, using a hand brake. Classes at the Snoqualmie, Washington, facility start at $299. Exotics Racing School—Drive a car from one of the world’s largest collections of exotic supercars, including Aston Martins, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens and Porsches. The Las Vegas program offers a five-lap introduction package that costs between $199 and $499, depending on the car chosen. Ride along in a high-speed Corvette for $99. —J.L.


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mula One–style racing. At the Allen Berg Racing School in Los Angeles, he finds his driving bliss in the open cockpit of a Renault Formula car, which sits only a few inches above the pavement. Unlike NASCAR racing, with its famously banked oval tracks, Formula One–style racing typically includes driving a relatively flat course set up with many twists and turns. “Road courses are challenging,” he says. “Openwheel cars are much lower to the ground, so you feel every bump in the road. There’s no power or automatic anything. Your

The fastest thing on wheels NASCAR may be the most popular, but there are many types of auto racing available for those with a need for speed, including Formula One. Thomas Mueller of Orange County, California, has a true passion for driving fast. He has taken classes in various motorsports, but he says that there’s no greater rush in the world than open-wheel For-

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accelerating, braking and shifting is a more involved process. It’s an amazing rush that you can’t get anywhere else. You can go from 0 to 100 mph and back down to 40 mph in a quarter mile.” Formula One–style cars are built with stiff suspension, and you can hit 1 or 2 Gs of force on your body through a flat turn that is not banked. “It’s literally hard to keep your head upright,” Mueller says. He compares the experience to skydiving, but instead of a single rush when you leave the plane, Formula One–style racing gives a constant adrenaline charge, turn after turn. The feeling is even more intense when you are competing with other drivers on the course. Formula One–style cars are single-seat race cars, putting drivers in the center of the car with no ride-along instructor. “You don’t sit in a car; you wear it,” says Allen Berg, a 25-year Formula One–style racing veteran who still leads classes. Carbon fiber bodies make Formula One– style race cars extremely light, and with only an inch or two of ground clearance, the low center of gravity means these cars can take corners faster than any other race car on the road. Berg says onboard computers record everything a driver does—kind of like the black box in an airplane. Students review their performances on computers at the end of their session, showing their speed, gear changes, throttle position, brake pressure and position on the track. Drivers can also compare their statistics to a professional driver’s profile, showing students where they have room to improve. Mueller has never had an accident (major damage at racing schools is rare), but he has spun out a few times when hitting the gas too early or too hard coming out of a turn. He says the cars are extremely sensitive. While that may intimidate some, Mueller likes knowing he has absolute control and has the potential to push the car to its limits.

Not just eye candy Across the California desert from Los Angeles, David Perisset is offering his own unique spin on the continued on page 173 AUGUST 2013


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No two tracks are the same in the “Roller Coaster” exhibit at Pasadena’s Kidspace Children’s Museum. This activity lets guests control the design and scale of the tracks while they experiment with potential and kinetic energy.

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Where Science Meets Fun Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s museums and science centers make learning exciting By Lora Shinn

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My son is 7 years old, and I just introduced him to neuroscience.

Children move to trigger activities within Exergames, an interactive feature of “Professor Wellbody’s Academy of Health & Wellness,” at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center.


Science center fundamentals “Science centers are sites for informal learning and are places to discover, explore and test ideas about science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” according to the Association of Science-Technology Centers. That type of learning is important, because STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills are at the core of future employment in many fields. “Students who are inspired by science by eighth grade are three times more likely to pursue degrees in science,” says Bud Rock, ASTC’s CEO. The Magic Planet at the So, museums of all kinds are workAnchorage Museum’s ing to encourage lifelong affection for Imaginarium Discovery science in its various forms. They are Center lets users addressing all topics, from exoskelcontrol the images that project from inside the etons to plate tectonics, using terms spherical screen. kids understand (such as “bug armor” and “earthquakes”). Some science-focused establishments prefer the term “science center,” due to stereotypes of museums as This table-size display at San fusty, dusty buildings Francisco’s with displays behind Exploratorium glass. And from the allows visitors 1950s through the to simulate the 1970s, this might’ve effects of ocean conditions on been an accurate global plankton description of many populations. children’s science institutions—yet this style of venue is now mostly gone; few people today want to visit a “don’t-touchanything” museum. In the 1970s, science museums began to introduce interactive exhibits with features such as push-button and light-up special


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I didn’t open a textbook to page 232 and start reading. Instead, I took my son to a local science institution—the Pacific Science Center, in Seattle. In the center’s exhibit “Professor Wellbody’s Academy of Health & Wellness,” my son and I played Mind Ball, a two-player learning game in which each contestant, connected to a computer by way of a sensor-filled headband, uses brain waves to “push” a ball into the other player’s goal. The trick? The most relaxed contestant wins—a calm brain wave pushes the ball farther, faster. The game is harder than it seems, and it’s even more difficult when you’re laughing. Nearby, toddlers in ballet flats and preschoolers in tennis shoes tried Exergames—a motion-activated floor-light activity within “Professor Wellbody’s Academy” that flashes the patterns of kids’ footsteps. Meanwhile, in the “Insect Village,” teens marveled at an animatronic praying mantis blown up to 1950s B-movie proportions, and more preschool kids and their parents hesitated, and then carefully extended their index fingers to pet a real, live Madagascar hissing cockroach. Near a planetary weigh-in station and a giant 6-foot-wide sphere representing Earth, a young boy sat inside a Gemini capsule model. As the model boomed staticky commands from mission control, it vibrated. The boy leaped up and bolted down the steps of the capsule, sure that it was about to take off. “This place is awesome,” said my son. It’s funny that I’m here. I avoided science as much as possible in my formal education—intimidated by the jargon and equations. But my kids get as excited when I announce a trip to the science museum as they do for a playground or arcade visit. Learning doesn’t have to be painful or boring, as long as you’re doing it right.


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Places to Explore The following is a sampling of

science centers, science museums and science-oriented children’s museums around the Alaska Airlines route system. THE WEST  Arizona Science Center Phoenix, AZ 602-716-2000 More than 300 exhibits in seven galleries allow families to explore topics from digital communication to solar heat to physics. The Forces of Nature gallery offers a chance to step into a hurricane, tornado, wildfire, volcanic eruption or monsoon, via a 5-minute show.

 Children’s Discovery Museum San Jose, CA 408-298-5437 This venue boasts more than 100 exhibits designed to appeal to kids. Families can help with morning chores (and learn about life sciences) in the Kids’ Garden; meet “Lupe,” a 14,000-year-old mammoth; and experience a 3,100-square-foot “learning laboratory” for kids ages 4 and under.

 Exploratorium San Francisco, CA 415-528-4444 Three times the size of the previous Exploratorium, this brain-expanding behemoth now takes up 330,000 square feet right on San Francisco’s Pier 15 (with space to expand into Pier 17, next door). More than 600 exhibits encourage visitors to try experiences such as being in rainstorms from around the world, stepping inside a room that’s missing all color and creating a supersized chute for marbles.

 Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center Honolulu, HI 808-524-5437 Right next to a waterfront park in downtown Honolulu, this museum welcomes visitors to explore cultural and scientific topics relating to the Hawaiian Islands, learn about the human body and even pick some pineapples. A rain forest–themed area welcomes all ages and offers a special area for the age 3-and-under crowd.


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 Imaginarium Discovery Center at the Anchorage Museum Anchorage, AK imaginarium.aspx 907-929-9200 A 9,000-square-foot section of the Anchorage Museum, the Imaginarium Discovery Center has exhibits focused on space, earth science, life science, physics and other topics. Meet animals in the underwater touch tank and create your own aurora borealis. There is also a play area ideal for the 5-and-under set.

 Kidspace Children’s Museum Pasadena, CA 626-449-9144 Even toddlers can get in some handson earth-science learning at Kidspace, where they can create a water vortex, play the part of a paleontologist or see the world from a bug’s point of view. This museum is innovative in its use of outdoor space; take on curves at the Trike Tracks or scramble on the roots of an upside-down tree.

 Mobius Science Center and Mobius Children’s Museum Spokane, WA 509-443-5669 (Mobius Science Center) 509-624-5437 (Mobius Children’s Museum) Two branches of Mobius complement each other, with the children’s museum serving visitors under age 8 and the science center focusing on ages 8 and up. At the children’s museum, watch water’s force in action at the erosion table, or drive a car through a kid-scaled city. At the science center, observe bearded dragons and carnivorous plants; launch a water rocket; and digitally dissect the human body.

 Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) Portland, OR 800-955-6674 Located on the banks of the Willamette River, this museum has been entertaining generations since the 1940s. Watch stars dance in the planetarium; go under the sea in the on-site submarine; and build an aqueduct. More than 200 interactive exhibits fill the enormous 219,000-square-foot space.


 Pacific Science Center Seattle, WA 206-443-2001 From beneath its graceful arches at Seattle Center, this science museum encourages visitors to walk among more than 500 fluttering creatures in the 4,000-square-foot Tropical Butterfly House and to explore attractions such as the new permanent exhibit “Professor Wellbody’s Academy of Health & Wellness.”

 Science World at Telus World of Science Vancouver, BC 604-443-7440 More than $35 million was recently poured into revamping this site. Play a harp with invisible strings; lift a hippo with levers; and watch your face age before your eyes. Here’s a tip: Arrive at the popular live science shows in advance to get great seats.

 Perot Museum of Nature and Science Dallas, TX 214-428-5555 Eleven permanent exhibit halls are stocked from ceiling to floor with creative ways to experience energy, engineering, life sciences and the universe. Program a robot; build a model skyscraper to withstand an earthquake’s force; and make your own on-camera weather report.

 Wonderscope Shawnee, KS 913-287-8888 In the suburbs of Kansas City, Wonderscope sparks imagination and creativity. Learn about the power of water at “H2Oh!”; play with gravity at the “Raceways” exhibit; and learn about undersea ecology in the Lego Ocean Adventure, which was built with 183,360 Lego bricks.

The Works

MIDWEST AND SOUTH  Children’s Museum of Houston Houston, TX 713-522-1138 Learn about the teeny-tiny science of nanotech; cool off in the “FlowWorks” exhibit (watching out for that 18-foottall cauldron of water—it tips and spills!); and use pulleys to raise yourself five feet into the air with the Kid Lift. If you’ve got a brainy boy or girl, try the Think Tank, which asks kids to solve riddles, puzzles and optical illusions.

 Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, IL 773-684-1414 This institution—on the shores of Lake Michigan—has a right to brag. It’s one of the largest science centers in the world, with nearly 14 acres of activities related to STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math). Create your own tsunami in a wave tank; move objects with an electromagnetic crane; and visit the world’s largest pinball machine.

Bloomington, MN 952-888-4262 Making use of interactive exhibits and rotating design challenges, families can make and create at this suburban Minneapolis-area museum. Build a tower made of toothpicks or a paper skyscraper or your own original structure, bridge or free-form shape with magnetic rods and steel spheres.

EAST COAST  Boston Children’s Museum Boston, MA 617-426-6500 Create a kid-size city in the Construction Zone; puzzle your way through the three-story New Balance Climb; and get the inside scoop on the science of sand. More than a dozen sensoryrich exhibits allow kids to explore science, community and culture.

 Please Touch Philadelphia, PA 215-581-3181 The bright, cheerful “Flight Fantasy” space encourages kids to build rockets and pedal giant pinwheels. Families can race sailboats or hop from lily pad to lily pad in the River Adventures area. Special galleries include City Capers, Centennial Exploration and the Liberty Arm and Torch. —L.S.


