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Alaska Travel Magazinenext

A True Prospective Of Alaska:
See The Elephant?

Planning on traveling to explore the wonders of Alaska?

Then welcome to perhaps the only media that can possibly come close to describing the experience.

We hope this web-video-rich magazine experiment enables us to bring words to life, to describe the life on the last frontier.All magazines exist by selling something benefiting their advertisers. We are focused on what there is to see in this Great Land from the Alaskan viewpoint, for the benefit of the small Alaskan travel business. Too often Visit Alaska advertising material is generated in the home offices of foreign corporations. Thanks to restrictive legislation supposedly beneficial to Alaska passed by outsider representation in Congress (as the Jones Act), we have a situation where an English, Danish, and German cruise lines are our primary spokespersons on television. This perhaps would be acceptable if their advertising didnt somehow convince the average cruise passenger that they would be soaring as an eagle over endless glaciers, interacting with smiling natives (whiteguys, or Athabascans, or Upic sometimes it is hard for us to remember who is which), or photographing salmon jumping into the mouths of brownies at McNeil River Falls.

The reality is that the majority of those herded along on limited cruise ship shore excursions or self contained cruise ship add-on tour packages (readloaded into a cruise ship bus, taken to a cruise ship rail car, to a cruise ship hotel, and cruise ship gift shop) come home with a very limited view of the true Alaska, and this seen through eyes of the cruise ship interpretive Alaskan guides.

We have also had to put up with Hollywoods interpretations. They have a habit of moving Alaskan real estate to Misery (Alberta), or Northern Exposure (Washington State), and a whole slew of wacky happenstances which all seemed to be filmed in British Columbia. Want to hear audience laugh: attend an Alaskan screening of The Bear where two BC bruins are running towards each other across a meadow in a classic slow motion love cliché. Problem here is that both are well endowed boars. Not only does Canada subsidize their film and video arts industry, they also are not ashamed to cater to the gay bear marketplace! Misinformation about bears seems to be the norm when describing things Alaskan. Some grizzly stories are so grisly they scare me, a neighbor to ursa horiliblous. Some stores are so cute and cuddly you just want to snuggle down and enjoy then with a wiggle of a tail. If you want the truth, I suggest you come and find out for yourself, to use an old Americana phrase of to see the elephant, even through he is a bear.

Seeing the Elephant, in the frontier West meant that after a traveling circus came to town, that the pilgrim who had plunked down his dime for a peek at this strange animal, has seen everything there was to see. I think in the case of Alaska, the Hindustani folk tale that has blind men trying to describe an elephant by where they were touching is more appropriate.The state even looks the part. Imagine the head of the elephant or perhaps to be more correct, the indigenous but extinct, Wooly Mammoth being defined by a long trunk stretching out to the end of the Aleutian Islands; big floppy ears as the Arctic Plains; Nome as an eyelash over Norton Sound; the mouth, Anchorage with the Seward Peninsula the lower jaw; and the front legs extending clear down to Juneau and the Inside Passage. Blindly touching any one feature, without having experienced the other is like listening to someone in Anchorage (even subtracting government employees and environmental lawyers, by far the population center of the state) describing Ketchikan, 1,600 miles away to the South East the distance equal from Buffalo, New York to San Antonio, Texas. And, Anchorage is considered to be in the South Central part of the state.

As a commuter plane flies it also is the same distance north to Barrow, on the Arctic Ocean, or south west to Dutch Harbor.I think the reason why most have the impression that the distances are not that far is how the state is shown on maps of the U.S.A. Ever notice that Hawaii ends up with the same size box in the left margin as Alaska?

Thanks to the wonders of rich media you can click the state to set the scale to what it should be. Yes I know including the full extent of the Aleutian Islands to the west, and east including a tiny bit of Alaska that is over the International Date Line, is a tad unfair in this comparison, stretching Alaska so that it covers the Lower 48 from California to Florida. Merely making a point that this is one big elephant.

To see it all, well that might take two lifetimes, even with a little help from a friend pointing the right direction. Welcome to the premiere edition of our save a tree rich media magazine. We hope you support us since this is not a subscription publication with a cover price; or a governmental publication paid for out of a hotel room tax, or a giveaway sponsored by large outside interests. We hope our info-mercial concept is a true resource for our readers.

The editor and publisher has years of magazine experience (with travel articles published in LIFE and Holiday, among others) in print as a freelance writer photographer, and owned a gloss paper business magazine for a number of years. From this background we know this to be a truth... it is the reader that truly owns a magazine.

We would love to hear your comments.


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