“Bright Aurora over Homestead”.

Image Credit: Photograph by © Fred Wasmer. All rights reserved.
A bright aurora appears over a homestead in the Brooks Range of northern Alaska on the morning of 23 March, 2015.
Fred Wasmer, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America
Member since 2014
Source: Aurora Over Homestead | Smithsonian Photo Contest | Smithsonian

“The very strange Sourtoe Cocktail Club”.

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Established in 1973, the Sourtoe Cocktail has become a Dawson City tradition and is exactly what is sounds like:
An actual human toe that has been dehydrated and preserved in salt is served in a drink.
According to the story, Yukon local Captain Dick Stevenson found the toe preserved in a jar of alcohol while cleaning a cabin in 1973.
After discussing it with friends, Captain Dick preserved and started serving the toe in a “Sourtoe Cocktail” at the Eldorado hotel bar.
Thus the Sourtoe Cocktail Club was formed.
The first toe is said to have belonged to a miner and rum runner named Louie Liken, who had his frostbitten appendage amputated in the 1920s. Liken preserved it in a jar of alcohol in his cabin, where Stevenson found it some 50 years later.

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Unfortunately, the first toe lasted only seven more years after its discovery.
According to the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, “In July 1980, a miner named Garry Younger was trying for the Sourtoe record.
On his thirteenth glass of Sourtoe champagne, his chair tipped over backwards, and he swallowed the toe. Sadly, Toe #1 was not recovered.”
Since then, seven more toes have been donated to the bar. Number two was given after an amputation due to an inoperable corn; number three was from a victim of frostbite (it was also swallowed accidentally); four was an anonymous toe (later stolen by a hunter); toes five and six were donated by a Yukon old-timer in return for free drinks for his nurses; toe seven was an amputation due to diabetes; and toe eight arrived in a jar of alcohol with the message, “Don’t wear open-toe sandals while mowing the lawn.”
Read on further via The Sourtoe Cocktail | Atlas Obscura.

“Ice Museum, Alaska.”

imagePhoto by | Copyright: Eric Dubya
Contributor: Rachel (Admin)
Located at the Chena Hot Springs Resort, the Aurora Ice Museum is the world’s largest year-round ice environment.
You may be wondering just what this means exactly – it means jousting knights, polar bear bedrooms, a 2-story snowball fight structure, and perfectly chilled cocktails in icy martini glasses for visitors of age.

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Champion ice carver Steve Brice has created a winter wonderland of ice sculptures depicting all sorts of crazy shenanigans for the polar region, including entire rooms built out of ice and the awkwardly fascinating “ice outhouse.”
Igloos, spheres, a giant chess set, and a full-sized pair of knights jousting on horses are just a few of the amazing examples of Brice’s work.
The entire place is lit up with ice chandeliers that splay the colors of the Aurora Borealis across the glimmering walls, and everything at the bar, from the glasses to the bar itself, are crafted from ice harvested locally and shaped for your delight.
The ambitious beginnings of the museum were to create an ice hotel, but it was decided that being a year-round ice environment was a lofty enough undertaking, and they scaled down to a museum.
Edited by: Martin, Mark Casey (Admin), Allison (Admin), EricGrundhauser (Admin)
See more via Aurora Ice Museum | Atlas Obscura.

“The Lady of the Lake”.

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Contributor: debthomson
The Lady of the Lake is what they call the ghostly remains of a WB-29 Superfortress, a weather reconnaissance aircraft retired in 1955 that sits partially submerged in an Alaskan lake at Eielson AFB.
Once used for open water extrication training until it became too dangerous to serve even that purpose, the Lady of the Lake was once a recon craft that flew over the North Pole.
Stripped of all parts and placed in the lake on the Eielson Air Force Base, she was used for training for several years, interrupted only by the winter weather.
One spring, the water in the lake rose too high to reach her, so there she sits, until someone decides to rescue her, or at least continue to pretend to rescue her, over and over.
Read on via Lady of the Lake | Atlas Obscura.

“Brown bear cub on guard.”

Photo © Karen Moy. All rights reserved.
Brown bear cub on guard during the Salmon Run.
Bears are able to survive in the wilderness with the annual Alaskan Salmon Run without disturbance from humans in their natural environment.
Source: Brown bear cub on guard during the Salmon Run | Smithsonian Photo Contest | Smithsonian

“Glaciers, Fjords, and Wildlife”.

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Harbor seals bask on an iceberg as the fog rolls in near Bear Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park. Photo credit: Jonathan Irish
A lot of people ask us what has been our favorite park so far this year and that question is practically impossible to answer because each park is so special in its own way.
Perhaps a better way to answer that question, or to even ask it of ourselves, is to tweak it a bit—“what park would you have wished you had more time to spend in and definitely want to go back to?”

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That seems more appropriate… Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska is definitely one of them.
This park and its surrounding area has some huge draws for the outdoor set—great camping, a cool local scene, and pristine Alaskan wilderness sprawling into the mountains and to the seas.
These are just a few of the reasons people want to visit the Kenai Peninsula.
The things that motivate us to return are the experiences had while there… once you experience the landscape, you will undoubtedly want to explore it more in a variety of different ways.
Source: Glaciers, Fjords, and Wildlife: 3 Adventures in Kenai Fjords National Park | The Huffington Post