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Museums, observes, Boston Children’s educators discovered Museum offers fun that very young children learning for all ages in its “Science could understand comPlayground.” plicated science ideas when those ideas were presented simply. In the Children’s Museum of Houston’s “Super Small Matter Lab,” for example, kids even play with the idea of nanotechnology (matter manipulation on a very turns out that tiny “baby” things—items small scale) through a variety of methods, that are small but important, like children such as moving tiny, vibrating pellets— themselves—fascinate kids. “molecules”—from one area to another. It Beth Fredericks, director of the Museums/Libraries Project, a program at Boston Children’s Museum funded by a Massachusetts Race to the Top grant, even tackles the STEM abbreviation in simple terms: “I love the Fred Rogers approach,” she says. “Science is really about nurturing a sense of wonder and curiosity. Technology is just a fancy word for ‘tools’ like crayons and scissors. Engineering is really about identifying a problem, thinking about solutions and trying them out—like when you’re building with blocks. Math is much more than counting—it’s patterns and sorting and identifying shapes.” Scientific awareness also takes root during seemingly everyday experiences, such as playing at a sand table. “When kids play in sand and water, they are exploring, describing, recording, finding evidence, taking risks, comparing, estimating and predicting,” Fredericks says. Children’s museums now integrate more science, and science museums integrate more play, but both are designed to enchant visitors of all ages with the magic of discovery.


effects. Now modern science museums and science centers largely cover the same ground—offering experiences that engage all of a visitor’s senses, in order to ignite a passionate, inquisitive approach toward science topics. Children’s museums are also getting in on the science fun. These venues traditionally served a specific age demographic— kids—and focused on art, music, family, community, the body and nature. Then, as Janet Rice Elman, executive director of the Association of Children’s

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Evolving exhibits Minnesota-based Linda Kramer is a welltraveled blogger at, and she is a mom of four. She visits science and children’s museums whenever traveling; her family has visited more than 35, from Minneapolis to Philadelphia. “We learn local history, culture and geography through museum exhibits,” Kramer says. Localized museum exhibits give visitors unique insights into a region in addition to science education. For example, at the AUGUST 2013


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senses to learn, retention improves. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, in Dallas, recently underwent a $185 million, December 2012 move to a new 180,000-square-foot location. Before the new museum’s opening, staff evaluated each exhibit to decide whether it should be moved or upgraded. “When we stepped back to look at the exhibits, we looked at how young children learn and process in a fully involved way,”

Kids play with physics at the “Spinning Disks” exhibit at Spokane’s Mobius Science Center.

Mobius Science Center in Spokane, Washington, kids brace for ice-age floodwaters in the Great Missoula Flood virtual simulator, accompanied by sound and visuals. At the Anchorage Museum’s Imaginarium Discovery Center, families make an aurora borealis by manipulating electrons inside a box containing a magnetized sphere. Some classic exhibits—proven crowdpleasers—appear at many museums. Today’s museumgoers still enjoy Bernoulli Blowers, developed in the 1950s. In these installations, a ball floats in midair, suspended in an air current emitted from a cone. Exhibits also adapt and evolve. Newer versions of Bernoulli Blowers encourage visitors to float balls of different sizes, tilt the wind-generating cone and otherwise push the parameters, says Alan J. Friedman, a museum development consultant focused on science. Consulting with scientists, museum designers draw on new knowledge in the field. At the Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena, California Institute of Technology professor (and dad) Mike Brown contributed heavily to the new Galvin Physics Forest, where kids hoist themselves off the ground using pulleys or shoot a bottle into the air. “I spent a lot of time and effort working through the educational components with exhibit designers,” Brown says. “It’s my baby, my ‘second child,’” he says, laughing. After installation, staff members refine exhibits to improve them and introduce new elements, sometimes even visiting other museums to compare and contrast. “There’s a flow of ideas,” Friedman says. Agile institutions keep up with scientific advancement and align exhibits and activities to new knowledge about how humans learn. For example, they factor in that when kids (and adults) engage their ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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says Steve Hinkley, the Perot Museum’s vice president of programs (and a former science teacher). When designing exhibits, he says, “we brought in as many senses as we could engage, so people have an experience that’s not only memorable but also enjoyable.” Interaction and innovation One big change in the past 20 years is a focus on “doing” science, rather than pressing a button and watching phenomena happen, observes Elman from the Association of Children’s Museums. For


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example, kids can learn plate tectonics from standing in a building shaking from an earthquake simulation. “Science becomes a verb, rather than subject or noun,” Elman says. “Boston Children’s Museum has been on top of changes in the field,” says Beth Fredericks. Hands-on exhibits fill BCM’s galleries, including one related to a locally produced children’s TV show. In 2010, the museum also developed a STEM kit for educators to use with kids under age 3— featuring simple tools such as magnifying glasses with items to look at, color paddles, smelling jars, bubble blowers and flashlights. “It’s a wonderful collection of activities and supplies that helps even babies have fun with science, technology, engineering and math,” Fredericks says. Exhibits today also encourage communication, says museum-consultant Friedman, reflecting trends in scientific fields. Some scientists work alone in a lab, but often, scientists rely on teamwork and frequent exchanges of ideas. So museum interpreters suggest ways for kids to play with exhibits. The interpreters describe how each exhibit works, while collecting visitor suggestions for improvement. Designed for two or three users at a time, today’s science-play stations increase collaboration among family members or even with strangers. “You can learn physics principles while having a good time winning a tug of war against your parents,” says Caltech professor Brown. Exhibits help kids make sense of the world around them—explaining everything from health to earth science to paleontology to physics. In Vancouver, British Columbia, a recent $35 million renovation led to a new outdoor gallery space for Science World at Telus World of Science. The whimsical, lively area introduces families to concepts of transportation, water, housing, electricity, food and waste. “People in the Pacific Northwest love the outdoors,” says Bryan Tisdall, president and CEO of Science World. Bringing learning outdoors puts it in a more natural context, rather than re-creating the environment indoors, he says. AUGUST 2013


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for better visits

These ideas are collected from Annie Douglass, senior science educator for OMSI’s Science Playground, and Alan J. Friedman, who consults for his company, Museum Development and Science Communication.


Plan your visit before arrival, Friedman says, by reviewing the museum’s website for maps and exhibit listings. Let kids help choose where to go first.


Leave special items at home or in the car, suggests Douglass. Other kids can’t differentiate between what belongs to your child and what belongs to the museum, which may cause conflicts.


Bring a change of clothes (in case kids get wet at the dam-building table, for example) and snacks to keep everyone’s energy up, Douglass says. Most museums have a snack or dining area.

locations, kids are encouraged to tinker and see what happens. Informal learning spaces encourage kids to wonder, test, figure things out—and yes, even fail—without fear of receiving an F. “Tinkering labs,” or “maker’s workshops,” are the latest tools for implementing such an approach. These workspaces offer construction and wiring tools, along with everyday items that can be re-engineered. Among the activities at San Francisco’s relocated and revamped Exploratorium, now open on Pier 15, kids can build circuit

boards using lightbulbs, wires and boards. Or they can craft flying objects out of items such as golf balls and strawberry baskets, which are then placed on an “air table” with a fan below (another take on the Bernoulli Blower). Each item will be as unique as the designer. The Works in Bloomington, Minnesota, just southwest of Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport, devotes its entire space to engineering. “We want people to explore, design and create—discover their inner engineers,” says Sarah Curtis, a



Take a smartphone picture of your child before going in, in case you get separated—in a big, busy museum, it can happen from time to time. You can easily remember what your child was wearing and show the picture to staff.

5 Make a safety plan. Once you arrive, show your child what staff members are wearing and how to locate staff.


Stay together as a family whenever possible. This helps all members participate, and research has shown that families remember more about the experience when they discuss explanatory text during the visit or soon after. “The more you stick together, the richer your exchange will be,” Friedman says.


“Put your screen away,” says Douglass, meaning your smartphone or other mobile device. Get down on your child’s level, ask questions and follow their leads.


Encourage any interests piqued by a museum experience. Let’s say your child can’t stop talking about stars after a planetarium visit. After the visit, check out books, watch movies or help to map out the night sky. “Look for opportunities to follow up with conversations or projects on anything that sparked an interest,” Friedman says. —L.S.

Spaces for experimentation The trend of open-ended inquiry excites educators, parents and kids alike. Unlike on school tests, right or wrong doesn’t enter the equation, observes Marty Gonzales, executive director at Spokane’s Mobius Science Center (which aims content at ages 8 through 108) and the affiliated Mobius Children’s Museum (serving kids 8 and under). At both ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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Take-home lessons Nothing thrills museum staff more than when kids take concepts home and create their own versions of exhibits. (After using movie-making equipment in the visiting “Imaginate” exhibit at Pacific Science Center, my son tried to create his own stop-motion movie with my iPhone.) At the Mobius Science Center recently, the staff built a simple hovercraft with $40, using a lawn chair, plywood and a leaf blower. A father visited with his kids one day, and the next week, center director Gonzales received an email with a picture attached: It was a souped-up hovercraft that could float a foot above the ground. “Thank you for giving my kids something to be excited about,” the father said in the email, noting that thanks to the science center, he and his sons did something they wouldn’t have thought of before. Busy parents often don’t have the time, or mental bandwidth, to research fun experiments for their children. Yet following a child’s interests at home boosts longterm learning. To address this need, many institutions now offer handouts, extra ideas on signage near exhibits and more information on museum websites. “The evidence is that isolated initial learning tends to fade quickly, but if you can connect learning with something in the child’s life, it can become long-term,” Friedman says. A visit to the science center could lead to an enduring fascination with dinosaurs, for example. Stacey Laschen’s 3-year-old son was so enchanted by the moving, roaring dinosaurs at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center that he spoke “dino” for days afterward. “He wonders, what does ‘extinct’ mean,” says Laschen—and she finds herself reexplaining the concept: “If extinct means it’s gone, where did it go?” He’s wrapping his mind around not only the toothy physical creatures, but also concepts of time, space and lifespan.



Science World at Telus World of Science, in Vancouver, BC, takes science outside with displays such as this “Lollipop Jungle” that illustrates population-density concepts.

Special Programs If you’re a member of a local science center or museum, you may qualify for free or reduced admission to more than 300 museums in more than a dozen countries. Each institution has its own policies, so call before you arrive; venues must be more than 90 miles away from your local center and home, and you’ll need to bring your membership cards. Read more about the Association of Science-Technology Centers Passport Program at about.htm. If your family purchases a premium membership with Association of Children’s Museums Reciprocal Network benefits at your local museum or center, you will receive 50 percent off general admission for up to six people at almost 200 participating museums in the United States and Canada. Once again, call the location you wish to attend in advance, and bring along proof of membership. Read more about the ACM Reciprocal Network at php/family-reciprocal-membership.html. —L.S.

“Young children are natural scientists,” says Boston Children’s Museum’s Beth Fredericks. “They participate in science activities out of their natural curiosity about life.” So when you step off the plane, you might take your 3-foot-tall scientist into his or her natural habitat—the science center. And who knows? A few hours or a day at the museum might just spark a lifetime of interest and inquiry. Seattle-based mom Lora Shinn writes about travel, family and health. 127

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Peonies from America’s Last Frontier This old-fashioned flower is all the more alluring once you discover it’s Alaska’s newest export Story and photos by Debra Prinzing


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I flew to Alaska in pursuit of flowers. America’s 49th state is known for producing exports such as oil and seafood. But sweet-smelling flowers? Blooming in July and August as far north as Fairbanks? That news came as a huge surprise when I met two growers at a Seattle gathering of cut-flower farmers two years ago. “Come visit, and we’ll show you,” urged Beth Van Sandt of Scenic Place Peonies and Shelley Rainwater of Glacier Peonies, both based in Homer, Alaska, on the Kenai Peninsula. They’re just two of more than 150 agricultural entrepreneurs who anticipate a big future 129

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payoff from Alaska’s climate and soil. The state’s three peony-growing regions—Fairbanks/Interior Alaska, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and the Kenai Peninsula— are poised to blossom, and experts predict that Alaska peonies could soon dominate the global cut-flower market during the all-important summer wedding season. In mid- to late summer, Alaska is the only region on the globe with the ideal growing conditions to produce peonies, the sentimental choice of many brides and floral designers. Long after the flower’s traditional harvest in the Lower 48 states, Alaska fields are dotted with prolific rows of creamy white, soft pink and deep red peonies. This is no commodity crop, but a couture flower that wholesalers purchase for $3 to $6 per stem and eager retail customers buy for up to $10 per stem, depending on availability. Even elected officials sound optimistic about the potential of peonies. “Alaska is known worldwide as being a resource-rich state, famous for natural beauty, fresh healthy fish, minerals, energy products—but peonies belong on that list, too,” says Senator Lisa Murkowski. “Because of some innovative and opportunistic work on the part of Alaska’s peony growers, we are becoming a global source of these beautiful blooming buds. They’re a fixture throughout Alaska, from bridal bouquets to showcase arrangements to our dinner tables, and now that we’ve opened the door to overseas sales, it’s entirely conceivable that Alaska could supply more than one million stems internationally in 2015.”

Deep roots My weeklong tour of Alaska’s peony fields began with Patricia Holloway, a horticulture researcher at University of Alaska Fairbanks who is almost single-handedly responsible for putting Alaska peonies on the floral map. It started in the early 2000s, ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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when Holloway included a few peony varieties in her vegetable and perennial trials at the university’s small Georgeson Botanical Garden, which she manages. Holloway soon made two important connections. The first occurred when a visiting greenhouse grower from Oregon noticed the peonies and told her: “You have something that no one else in the world has.” The second was a well-known fact in trade circles: Combined, Anchorage and Fairbanks are ranked as the third-largest air-cargo hub on the planet. “For years, I had been thinking: Isn’t there something we can stick in a box and ship on those planes?” Holloway recalls. The answer was growing right under her nose. In 2001, a state agency funded a $13,000 research project to help Holloway determine the viability of peonies as an export crop. She planted hundreds of roots and studied their performance, both in the field and in the vase. After publishing her findings, Holloway heard from commercial buyers in Europe and the U.K. who wanted Alaska’s summer peonies. Knowing that a small botanical garden’s 20-by-60-foot trial grounds would never satisfy that demand, Holloway began sharing her knowledge with Community Supported Agriculture farms and greenhouse growers in the state. Many were inspired to plant their own patches of peonies, just to see how they fared through Alaska’s subzero winters. In 2005, Holloway’s staff packed and shipped bunches of freshcut peonies to relatives throughout the United States. “We wanted to see how the flowers traveled via overnight delivery services,” she recalls. “It was a great learning experience to see how the flowers endured being beaten up during shipping and left outside for hours on the sidewalk in the box.” The overwhelming conclusion of these nonscientific market tests was positive. Ever the scientist, Holloway’s goal has been to test the cultiva-

Top: Shelley Rainwater of Glacier Peonies harvests an armload of peony buds on her farm on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Right: Plump buds from Midnight Sun Peonies, near Soldotna, are ready for market. 131

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tion of cut peonies. She wants to avoid a gold-rush mentality. “I keep asking: ‘What are the stumbling blocks, such as insects or diseases? Is there something we cannot manage or control?’ So far, I haven’t found anything.” Alaska’s Division of Agriculture is funding research into disease-management issues, and since the Alaska Peony Growers Association was formed in 2005, it has helped educate new growers about best practices, Holloway says. “Their goal is to make Alaska’s peonies the highest quality product in the cut-flower industry.”

A budding business The APGA emerged from a grassroots group, underwritten by a $59,000 USDA Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program grant for logo, website and market-development research. Subsequent USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants totaling $40,000 have funded more research and marketing assistance, according to Amy Pettit, who manages the state’s Alaska Grown program. “We are really excited to see this organization come together and have early successes,” Pettit says. “There is going to be room for everybody, from the small growers who want to sell to distrib-

utors who can market on their behalf to bigger growers who want to sell direct to large customers outside the state. There are unlimited options.” According to The State of the Alaska Peony Industry 2012, a recently published study by Holloway and co-author Kathleen Buchholz for UAF’s Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 38 growers reported having planted peony roots last year for a total of more than 120,000— more than triple 2011’s figures. “Based on an industry estimate for average yield of 10 stems per plant … [the] projected statewide harvest by 2015 is 1.2 million fresh-cut peony stems,” the study says. Sales last year totaled more than 25,000 fresh-cut stems, produced by 10 growers with plantings mature enough to harvest—it takes three to five years after planting to attain harvestable yields. Growers shipped small quantities to Canada and Taiwan last year and many believe the international market is promising, although to date, most of Alaska’s peonies are purchased by U.S. floral designers, flower brokers and individual brides who search for availability. Eager to carry luscious Beth Van Sandt of Scenic Place Peonies in Homer.

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peonies down the aisle, brides seem to ďŹ nd their way to the Last Frontier. Last summer Michelle LaFriniere, owner of Chilly Root Peony Farm in Homer, received her most surprising request. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was asked to supply 500 stems of Duchess de Nemours, a beautiful white peony, to a French château that does dream weddings. It was late in the season and since our farm is at an elevation of 1,500 feet, I was the only person with white peonies. I shipped them overnight to New Jersey, and the manager of the château ďŹ&#x201A;ew

there to personally meet the ďŹ&#x201A;owers and ďŹ&#x201A;y back to France with them.â&#x20AC;? There are few ďŹ&#x201A;owers that can endure such a journey, but peonies are remarkably durable, Holloway says. Long days (with up to 22 hours of sunlight), cool summers and healthy soil produce large, vibrantly hued ďŹ&#x201A;owers. When harvested at the bud stage, when just a small amount of petal color is revealed, the ďŹ&#x201A;owers can be stored in coolers for up to one month. They are then â&#x20AC;&#x153;dry-shippedâ&#x20AC;? overnight to the customer. Once the ďŹ&#x201A;owers are cut and arranged into



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fresh water or a bridal bouquet, the buds gently open to reveal huge, multipetal blooms that last up to 10 days or longer.

Romance by the bunch Some growers thank style maven Martha Stewart for reviving peonies as a must-have bridal ďŹ&#x201A;ower; others credit wedding blogs and social mediaâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;sharing sites such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;All I know is that for brides who want peonies in the summer, price just isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t an object,â&#x20AC;? explains Rainwater of Glacier Peonies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Alaskaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ&#x201A;owers are huge and stunning; the colors are intense. Once our customers see the ďŹ&#x201A;owers, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t care what they cost.â&#x20AC;? Still, as a vice president of APGA, Rainwater wants to manage expectations of would-be peony farmers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I tell them, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to be digging holes and putting money into them for a while.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;? The trade group deďŹ nes a commercial grower as one with 500 or more plants in the ground. Rainwater estimates that about 50 farms are producing at that level, with many others taking smaller steps to get established (the association has 150 members, from hobbyists to operations that have attracted investment from major U.S. wholesalers). Rainwater and others believe the path to sustainable, long-term success lies in the cooperative model. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Each of the regions is forming its own co-op, and if everything works out, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also form a statewide federated umbrella group,â&#x20AC;? she explains. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smart reasoning for this approach. First of all, a co-op creates efďŹ ciencies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s frustrating for buyers to call every single farmâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;little or bigâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to ďŹ ll orders, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s frustrating for us to ďŹ eld all those phone calls and emails,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It just makes more sense to pull together and keep the future of this industry with the growers, and not outside interests.â&#x20AC;? The co-op model allows farms to pool their marketing resources, says Carolyn Chapin, a Fairbanks grower who works with Arctic Alaska Peonies Co-op, a packhouse service that grades, markets and transports ďŹ&#x201A;owers on behalf of several Interior farms. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Each farmer may only be able to afford a local, business cardâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;size AUGUST 2013


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Anchorage ad, but the combined efforts of pack-house marketing may provide us better exposure and increase sales for everyone.” At least one expert agrees with the co-op approach. “I’ve seen flower farmers work hard their whole lives and get swallowed up by middlemen,” says Ko Klaver, an independent flower bulb broker based in Maryland who serves as the APGA’s industry liaison. “I’d love to see the peony growers use the co-op model to make Alaska peonies into a trademark that every household in the U.S. knows, just like Ocean Spray has done for cranberries.”

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With such glowing potential for these lavish flowers, isn’t it possible that Alaska will overproduce peonies? Klaver doesn’t think so, and he points to the Dutch flower auctions to make his point. “Holland sells 35 million to 38 million peony stems from late April through Memorial Day. I predict that Alaska can produce 3 million stems annually by 2020. That means in July and August, it’s a wide-open game. These growers are putting a product in the marketplace that nobody can compete with at that time of the year.” Those quantities may lower wholesale peony prices, although Klaver expects the price to eventually hover between $2 and $4 per stem. “By then, the volume will offset the margins, and there will still be plenty of profits,” he adds. For Homer peony grower Beth Van Sandt, who has 6,000 peonies flourishing in fields that overlook Grewingk Glacier, the venture is part romance and part business. “Alaska soil produces a beautiful product,” she says. “I don’t need to be the biggest, but I do want to grow the best peonies you can find.”

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African Adventure

Uganda and neighboring Rwanda are the only places where endangered mountain gorillas can be seen in their natural habitat.

Primate trekking in Uganda By Candace Dempsey The brawny mountain gorilla we call “Silverback”—a dominant male with gray streaks in his thick brown fur—treats our camera-toting, eight-member trekking group with various degrees of tolerance. We’ve hiked for several hours over the steep, intensely green hills of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwest Uganda to reach the lush thicket where the patriarch lounges with a mother and two babies, chewing on bright leaves and bark. In addition to neighboring Rwanda, Uganda is the last place on earth where you can see the endangered mountain gorillas


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in their native habitat, earning the East African nation a spot on any wildlife lover’s must-see list. With circling birds of prey, steamy hilltops, jungles, flowery swamps

and monkeys swinging from vines, the 126-square-mile rain forest park reminds me of the Tarzan movies I saw as a kid, and of Dian Fossey’s Gorillas in the Mist. This sanctuary harbors some 300 mountain gorillas, about half of the world’s wild population, plus numerous elephants, chimpanzees and monkeys. Seeing Silverback’s family topped my seven-day, primate-focused tour of southwestern Uganda, organized by U.S.-based



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Terra Incognita Ecotours. My search first took me to Kibale National Park for chimpanzee trekking, then 62 miles south to Queen Elizabeth National Park, where I spotted rhinos, crocodiles, tree-climbing lions, exotic birds and red-tailed monkeys. I finished up more than 100 miles south in Bwindi and then drove nearly 300 miles northeast to Entebbe for the trip home. I never tired of the baboons, chimpanzees and monkeys, but found gorillas the most regal and mysterious of all the creatures I encountered. Park rangers have worked to habituate seven families— including Silverback’s 18-member “Habinyanja” group—to the proximity of human visitors, and also endeavor to keep the gorillas safe and undisturbed. Permits for viewing gorillas cost $500 in Uganda ($750 in Rwanda), and tour guests approach on foot, not in safari vehicles. Hiking the rugged terrain turns out to be a delightful way to enter this jungle world. In order to keep primates safe from human diseases, visitors must stay at least 20 feet away from the animals and linger only an hour. According to the Bwindi rangers, Americans make up the largest percentage of gorilla trekkers, arriving mainly in June and July. During my trip, I also met animal lovers from Great Britain, Germany and

before you go Visitors to Uganda need passports valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry, visas, and yellow fever certificates, showing proof of vaccination. Taking malaria pills is a good idea; check with your physician for details. Visitors must be at least 15 to get a gorilla-viewing permit; the cost is $500 (off-season rates may be available for

Park Ranger Medard Twongyeirwe briefs visitors about gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Ukraine. Some trekkers brought teenage children—not an easy group to please—but they, too, were enthusiastic. About twice as big as Pennsylvania, Uganda is a microcosm of Africa, with jungles, savannas, deserts, active volcanoes and giant lakes. Positioned on the western edge of the Great Rift Valley, Uganda spans the equator but enjoys a temperate climate. Wherever I look, I can see blue mountains in the distance and the edges of another nation. Land-locked Uganda borders Congo to the west, South Sudan to the north, Kenya to the east, and Rwanda and Tanzania to the south. Once a British protectorate, Uganda gained independence in 1962. The nation’s brief history has been marked by conflicts and political unrest, as exemplified by the 1971 military coup that brought dictator Idi Amin to power until he was deposed in ethiopia 1979; the current president, Yoweri Museveni, has ruled since 1986. Today, remnants of the British influence remain: Vehicles drive on the left side of the road, and many Ugandans kenya converse in English as well as tribal languages. I start my primate trekking in Kibale National Park, after boarding a tiny AeroLink plane

November, April and May). Terra Incognita Ecotours can order permits and

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at Entebbe airport and flying west to an airstrip in Kasese. There, my guide, Robert, waits in a refurbished Range Rover. A dignified man from Kampala, the nation’s capital of 1.7 million people, Robert proves to be a game-spotting genius who can answer wildlife questions, point out a lion and steer around a pothole—all at the


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patties, sweet potatoes, goat meat or deepfried chicken. Primate trekking turns out to be a fun, surprisingly social activity. Park rangers rise early each morning to locate the animals; they then call the guides who lead the trekkers. I join 10 other chimpseekers at park headquarters after breakfast, and we plunge into the rain forest. After an hour of easy hiking, we hear chimps calling to each other somewhere in the trees, a sound that’s easy to distinguish from the bark of baboons or squeal of monkeys. Soon, we spot six chimps in a thicket of acacia trees, each on a separate tree. The


same time. We drive over a muddy highway, alive with people and animals, that gives new meaning to the term “street theater.” Uganda is primarily an agricultural nation, and vendors offer everything from avocados, sweet potatoes and passion fruit to clothing, batteries and charcoal from makeshift stands. Men get haircuts while perched on outdoor barber chairs; women in bright cotton clothing haul water in plastic containers and herd spotted goats on the grassy roadside; and children balance bunches of green bananas on their heads while shouting “hello” to passing tourists. In the 306-square-mile Kibale tropical forest, baboons sun themselves by the road as we pass. Robert says I have a 50 percent chance of seeing chimpanzees and a 99 percent chance of seeing gorillas later on in Bwindi. In the solar-powered Primate Lodge, just inside the park, I overnight in a luxury tent—screened at the sides, with a king-size bed and separate bath. I love the feel of sleeping out in the open, under the stars. As is typical, tent-camp rates include meals, with tourist menus featuring British classics such as cottage pie, while locals prefer boiled bananas, corn



Top: African elephants in Murchison Falls National Park. Left: A lion rests in a tree in Queen Elizabeth National Park.


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males ignore us, squabbling over a female who has climbed to the highest branch of a tree. This quarreling lasts for some time, then the males give one big shriek and drop like trapeze artists from the trees, prompting a cascade of falling leaves and branches. One chimp lands near us, and we stare at each other before he lopes away on all fours. Soon, all the chimps disappear into the brush. The next morning, Robert and I push farther south to 763-square-mile Queen Elizabeth National Park. I’m amazed when elephants and lions cross the road right in front of our car. I’m staying in the upscale Mweya Safari Lodge overlooking the Kazinga Channel, between a pair of mammoth lakes named for English kings—Edward and George. I relax with a cruise through the channel on a small white boat, while guides point out water buffalos, hippos, crocodiles and elephants on the shore. I’m tempted to spend more days in the park, but I have an appointment in Bwindi that promises to be memorable. We arrive


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there the next morning, and I check into the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, overlooking the rain forest and inside the park. With a big, thatched lodge and eight deluxe cottages on a hillside, the camp offers excellent food and impressive views. Gorilla trekking from Sanctuary couldn’t be easier—sometimes the gorillas even come into camp with their families. I set off the next morning equipped with hiking boots, rain gear, backpack, a box lunch and two liters of water. At park headquarters, I join some 40 other trekkers, and rangers divide us into groups of eight. Ranger Medard Twongyeirwe reminds us of the 20-foot rule, since he says we are “about to visit somebody else’s family.” Gorillas were once hunted, and the animals retain a fear of humans. “It’s not easy to say you’re sorry. Trust doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time,” he says. Twongyeirwe also emphasizes teamwork. “We will move at the pace of the slowest person. I want you to be kind to each other. We all succeed or nobody succeeds.” Next, he asks who wants to hire a porter for $15 to carry our packs and “push or pull” us up the hills. We all demur at first, not wanting to seem weak, but he insists we’ll be helping porters learn how to be guides. It turns out to be the best $15 I’ve ever spent as we set off, literally over hill and dale. The trekking is far more strenuous than the chimpanzee experience, and I feel the humidity of the forest. My porter, David, is shorter than me, but much stronger, and he helps me climb the muddiest, steepest hills. After climbing for several hours, we’re thrilled to find the group of gorillas. At first, it’s enough just to watch Silverback and his family as they sit in a thicket like furred Buddhas. Gorillas live in trees at night, in nests made of leaves and branches, and come down in daytime to munch on nuts, fruits and greenery. We keep moving as they move, gradually following the group farther down the slope. We’d been warned Silverback might charge—or fake charge—if we get too close, but we forget that when we see the young mother with two babies. She’s AUGUST 2013


7/15/13 5:19 PM

watching them swing from vines or climb the lower branches of trees, and unlike the adults, these little apes stare at us, mesmerized. When they finally settle down, their mother grooms them with a stick. Our group moves closer with our cameras, almost unconsciously, and the guides shift branches to allow us clear shots. Suddenly, Silverback roars, stands up and moves in our direction. “Whoa,” somebody yells, and Silverback halts and shakes his head, giving us clear warning to keep our distance. Through all of this, we stand our ground, as instructed. We find the charge exciting—it feels so real and, frankly, justified. We understand the gorilla’s impatience, and until Silverback moved toward us, we hadn’t fully realized how large gorillas really are. Males average 400 pounds and stand more than 5 feet tall, but when Silverback was irritated, he looked as big as King Kong. Heading back down to camp, hiking downhill over the fragrant green slopes, everyone is smiling and happy. At the bottom, rangers hand us certificates, verifying that we’ve seen the gorillas, and we wave good-bye to each other like old friends. The next day Robert and I drive more than 16 hours, stopping only for meals, until we reach Entebbe. I check in to the luxurious Protea Hotel Entebbe, on the shores of Lake Victoria, just a few miles from the airport; that night, I dine on smoked chicken steamed inside a banana leaf. I’m already dreaming of my next trip to Africa, of visiting Murchison Falls at the mouth of the Nile, or maybe flying to Rwanda for more gorilla trekking. Next time, next time.

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Information About Our Advertisers Visit or mail in the facing response card* to request free information on products and services offered by our advertisers, and we’ll enter you in a drawing to win a free Alaska Airlines ticket!


1 Black Butte Ranch: We’ve got the essentials to make this season perfect. 2 Cedarbrook Lodge: Delightfully unexpected at Sea-Tac. Free WiFi, Northwest continental breakfast, 24/7 snacks and airport shuttle. 3 Coast Hotels: More than 40 locations throughout the Western U.S. and Canada. 4 Driftwood Shores: All rooms are oceanfront. Florence, OR. 5 Heathman Hotel Portland: Portland’s premier downtown hotel—where service is still an art. Ask about our new “bed menu.” 6 Hotel Max Seattle: If seeing is believing ... Hotel Max—you gotta see this! (866) 833-6299. 7 Hotel Murano: Celebrating glass art and luxury. 8 Inn@Northrup Station: NW Portland’s fabulous all-suites hotel. Come sleep with us! 9 Pineapple Hospitality: Seattle and Portland visitors have access to five great hotels under one umbrella. 10 Red Lion Hotels and Inns: Join the Red Lion R&R Club and earn 1,000 Mileage Plan Miles at participating hotels. Mention AKDOUBLE at check-in. 11 Sentinel Hotel: Portland’s most storied hotel is about to add its most exciting chapter yet. Coming this fall. 12 Solmar Hotels & Resorts: Land’s End luxury resorts … infinite hospitality—you should be here. 13 Suncadia Resort: Your sunny playground. Two awardwinning mountain golf courses, from beginner to advanced. Just 80 miles east of Seattle. 14 Travelodge Hotel Juneau: 24-hour courtesy shuttle to airport and ferry. Juneau, AK. (888) 660-2327. 15 Villa del Palmar Loreto: Seaside resort in Loreto, Mexico. Four restaurants. Spa and fitness amenities. (877) 21-7268233. 16 Wingate by Wyndham Los Angeles International Airport: The perfect blend of comfort and convenience. CASINOS

17 Little Creek Casino Resort: Casino, hotel, golf and spa all located in one place! (800) 667-7711. 18 Muckleshoot Casino: More than 3,100 machines and 100 tables. Located close to Sea-Tac International Airport. 19 Northern Quest Resort & Casino: Your quest for fortune and fun starts here. Near Spokane, WA. 20 Three Rivers Casino: Things are luckier here. Florence, OR. 21 Tulalip Casino: Gaming, entertainment, dining, shopping. RESTAURANTS

22 1285 Restobar: Dining in Florence, OR. 1285 Restobar, Waterfront Depot and Spice. 23 Anthony’s Homeport Restaurants: The freshest NW seafood—waterfront view restaurants throughout Washington and in Bend, OR. 24 Bridgewater Ocean Fish House & Zebra Bar: Ocean fresh fish house. Florence, OR. 25 Elliott’s Oyster House: “One of America’s Top 5 Oyster Bars”–Fortune magazine. Seafood excellence on Seattle’s Pier 56. (206) 623-4340. 26 John Howie Steak: At The Bravern, Bellevue, WA. 27 Metropolitan Grill: One of the top-rated steakhouses in the U.S. Downtown Seattle at 2nd and Marion. (206) 624-3287. 28 Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar: Perfection in seafood. Chef John Howie’s award-winning Bellevue, WA, restaurant. Also in Seattle. 144

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29 Tom Douglas Restaurants: Visiting Seattle? Check out one, two, or all nine of the Tom Douglas joints. 30 Woodman Lodge: Snoqualmie’s historic steakhouse and saloon stands as a tribute to a bygone era. Enjoy our rustic ambiance! TRANSPORTATION

31 Carlile Transportation: Largest heavy-haul service provider in Alaska. (800) 478-1853. 32 Crowley Maritime Corporation: Providing marine solutions, transportation and logistics for Alaska and beyond. (907) 777-5464. 33 Dave Smith Motors: Hassle-free buying. World’s largest Dodge truck dealer. Low prices—high customer satisfaction. (800) 635-8000. 34 Delta Western: When it comes to Alaska … we deliver. Alaska’s petroleum distributor. 35 Dick Hannah Subaru: We ship Subaru vehicles across the U.S., including to Hawai‘i and Alaska! (877) 240-1929. 36 Lynden Inc: Delivering multimodal cargo transportation throughout Alaska and around the world. 37 Nissan of the Eastside at Bellevue: America’s No. 1 volume electric vehicle dealer. Come see why. 38 Northland Services: Marine transportation service to southeast, southcentral and western Alaska ports. 39 Northwest Motorsport: The No. 1 independent truck dealer in Washington state. (253) 435-9101. 40 Span Alaska: Freight-forwarding from the Lower 48 to Anchorage, Fairbanks, Southeast, Dutch Harbor, the Bush. 41 Totem Ocean Trailer Express: Biweekly roll-on/roll-off cargo service to Alaska, between Anchorage and Tacoma ports. 42 Toyota of Tri-Cities/Gresham Toyota: Wow! Your road to savings. More than 1,000 new Toyotas available. We’ll ship to you. FINANCIAL SERVICES

43 Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card: Earn 25,000 Bonus Miles upon approval. (888) 924-7343. 44 AmericanWest Bank: Talent, at the highest levels. Nothing compares to a proven track record. 45 BECU: Offering better rates and lower fees to all Washington residents. 46 Cobalt Mortgage: Proud to be named one of Washington’s fastest-growing private companies. 47 Eagle Home Mortgage: Exceeding customer expectations since 1984. 48 Laird Norton Wealth Management: Private wealth management and investment management. 49 Northrim Bank: Northrim Bank for business. 50 Oxford Assaying & Refining Co.: Diversify assets: precious metals. Buy, sell, trade. Gold, silver, platinum, palladium. BUSINESS SERVICES

51 Association of Washington Business: Promoting a more business-friendly climate in Washington. Olympia, WA. 52 Bristol Bay Native Corporation: Bringing Alaskans together … Alaska’s Bristol Bay, it’s always been. 53 Construction Machinery: Largest Alaska-owned heavyequipment supplier to the state’s construction, mining and logging industries. (800) 478-3822. 54 Exsilio Consulting Inc: You could be getting more from your business … end-to-end business solutions provider.


55 Norton Sound Health Corporation: Serve the people of NW Alaska. Competitive salaries, benefits, relocation allowance. (907) 443-4525. 56 Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital: In the top 5% of accredited hospitals nationwide. Medical, nursing, allied health, administrative positions available. 57 Tanana Chiefs Conference: Come join our state-of-theart super-clinic. Fairbanks, AK. 58 Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation: Join us for the challenge of a lifetime. Visit us online at HAWAI‘I

59 Aston Hotels & Resorts, LLC: 26 hotels and condominium resorts in Hawai‘i, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas. 60 Blue Ginger: Original resort wear for the family, in Hawai‘i for 30 years. 61 Blue Hawaiian Helicopters: Blue Hawaiian is “Hawai‘i’s premier helicopter tour company” –National Geographic. 62 Chase ’N Rainbows Real Estate, Inc.: The largest selection of oceanfront vacation condominiums in West Maui. 63 Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel: Newly renovated beachfront hotel conveniently located in the heart of Kona. 64 Fair Wind Cruises: Award-winning snorkel cruises to Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. 65 Farm Credit Services of Hawai‘i, ACA: A premier agricultural lender in Hawai‘i. 66 Germaine’s Lu‘au: Hawai‘i’s original “too good to miss” lu‘au. 67 Grand Wailea Resort: Known as the jewel of Maui. 68 Hawai‘i Titanium Rings: Custom jewelry handmade in Hawai‘i. 69 Hilton Waikoloa Village: Come visit Kohala Coast’s most exciting lu‘au! 70 Honolulu Cookie Company: Fresh-baked premium shortbread cookies infused with tropical flavors of Hawai‘i. 71 Honolulu Jewelry Company: 72 Hyatt Resorts Hawai‘i: Experience Hawai‘i at one of Hyatt’s four beautiful island resorts. 73 Island Helicopters Kaua‘i Inc: One great company, two fantastic tours. 74 Kaua‘i Sea Tours: Deluxe catamaran and raft adventures. Explore Kaua‘i’s Napali Coast. 75 Molokai Visitors Association: Molokai is authentic rural Hawai‘i. Explore with an open mind. 76 Na Hoku—Hawai‘i’s Finest Jewelers Since 1924: The finest Hawaiian and Island lifestyle jewelry. 77 Paradise Cove Lu‘aus: Enjoy a unique Island experience of culture and tradition. 78 Sunquest Vacations: Kona’s best selection of resort condominiums and vacation homes. (800) 367-5168. 79 Timeshare Resales Hawai‘i: 80 Trilogy: Trilogy Excursions, voted the No. 1 activity to do on Maui and Lana‘i. 81 Waimea Valley: Cultural activities, botanical gardens, waterfall. Special events, weddings, guided hikes. 82 Whalers Village: Maui’s premier beachfront shopping center, located on Ka‘anapali Beach.



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Information About Our Advertisers Visit or mail in the facing response card* to request free information on products and services offered by our advertisers, and we’ll enter you in a drawing to win a free Alaska Airlines ticket!



83 It’s Just Lunch: A dating service for busy professionals, with 100 locations worldwide. (800) 858-6526.

108 Maderas Golf Club: One of only six courses in California on Golf Digest’s top 100 list for 2013! 109 Sandpines: Your best golf experience on the Oregon Coast.


84 Escala: There’s nothing quite like Escala. You really can live here. 85 Home Plate Center: Superior office space in Seattle, with views of Elliott Bay and Mount Rainier. 86 Matanuska Lodge/For Sale: Perfect piece of Alaska, your custom log estate, majestic mountains, lake and glacier views. Mile #99 Glenn Hwy. (907) 727-6903. Email Ralph Norbrega at 87 Point Ruston: The Northwest’s premier waterfront neighborhood along Puget Sound shoreline. 88 Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty: Representing the unique and the extraordinary. 89 Salmon Bay Marine Center: Your own piece of the newest and largest private super yacht facility on the West Coast. 90 Windermere: 7,000 agents in communities throughout the Western U.S. and Mexico. Trust in our local expertise to help you find the right home for you. EDUCATION

91 Ilisagvik College: Education, empowerment, opportunity. In Barrow, AK ... Alaska’s only tribal college. (800) 478-7337 ext 1799. 92 Washington State University: There’s a reason why they hire Cougs. Recently listed among the Top 25 “recruiter picks” in the country! 93 Washington State University EMBA: Advance your career and education with an online MBA or Executive MBA program. HEALTH & BEAUTY

94 20|20 Lifestyles: A new level of health. Bring your health back in balance. 95 Advanced Cosmetic & Laser Dentistry: Awardwinning, world-class care. Call today. 96 Arctic Chiropractic: “Proudly serving most regions of Alaska.” 18 locations statewide. (877) 625-7775. 97 Dragontree Holistic Day Spa: Dragontree Holistic Day Spa in Portland International Airport. Walk in or call ahead. (503) 331-1131. 98 Dr. David Baird: At David L. Baird, we treat your smile like it is a work of art. Because to us, that’s exactly what it is. Bellevue, WA. 99 Dr. Jerry Hu, Dentist: Cosmetic makeover dentistry. Come experience our quality. National award-winning smiles. 100 Hair Transplant Seattle: World leader in the field of hair restoration and transplantation. Learn about Dr. Brian O. Goertz at 101 Koczarski Aesthetic & Laser Dentistry: Miles and miles of beautiful smiles. Woodinville, WA. 102 My Best 10: Leading-edge guidance from Pro Club Spa’s world-class experts. Visit 103 Schick Shadel Hospital: The world leader in addiction treatment. (800) CRAVING. 104 Seattle Procure Management: Welcome to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy. A ProCure Center. 105 The Spa at Pro Sports Club: Advanced medical, aesthetic and traditional spa therapies. 106 Stern Center for Aesthetic Surgery: The latest in eyelid, facial laser cosmetic surgery and liposuction. (425) 455-9100. 107 Swedish Radiosurgery Center: Offering Cyber Knife and Gamma Knife nonsurgical treatment options for many conditions. ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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110 Anchorage City Trolley: Step aboard … and enjoy a 15-mile tour through Anchorage. Relax while our lively, informative guide shares history and stories. From 4th and F street. (907) 276-5603. 111 Central Oregon Visitors Association: Free central Oregon trip planning assistance. (800) 800-8334. 112 City of Seaside Visitors Bureau: Oregon’s first seashore resort, Seaside is more than just a day at the beach! 113 Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau: Go deep inside Alaska where the unparalleled meets the unexpected. 114 Heritage Coffee Roasting Company—Juneau: Daily roasterie tours … coffee gifts with an Alaskan twist. (907) 586-1088. 115 Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau: Experience glaciers, wildlife and wilderness in Alaska’s capital city. 116 Lincoln City: Try something new at the beach in Lincoln City. 117 MasterPark: No. 1-rated Sea-Tac valet parking facility. Three lots and a six-floor valet garage. 118 Mt. Hood Territory: This is the territory where you can pursue happiness and catch it. 119 Port of Seattle—Sea-Tac International Airport: Shop, dine and relax. Learn more about our new Pacific Marketplace. 120 Travel Medford: Great performances daily. Medford and the Rogue Valley. 121 Victoria Clipper: Daily, year-round passenger ferry service between Seattle and Victoria, B.C. Seasonally to the San Juans. Overnight packages available. 122 Visit Anchorage: Plan now for your Alaska vacation. Order a free Anchorage Visitor Guide. THINGS TO SEE & DO

123 Chihuly Garden and Glass: Immerse yourself in the most comprehensive collection of Dale Chihuly’s work. 124 Darwin’s Theory: “Where everybody knows your name” favorite tourist trap. Serving for 30 years. (907) 277-5322. 125 Indian Arts and Crafts Board: Promote and protect the market for authentic Alaska Native and American arts. 126 K1 Speed Indoor Kart Racing: Arrive and drive. Adults and juniors 48" and up. (855) 517-7333. 127 Mount Roberts Tramway: Experience Alaska’s alpine wilderness. Ride to the 2,000-foot level of Mount Roberts. Hiking, views, wildlife. 128 Oregon Historical Society: Oregon History Museum. Windows on America. Portland, OR. 129 Space Needle: Seattle landmark, family-friendly tourist attraction, observation deck, and restaurant with Puget Sound and city views. 130 Two Street Gallery: Local Fairbanks fine arts; paintings, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics and more. (907) 455-4070. 131 University of Alaska Museum—Fairbanks: A top-ten visitor attraction. See Alaska’s natural and cultural history treasures. CULINARY CORNER

132 10th and M Seafoods: A fresh seafood idea for the perfect Alaska gift. Salmon, halibut, king crab and more. (800) 770-2722.

133 Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute: Wild, abundant, natural Alaska seafood. 134 Kwik’Pak Fisheries: Smoked Yukon River Keta products. SHOPPING

135 Alaska Fur Gallery: World-class selection of furs clothing, four generations of Master Furriers. Sitka and Ketchikan. (888) 649-3820. 136 David Green Master Furrier: Alaska’s most recommended furrier since 1922. 137 Jewel Box (Juneau): An outstanding collection of jewelry made from gold nuggets, quartz, pearls, ivory and our exclusive “Glacier Blue.” (907) 586-2604. 138 Thomas Dean & Co: Classic yet contemporary men’s apparel that is well-made and well-priced. FOR THE HOME

139 Window World: Window World really is “simply the best for less.” GOOD IDEAS

140 Traipse, LLC: Premier Bengal cat breeder. (206) 422-4370. WINERIES

141 Barnard Griffin Winery: Winery, tasting room and fused-glass art gallery. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Richland, WA. 142 Claar Cellars: A family-owned winery, with vineyards on south-facing hillsides atop the White Bluffs overlooking the Columbia River. 143 Island Mana Wines: Dry Hawai‘i and Oregon wines. (971) 229-1040. 144 King Estate Winery: Oregon wines. 1,033 certified organic acres. Family-owned and independent. 145 Maryhill Winery: Washington’s premier destination winery. Gold-medal wines. 146 Ponzi Vineyards: Taste experience. Open daily. Willamette Valley, OR. 147 Uptick Vineyards & Winery: Family-owned and -operated, Uptick offers handcrafted wines with limited case production. 148 Woodinville Wine Country: The most exciting wine district in the state. More than 80 wineries less than 20 minutes from downtown Seattle.

* If the reader information card is missing and you would still like to enter the drawing, please specify by number which advertiser you want information from and write to Alaska Airlines Magazine, 2701 First Avenue, Suite 250, Seattle, WA 98121, Attention: Reader Information. No purchase is necessary, and entrants need not be present to win. Entrants must be 21 years old or older and residents of the United States to win. Winner will be chosen once a year in a random drawing among completed entries. Entries for the 2013 drawing must be received by December 15, 2013. Winner will be notified by mail. Drawings are held once a year at Alaska Airlines Magazine offices on or about December 31. Entrants may submit multiple entries. Odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Each year one winner will receive one round-trip ticket to any Alaska Airlines destination in the continental United States. Blackout dates may apply to travel dates. Winner of the drawing in 2013 must complete travel by December 31, 2014. Prize does not include transfers, incidentals, tax, insurance, or any additional trip expenses. Prizes are nontransferable and may not be cashed in or sold. For the name of this year’s winner, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to “Reader Response” Ticket Drawing, c/o Holly Genest, Paradigm Communications Group, 2701 First Avenue, Suite 250, Seattle, WA 98121.


7/17/13 10:40 AM

It’s Always Been.

“My job is to do inspections— looking for corrosion and problems that could lead to leaks or spills. No matter where the pipelines are, we gotta get there.” — Dave Arnett, Kakivik Asset Management, Bristol Bay Native Corporation

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EDUCATION “Students need to form a connection to the university, and the research shows that it really should happen in the first six weeks,” says Leslie Webb, associate vice president of student affairs at Boise State University. “If it can happen before they actually get to the institution, that’s even better.” “Students who develop some sort of connection within the first two weeks are much more likely to stay in school and report feeling higher levels of satisfaction with their college experience,” adds Chris Jaehne, assistant director for residential life at the University of Washington in Seattle. That connection can be with a college staffer, as it was for Rebecca, or a professor or another student.

College Transitions By Greg Scheiderer About a year ago, at Gonzaga University’s summer send-off in Denver, the Padilla family was feeling anxious. Rebecca Padilla was about to start college a thousand miles away in Spokane, leaving behind a new boyfriend and a younger sister, for whom she was a role model. Her parents, who hadn’t attended college, couldn’t give much advice. They were worried about their daughter leaving home—she would be the first person in the immediate family to go to college. Rebecca, a self-described “control freak,” says the mystery of the unknown got to her. “I had no idea what I was stepping into,” she says. “Not having that clear, crisp image of what it was going to be was really nerve-racking.” Amy Swank, director of parent and family relations at Gonzaga, met the Padillas that day in Denver and became a familiar face and a great comfort to the nervous first-year student. “She became family to me,” says Rebecca. “She was a mentor. She guided me through everything that the first semester threw at me, which was quite a lot. Her


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guidance eased a lot of my anxiety.” Moving away to college is a major life transition that creates concerns for many students and their families. Colleges recognize this and are ready to help with advice based on extensive research and years of hands-on experience. And the suggestions they share are broadly applicable for anybody making the shift to living at school. MAKING CONNECTIONS

Rebecca Padilla’s case illustrates one of the top tips given by the professionals who advise students looking to make homes for themselves at college: Get to know someone.


Some of the first people many students meet are their future roommates. Karen Walker, assistant director for university residences at Western Washington University in Bellingham, north of Seattle, notes that living with roommates can create great connections but also presents its own challenges. She says that previous generations of students have had an easier time adjusting to life with roommates than students have today. “Most of today’s students have never shared a room, and lots of them have never shared a bathroom,” Walker says. “They get here and have to learn how to get along with someone else in their room.” The up-front work schools do to pair roommates may help, though it is not an exact science. Also, matching roommates with similarities can be helpful, but a perfect fusion of interests is not strictly necessary—and sometimes students can learn to enjoy their differences. “Oil and water can work together,” says Tom Huelsbeck, associate dean for campus life at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, south of Seattle. “We want our students to have enough in com-


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mon that there’s a good connection, but to have enough different that they’re learning from each other and stretching each other.” In terms of matching roommates, there are only a handful of deal breakers. It seldom works to match a smoker with a nonsmoker, for example, or an early bird with a night owl. Big disparities in tidiness can also lead to unsuccessful pairings. But roomies can roll with most other issues, and counselors urge them to be open, honest and communicative, and to accept differences. Resident assistants can also help roommates work out agreements on topics ranging from whether they will share food and clothing to ground rules about noise, decor and guests in the room. Students are encouraged to seek out these advisers and also to try to learn from experiences along the way. “It’s an incredibly important learning opportunity,” says Matt Lamsma, senior associate director of housing and residence life at Gonzaga. “The skills that you take away from learning to navigate that relationship apply to when you have to share space with somebody in a job or a home in a significant-other relationship.” Social media can help future roommates get to know each other even before they arrive in the residence hall, but the small things these networks reveal—such as the fact that one roommate likes Justin Bieber music when the other doesn’t—can make students overly wary of a match. PLU’s Huelsbeck says that’s a bad way to start. “Making snap judgments, not communicating, [and] not letting the person know when something bugs you are the basic missteps that can happen at the beginning of the year that make the rest of the year much more challenging,” he says. DECIDING WHAT TO BRING

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One of the first things to coordinate with a future roommate is what sort of large items each student will bring to college. Dorm rooms are small, so it’s best to avoid winding up with two big-screen TVs, for example. The days of stuffing all of one’s belongings into a Volkswagen and trundling off to AUGUST 2013


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Let’s celebrate our teachers. What’s one secret to improved student performance in math and science? Great teachers. Research shows that great teachers make the biggest difference in student performance. And long-term benefits — including college attendance and lifelong earnings — can be affected by the quality of a student’s teacher in a single year. That’s why ExxonMobil has invested nearly $140 million over the past decade in teacher development programs. Let’s invest in our teachers so they can inspire our students. Let’s solve this. SM

college appear to be over. Students bring a lot of stuff to college, and often get more— such as a key piece of furniture or some organizers—once they arrive. Students who travel far from home for college need to make particularly careful decisions about what they lug along or have shipped. School advisers and current students can offer advice about which items are best to bring and which are simple enough to acquire after arrival. It’s a good idea to check a college’s website to learn what the school provides, what students need to bring and what’s not allowed in the residence halls. Chris Jaehne of the University of Washington points out that many websites now have very clear guidance about what students should and shouldn’t bring, and says that most websites provide checklists to help students pack. Clothing, a computer and toiletries are essentials, for example. Edwin Hamada, director of residence life at Washington State University, in Pullman, Washington, advises students to have a “break-in period” with their move. “Making a new residence hall home won’t happen on day one,” Hamada says. “Students move in and then adjust later.” Hamada adds that it is a good idea to walk the halls and visit other rooms soon after arriving. Students will meet new friends that way and can get ideas from others about how to live with limited space. “The creative solutions they come up with are amazing,” Hamada says. GETTING ORIENTED




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Soon after arrival, students are often provided with another useful adjustment period: orientation. College orientations for students can be quite comprehensive and may last several days to more than a week. Students learn about campus services, resources and activities, and they receive pointers about money management, health and wellness. There is a social aspect, too; orientation is a time to meet new friends. Today, there’s also commonly a separate orientation for people who may need it even more than students: “The student is fine,” says John Purdie, associate director AUGUST 2013


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for residence life at Western Washington University. “We need to worry about the parent who is worried about the student.” Parent and family orientations are typically shorter than student orientations. They cover the college’s rules and regulations, and inform families about available resources. Most important, they provide advice about the best ways to support students from afar. In general, Gonzaga’s Lamsma advises students’ parents and families to “guide from the side.”

“You’re not doing college with your student, but we know that you’re important in helping them transition to this successfully,” Lamsma says. LEARNING PARENT ROLES

As a student adapts to college, says Boise State University’s Webb, parents and family members learn to accept shifting roles and how to be supportive while allowing the student to be independent. She says that parents should make sure students come to college with basic life

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skills—such as doing laundry, paying a bill and buying shampoo—but should avoid doing too much for their students during the transition. “Give your student the opportunity to experience it for themselves,” Webb advises. “Support them in allowing that independence to happen, and know that there might be mistakes made, and that’s OK. Help them pick up the pieces rather than picking up the pieces for them.” It’s especially tempting for parents to intervene in or seek the college’s help with roommate squabbles. “Students need to learn how to manage conflict, and that’s a tricky skill,” says the UW’s Jaehne. “We encourage parents to let their students learn how to problem-solve and manage conflicts on their own.” It is important for parents to respect students’ space and allow them to develop as individuals. In terms of communication, it sometimes helps to let the student initiate contact, or set a specific, regular time to talk. PLU’s Huelsbeck assures parents their kids are OK. He says colleges “build scaffolding around the student experience that encourages them to risk and take chances, but with support.” FEELING AT HOME

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The Padilla family has successfully made the transition to college. Parents David and MaryBeth Padilla serve on the Gonzaga Parent and Family Council, and Rebecca can’t wait to get back to Spokane for her sophomore year. The once-anxious student is now enthusiastic and giving advice to this year’s freshmen. Her top tip: “Prepare yourself as much as you can, but eventually just let go of that control and roll with the punches. Experience every day as something new, as a gift. Even though it’s really hard first semester, don’t give up. Give it your full shot, your best effort. “Over a year’s time, college has totally become home to me.” Greg Scheiderer writes from Seattle. His favorite topics include college, theater, books, baseball and astronomy. AUGUST 2013


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Ford C-Max Energi.

Pure Energi By Bengt Halvorson The number 21 is an important one to remember if you’re new-car shopping this year, especially if you’re thinking about a hybrid, or even an electric car.


Twenty-one is the number of miles that Ford’s new Energi plug-in hybrid products—the C-Max Energi hatchback and Fusion Energi sedan—can go purely on electric power, without needing to burn gasoline. range, a big proportion of Americans could go all-electric on their daily commutes with these Energi models. According to federal statistics, nearly 80 percent of U.S. commuters drive less than that distance to work each day, one way. And for 47 percent, the round-trip commute is 20 miles or less. If you consider the possibility of commuters having the opportunity to charge their batteries while at work, you can cover the daily driving needs of more than 90 percent of all Americans. Plugged into an ordinary 110-volt household AC outlet, both of these Ford vehicles can charge fully in about seven hours, but plugging into a 240-volt Level 2 charger—increasingly accessible in workplaces, shopping centers


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And considering that 21-mile

and public spaces—can provide a full charge in just 2 ∂ hours. I recently had the opportunity to put a C-Max through the paces of a busy week that involved about 440 miles of driving, truly testing all of the car’s drive modes in a series of relatively short trips around Portland, and a quick journey to Seattle and back. What makes the Energi models different from electric cars and other hybrids is that the Energi models provide a pureelectric driving experience—even at higher speeds if you want—with a full hybrid powertrain to back it up. If you deplete the charge in the battery, the 2.0-liter, fourcylinder gasoline engine starts up seam-

lessly. And even after you’ve used up the plug-in charge, the hybrid system smartly stores away some of the energy used in coasting and braking, helping to allow some low-speed operation with the gasoline engine shutting off. One key feature of the C-Max Energi (and the Fusion Energi)—which you won’t find in the Toyota Prius Plug-In—is that you can lock the all-electric mode in or out with the “EV Now” and “EV Later” modes. That feature is crucial for helping get the most out of the Energi’s efficiency potential. For example, if you’re doing mostly low-speed stop-and-go driving, or taking a short trip, you’ll save the most gas by locking in the electric drive mode with EV Now. And Ford isn’t limiting the Energi’s electric operation to just lower speeds; it can go up to 85 mph without the gasoline engine starting. If, on the other hand, you plug in at night in your garage or driveway, and the first 10 miles of your commute are on a high-speed interstate—where the electric charge would be used up rapidly but the gasoline engine is at its most efficient— the EV Later button would let you smartly set that charge aside for later use. If you don’t engage either of those modes, the C-Max operates in a “smart” mode in which you use the plug-in reserve and keep all-electric as long as you don’t press too hard with your right foot. If you do nearly floor the accelerator, or need extra power for a steep hill, it’ll fire up the gasoline engine—in the interest of earning more all-electric miles in the short term, thus saving gas in the long run. If this all sounds a bit confusing, don’t

worry. Any family member could get into the C-Max Energi and drive without having to know anything special about how the system works. With the car’s EPA ratings of 44 mpg city, 41 highway (not counting the plug-in range), this is a car that is efficient in any mode. But so you can make the most


7/17/13 5:19 PM



of these cars’ energy-saving features, Ford has provided a comprehensive set of Eco Coach tools. Through the C-Max’s MyFord Touch display on the left side of the speedometer, you can toggle between the Inform, Enlighten, Engage and Empower display modes; see energy use or fuel history; and get a customized MyView bar graph display of your recent driving. “We do recognize there are the techies and the simplists, so each screen is sort of targeted to that,” says Mike Tinskey, Ford’s director of global vehicle electrification and infrastructure, as he explains each mode to me during a visit to Portland. If you choose to enable location sharing, the C-Max has a special feature in which, after five times, it learns that you’re close to home and will automatically go to all-electric mode to save gas. Other useful features accessed through a special MyFord Mobile smartphone app include remote viewing of your vehicle’s state of charge, preconditioning the temperature in the cabin while you’re still plugged in (to help reserve the battery charge for driving), and help locating charging stations. No matter which mode the vehicle is in, the C-Max drives very well. In its allelectric mode, it feels responsive, confident and nearly silent—on par with batteryelectric cars such as the Nissan Leaf. That’s in contrast to the Toyota Prius Plug-In, which offers all-electric driving only at low speeds and doesn’t have a mode that truly suppresses the gasoline engine. The C-Max also feels downright sporty when it’s in full hybrid mode, taking Puzzle on page 174.



(855) 517-7333


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Puzzle © 2013 Penny Press, Inc.


AAM 08.13 Autos.indd 156



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advantage of both power sources. With 195 horsepower combined from the powertrain, it can accelerate to 60 mph in less than 9 seconds—making it significantly quicker than any of the Prius variants. While the C-Max Energi is no performance car, it does steer and handle more responsively than other tall hatchbacks or crossovers, thanks to an excellent set of underpinnings inherited from the Ford Focus, on which it’s based. Ride quality is on the firm side. This is a family vehicle that feels maneuverable and smartly sized—perfect for the city, yet stable, confident and relatively quiet on the highway. For a vehicle that takes up less parking space than most compact sedans (it’s just 174 inches long), the C-Max truly wows inside. Its rather tall roof helps, as well as seating positions that are quite upright. You’ll find comfortable, supportive buckets in front that are adjustable to a wide range of drivers, while the bench in back affords plenty of headroom. Unfortunately, the Energi doesn’t get

its strong all-electric mode without some packaging sacrifices. The most noteworthy of them is obvious the moment you open the rear hatch and see that, in order to fit in the much larger, heavier 7.6 kWh battery pack (versus 1.4 kWh for the regular C-Max hybrid), Ford has mounted the pack into an elevated portion of the cargo area in a way that leaves plenty of useful space for a grocery run but eliminates the possibility of a flat cargo floor when you flip the rear seatbacks forward. Battery cost is one of the limiting factors in making electric vehicles competitive in the market, and the Energi is no exception to this rule. You do pay a price for the bigger battery and extended plug-in range; the C-Max Energi starts at $33,745, which is a $7,750 premium over the hybrid C-Max. Even though you’ll save some money each time you plug in, the economics don’t exactly pay off at today’s gas prices. Nonetheless, the C-Max Energi is an interesting proposition for families or couples who want a single vehicle that’s “greener” for the commute, yet capable of comfortable, efficient long-distance travel. ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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Juneau Using its plug-in range plus all the fuel in its tank, the C-Max has an impressive total driving range of 620 miles. Ford has helped make up for the higher price by offering a fairly generous set of features in the C-Max Energi. Heated leather seats, a power driver’s seat and the all-encompassing MyFord Touch interface are included, while an equipment package adds parking sensors, a back-up camera system, premium audio and a navigation system. It also includes a power liftgate that will open with a sweep of your foot below the bumper. So you’re probably wondering about my mileage. Through my week with the C-Max Energi, I plugged in whenever I was at home, was able to verify the 21-mile rated range once, and did about 80 pure plug-in miles—averaging about 43 mpg overall per gallon not counting the 15.8 kWh I put into it (just a couple dollars). By the trip computer’s account, it all added up to 41.1 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent, based on the energy in a gallon of gas) over 440 miles. By the end of my time with the Energi, I was starting to open my eyes to public chargers and other interim ways to keep the Energi in its electric mode—finding the process a bit gamelike. And based on what Ford is seeing in its data on charging habits, this is a common reaction—the “gamification of not using gas,” as Tinskey puts it. The automaker is finding that owners of the Energi are plugging in far more often than anticipated—even more often than the owners of Ford’s all-electric Focus Electric, which doesn’t have a gasoline engine as a backup. If existing hybrid owners can handle the price, I think a lot of them could jump over to this game. As a gateway device— possibly to be later traded in for a full electric car, when batteries likely will have become more affordable and allow longer driving ranges—the C-Max Energi fits right in.

Bengt Halvorson is an independent automotive journalist working from Portland. ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

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getting there Alaska Airlines (800-ALASKAAIR) offers regular service to communities throughout Alaska. To book a complete Alaska Airlines Vacations package to Alaska, visit or call 866-500-5511.



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Mileage Plan and


Onboard Amenities


Inflight Entertainment and Wi-Fi

A6–8 Route Maps A9

Our Fleet


Terminal Maps


Customs and Immigration Information


A Guide for Air Travelers

Above: Alaska Airlines recently hosted its annual “Copper Chef Cook-off” to celebrate the arrival of the season’s first shipment of Copper River salmon. In a special tribute to the military, 10 citizen airmen from the 446th Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve) joined in the morning festivities to cheer on the four chefs and sample the season’s first Copper River salmon. Alaska flew nearly 19 million pounds of fresh Alaska seafood to the Lower 48 states and beyond last year, including nearly 1 million pounds of Copper River salmon. A1

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AAM ATLAS A2_A3.indd 162

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Message and data rates may apply.






AAM ATLAS A2_A3.indd 163

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ONBOARD AMENITIES NORTHERN BITES ® Alaska Airlines is committed to having quality food available for purchase. So we’ve taken our Northern Bites® food for purchase options to a whole new level as we offer a hot, fresh meal for purchase on almost every flight over 2 ½ hours.

For Purchase $6 USD Waterbrook Two Ponds Red Blend Waterbrook Two Ponds Chardonnay Corona* Miller Lite Budweiser Alaskan Summer Ale Kona Longboard Island Lager** Bacardi Rum Jose Cuervo Tequila The Glenlivet Sobieski Vodka Jack Daniel’s Black Label Seagram’s Crown Royal Bailey’s Irish Cream Courvoisier Cognac Tanqueray Gin

Complimentary Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, Diet Coke Sprite, Sprite Zero & Fanta Orange Seagram’s Ginger Ale, Seltzer & Tonic Athena® Bottled Water Juices: Orange, Tomato, Cranberry, Apple and our special blend of Passion, Orange and Guava juices** Bloody Mary Mix Tea Proudly serving Starbucks® Pike Place® Roast * On flights to/from Mexico ** On flights to Hawai‘i

The Meals & Snacks card in your seatback pocket displays all of our food and beverage options.

Beverage service may vary due to time of day and flight-segment time limitations. Items limited and based on availability. Individuals must be 21 years or older to consume alcoholic beverages. Government warning: According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy. Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.


FIRST CLASS Passengers seated in First Class are always treated to our special brand of customer service. Enjoy our distinctive menus, a dedicated flight attendant, a convenient lavatory and complimentary use of an Inflight Entertainment Player when available.

Please join our effort to reduce our environmental footprint by separating recyclable paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and aluminum, and passing these items to flight attendants for recycling. Thank you.

WINES OF THE MONTH Each month, our First Class passengers enjoy a new selection of fine wines from West Coast vineyards. This month, we’re pleased to feature the wines below. On each flight we’ll serve one white and one red from this selection. Red Impulse Chardonnay Washington Smooth and buttery with tropical fruit flavors and a light caramel finish.

Red Impulse Cabernet Sauvignon Washington Aromatic with plum and currant, showing flavors of blackberries and black cherry.

Wilder Chardonnay Washington Full-bodied with hints of citrus and sharp melon flavors.

Ruby Sky Red Blend Washington Blueberry and cedar aromas, ripe-fruit flavor and a lingering finish.


AAM ATLAS A4_A5.indd 164

7/17/13 11:13 AM


INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT Put Hollywood in the palm of your hand Enjoy our portable inflight entertainment system, including over 75 movies, plenty of TV shows, sports, music, discounted Internet access and more.





ń Kids Only!

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ń 5HVHUYHDWDODVNDDLUFRP 24 hours prior to departure MORE ń 0XVLF ń 0XVLF9LGHRV ń &DUWRRQV



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INFLIGHT WI-FI Gogo® Inflight Internet is available on nearly all Alaska Airlines 737 aircraft, including all aircraft flying transcontinental routes. Only nine of the airline’s Boeing 737s do not offer Wi-Fi—its Freighter and Combi (part-passenger/ part-freight) aircraft and three 737-400s. With Gogo you can: › Surf the web and check email › Access your VPN › Enjoy free access to Please refer to the card in the seatback pocket for pricing and availability information and sign-up instructions. Flight attendants will indicate when it is safe to activate electronic devices and access Gogo.

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AAM ATLAS A4_A5.indd 165

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U.S., HAWAI‘I AND MEXICO Alaska Airlines is proud to serve more than 90 locations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. We serve many other cities with our codeshare partners, American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines and Delta Connection. On routes that require a connection to one of our partners, we strive to ensure a smooth transition, which includes the ease of purchasing your ticket with just one call or a visit to, taking care of your bag transfer, and providing assistance at any stage of your journey should you have questions. What’s more, all our codeshare partners are also Mileage Plan partners, allowing generous opportunities to earn Bonus Miles. And with reciprocal elite-status benefits, you can enjoy several enhancements to your journey. Learn more at

LEGEND Routes served by:

9 Some Alaska Airlines service operated by Horizon Air or SkyWest Airlines. * Some routes shown operated seasonally.


To Anchorage To Bellingham

To Portland

To Seattle To Sacramento CALIFORNIA

To Oakland

Los Angeles Int’l

To San Jose


San Diego


To Seattle,* San Francisco



To San Jose





To San Diego










o rt fC



c cifi Pa


ao Se





ea Oc


Honolulu Kahului Kona



Los Cabos El Arco

Puerto Vallarta

Guadalajara Lake Chapala





AAM ATLAS A6_A7.indd 166


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Seattle & Boston . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2496 Denver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1024 Fort Lauderdale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2697 Honolulu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2677 Los Angeles (LAX). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 954 New York City/Newark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2401 Orlando . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2553 Phoenix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1106 San Francisco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 678 Washington, D.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2306 Between Mileage








lajara Lake Chapala


Portland & Los Angeles (LAX). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 834 San Diego . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 933 San Francisco. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 550

Mexico City Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo

Mileage Plan members receive mileage credit (500 miles minimum) based on the nonstop mileage between the origin and destination indicated on the ticket.


Service Begins

Portland–Atlanta Portland–Dallas Portland–Tucson Portland–Reno San Diego–Boise San Diego–Mammoth Seattle–Colorado Springs Seattle–Omaha Seattle–Steamboat Springs Anchorage–Phoenix Anchorage–Las Vegas

August 26, 2013 September 16, 2013 November 1, 2013 November 8, 2013 November 1, 2013 December 19, 2013 November 1, 2013 November 7, 2013 December 18, 2013 December 18, 2013 December 19, 2013


AAM ATLAS A6_A7.indd 167

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Point Hope








St. Lawrence Is.




King Is.






Unalakleet St. Mary’s







Trans-Alaska Pipeline






. nR

Fort Yukon



St. Paul

Prudhoe Bay


Beaufort Sea O




Nunivak Is. Pribilof Islands



||| ||||||| ||||| ||




||||||| |||| |||





St. George



|| ||



|| ||| ||

Alaska Railroad

|| | | |

|| ||








To Chicago


|| ||

Columbia Glacier

|| | |

|| ||| ||

| ||

|| || ||


|||| |||

Valdez Seward









Prince Wm. Sound











Hubbard Glacier

Chilkoot Pass

Muir Glacier

Skagway Haines


Gustavus/ Glacier Bay*


Mendenhall Glacier



To Portland



Fairbanks & Barrow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 503 Seattle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1533 Chicago . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2785 Between


Juneau & Sitka . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Petersburg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 Yakutat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 Ketchikan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 Seattle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 909 Between


Ketchikan & Wrangell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Sitka . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185 Juneau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 Seattle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 679

Mileage Plan members receive mileage credit (500 miles minimum) based on the nonstop mileage between the origin and destination indicated on the ticket. For more information on the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, see page A2.

Petersburg Wrangell





Anchorage & Cordova . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 Kodiak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252 Fairbanks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261 King Salmon . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289 Dillingham . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329 Bethel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 399 Nome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 539 Kotzebue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 549 Juneau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 571 Prudhoe Bay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 627 Ketchikan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 776 Dutch Harbor . . . . . . . . . . . . 792 Seattle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1448 Portland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1542 San Francisco. . . . . . . . . . . . 2045 Los Angeles . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2375 Honolulu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2776 Chicago . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2847

To Kahului, Maui*






To Kona*




Dutch Harbor EU


MT. ST. ELIAS Malaspina Glacier ALA

To Denver*



Kodiak Kodiak Island




Sand Point Chignik


Kenai Peninsula


Cold Bay




Port Heiden



| ||||||


King Salmon*

||| ||||| |

|| ||

Matanuska Valley W

Dutch Harbor


Iliamna Kenai

Bristol Bay


e Clark Lak



To Adak

|| || |||| ||||





Misty Fjords Nat’l Monument

To Los Angeles*

AIRLINE PARTNERS Make easy connections throughout Alaska with our partner airlines. To Seattle

St. Mary’s


Kenai Homer Cordova

* Some routes shown operated seasonally. † Dutch Harbor–Anchorage service operated by PenAir.



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Amy, Customer Service Agent, San Francisco

Alaska Airlines tiene el orgullo de ser la compaùía de bandera extranjera mĂĄs grande que presta servicios con destino a MĂŠxico. Por eso, hemos asumido el compromiso de cumplir nuestra promesa de proporcionar a nuestros apreciados clientes hispanohablantes una experiencia excepcional que, a la vez, sea segura, conďŹ able y llegue a ellos con un servicio genuino y atento. Para atenderle mejor, nuestros productos y servicios se encuentran disponibles en espaĂąol a travĂŠs de: Ĺ&#x201E;&HQWURVGHDWHQFLÂľQWHOHIÂľQLFDGH 5HVHUYDFLRQHV\GH$WHQFLÂľQDO&OLHQWH Ĺ&#x201E;4XLRVFRVGHUHJLVWURGHODHURSXHUWR

Ĺ&#x201E;DODVNDDLUFRPHVSDÂłRO Ĺ&#x201E;(OHGLWRULDOPHQVXDOGHOGLUHFWRUHMHFXWLYR se encuentra al inicio de esta revista Ĺ&#x201E;,QIRUPDFLÂľQVREUHODVVDODVGHFRQH[LÂľQ en la pĂĄgina A10 Ĺ&#x201E;,QIRUPDFLÂľQVREUHIRUPXODULRVDGXDQHURV e inmigratorios en la pĂĄgina A12 Asimismo, en el aeropuerto o una vez a bordo, nuestros empleados hispanohablantes con gusto le brindarĂĄn ayuda. Simplemente dirĂ­jase a nuestros empleados sonrientes y cordiales que llevan nuestras exclusivas identiďŹ caciones con la leyenda â&#x20AC;&#x153;A su servicioâ&#x20AC;?.

OUR BAGGAGE SERVICE GUARANTEE Your time is money, so we guarantee speedy delivery of your checked luggage Size and weight limitations Passengers traveling on Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air may check bags with a PD[LPXPGLPHQVLRQRI62 linear inches OHQJWKZLGWKKHLJKW DQGZHLJKWRI up to 50 pounds.

Baggage Service Guarantee Alaska Airlines is the ďŹ rst major U.S. carrier to implement a Baggage Service GuaranBAGGAGE WHH,I\RXUEDJ SERVICE TEE GUARAN gage is not at



OUR FLEET Alaska Airlines maintains a ďŹ&#x201A;eet RIPRUHWKDQ125%RHLQJDLUFUDIW including our newest, the 737-900ER. &RQŲJXUHGZLWK165 seats in the main cabin and 16 seats in First &ODVV$ODVNDÄ˝VQHZ737-900ERs will predominantly ďŹ&#x201A;y transcontinental and Hawaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;i routes. Onboard, passengers will enjoy custom-designed Recaro seats and the Boeing Sky ,QWHULRUIHDWXULQJVFXOSWHGRYHUKHDG bins and mood lighting designed to provide a more spacious cabin experience.






Bombardier Q400 Operated by Horizon Air


Bombardier CRJ-700 Operated by SkyWest Airlines


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HELPING YOU FIND YOUR WAY A quick guide to help you make easier connections Anchorage International Airport


Seattle/Tacoma International Airport

(SEA) {


Chicago Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Hare International Airport

Portland International Airport



Los Angeles International Airport

San Francisco International Airport



Atlanta International Airport







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U.S. CUSTOMS DECLARATION Who must complete this form? All travelers

MEXICO CUSTOMS DECLARATION Who must complete this form? All travelers






FMM Who must complete this form? $OOWUDYHOHUVH[FHSWFLWL]HQVRI0H[LFR ¿Quién debe completar esta forma? 7RGRVORVYLDMHURVH[FHSWRORVFLXGDGDQRVGH0«[LFR




Please use all capital letters with blue or black ink. Por favor use letra mayúscula en tinta azul o negra.



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Toll-Free Reservations Within the U.S. and Canada: 800$/$6.$$,5 ŶƙƑƑƓƖƓƘƖƓƓŷ Ŷ77<ƙƑƑƗƙƓƓƓƓƒŷ En Español: ƙƑƑƙƖƙƖƖƓƖ From Mexico: ƑƑƒƙƑƑƓƖƓƘƖƓƓ




At Gate Prior to Door Closure and Above 10,000 Feet /DSWRSWDEOHWVPDUWSKRQH DLUSODQHPRGHDERYHN




Alaska Airlines Vacations: ƙƑƑƕƗƙƓƓƕƙ A12

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from page 114 racing school phenomenon.

At the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Perisset rolls out one of the largest collections of unique and expensive cars on the planet. The lineup looks like the posters on a teenage boy’s bedroom: Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens and Porsches. They are the cars you see at auto shows surrounded by vigilant security guards and velvet ropes. Perisset then hands his students the keys. That’s right, he lets students in his class take these expensive beauties for a spin. All they need to do is decide which one they want. At Perisset’s Exotics Racing School program in Las Vegas, the motto is, “Stop dreaming and start driving.” Taking such high-performance cars out for a spin with this school is far more than gently cruising around the track in a super car. In fact, there’s nothing conservative about it. Participants learn how to push the vehicles and themselves, as student Peter Lin discovered when he took a five-lap introduction class aboard a Lamborghini Gallardo. “My top speed was probably 150 to 160 miles per hour, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the road because I was so scared,” the Las Vegas resident says. “My jaw was crunching; I was pushing my body upright in the seat; squeezing the wheel with white knuckles.” Lin says Exotics Racing not only discusses the basics of driving, but also the reasons behind the moves that race-car drivers make. Instructors explain how to maneuver into and out of turns, handle a banked track and stay in certain gears to keep from losing power. “My instructor encouraged me to push the car [to the highest possible RPMs] before shifting,” Lin says. “We learn more racing technique than just driving.” Like most new drivers, Lin says, he was slightly timid at first. He wanted to brake too early before turning, and he had to learn to wait for the right moment. His instructor kept telling him, “Wait for it, wait for it; wait … wait … ” to the point that Lin worried he wasn’t going to be able to negotiate the curve. However, he quickly grew comfortable with the powerful cars. The Las Vegas course features seven ALASKA AIRLINES MAGAZINE

AAM 08.13 Driving Pro.indd 173


turns and a long straightaway followed by an apex turn, which is marked with cones that indicate to drivers where to brake. It’s simple enough that even a beginner can understand the basics of racing. Lin’s first few laps were sensory overload: the speed, the quick acceleration and all the buttons in the cockpit were almost too much to absorb. By the fifth lap, Lin was becoming accustomed to the speed and was able to push his car to the proverbial edge—and he says it was a pure adrenaline rush.

Lin says he plans to return as often as he can afford, or until he’s worked his way through the entire fleet of exotic cars. However, just in case he ever needs a reminder of his brush with racing greatness, Lin bought a video of his exploits recorded by the Exotics Racing School. In the video, the look on his face says it all. “I have this big dumb smile the whole time,” he says. Jeff Layton is a Seattle-based writer and car-racing fan.


7/18/13 8:22 AM

WORD GAMES ACROSS 1 6 11 16 18 19 21 22 24 25 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 35 36 37 39 40 41 43 45 48 49 50 51 53 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 75 76 79 80 82 83 84 86 88 89 90 91 94 95 96 97

Touches Forrest Gump star Tells all Blunders Fix, as brakes Computer buttons Opposite of dredge Sand-trap escape Workforce Counterweights Mountain lakes Guatemalan gold Get-togethers Fields Of resistance Marshall ____ Neonate Drifting ice masses Circumvent Harbor vessel Hawaiian port Furuncle Grating Not traversed Totter French Mrs. Design Expenditure Tony’s relative Tool and ____ Insomniac’s desire Brass or bronze Satchmo’s vocal innovation Hindu philosophy term Take a gander Polio vaccine developer Indian sect members Employs Pinnae De ____ (too much) Small arachnids Mother: pref. Start for a lark? Believe Pardon Limited Adult elver Englishmen Handsome lad Sailor’s sword: var. Neck and neck Liberal follower Heater Maui patio Famous Aircraft carrier Type type: abbr. University council Maudlin Tree trunk Fowl crop Newsman Morley ____ Slight variation Garden shelter


AAM 08.13 XWord.indd 174

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Afterbath cosmetic Torpor Least difficult Rhine tributary Peaceful protest Natural fertilizer Inscribed pillar Villain Legree Dealt Among Sub shop Rosie’s bolt Roscoe Arbuckle’s nickname And others: abbr. ____ Sender List Ignorant Military acronym Most uncommon An arm and a leg Tosca and Turandot Famine’s antonym


: 87 89 90 92 93 95 96 97 99 100 102

Mitch Miller, for one Sidewalk sites ____ Foolish Things Suspicious Goofs Move a bit Cicatrix Grain husk RR depot Priestly vestment Pipe joint

Solution on page 156.

Puzzle © 2013 Penny Press, Inc.


7/17/13 2:40 PM

Your Come see what great memories are made of. We proudly offer an entertainment venue that will make you want to get up and dance! Club Galaxy, where admission is always free, offers a variety of acts from every genre of music. Check out our show list at

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Kayakers explore a narrow canyon of Havasu Creek in Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Grand Canyon National Park.

Photo by Joel Rogers


AAM 08.13 Photo page.indd 176



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