AK: Alaska Wonder

A recent online poll named seven new Wonders of the World. Alaska didn’t make the cut, but we all know the Great Land has plenty of wonders of its own. This week we take a look at these wonders — by bike, by kayak and by the Bronx, where one Alaska-born collector has turned his apartment into an Alaskan museum. Plus, ever wanted to make your own playground… or bird parka? Find out how this week on AK from APRN.

On the Road, Part 1
Part of Alaska’s wonder lies in its potential for adventure, and Anchorage resident Jen Miller thrives on the stuff. Once a year, she quits her job and undertakes a solo bike trip: this year, it was from Valdez to Inuvik in the Canadian arctic. She brought along a recorder and with help from APRN’s Annie Feidt, she brings us this radio diary.

  • Music Button: “Bicycle” by Pfilbryte from Preservatives Affirmative!

Birds of a Feather
Fifty years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to see coastal Natives wearing parkas made from bird skins, all of them lightweight, waterproof, and reversible. Though feather parkas fell out of use, Lydia Apatiki from St. Lawrence Island wants to bring back these wonders of art. AK’s Ellen Lockyer has more.

  • Calendar of Events (Song: “Lullabye of Birdland” performed by Stan Getz from The Complete Roost Recordings)
  • Break: “I Am a Rock” performed by The Symphonic Orchestra from The Instrumental Sound of Simon & Garfunkel

Part-Time Island
Ah, the wonder of geology. Around 1760, when The Little Ice Age peaked, Juneau’s Mendenhall Glacier covered the valley where we now see houses, schools and churches. But now that the ice has receded, the land is going up — and Douglas Island is rising from the sea and joining the mainland! AK’s Scott Burton paddled out with Richard Carstensen and met with landowner Jim King to check it out.

A Touch of Glass
Tasha Whalen and Lincoln Farrabee spend their days lamp-working: using a torch to manipulate molten globs of glass into beads. Jeff Brown visited the artists in their basement studio on Douglas Island.

At the Playground
Juneau’s newest playground is wildly popular among the ten-and-under set. No wonder. There’s an ice castle threaded with slides, a mining maze, there’s even a lighthouse and fishing trawler connected by secret passages. Weld Royal toured the playground designed by Juneau kids and Leathers and Associates.

  • Music Button: “At the Playground” by Another Bad Creation from Coolin’ At the Playground

On the Road, Part 2
Jen Miller, the adventurous road biker en route from Valdez to the Canadian arctic, arrives at Grizzly Lake Campground, about 40 miles east of Gakona. As she tells us in Part Two of her radio diary, the family also runs a small hobby farm. 2:46 (3:04 with intro)

  • Break 2: “Wonderful Tonight” performed by Pickin’ On Series from Pickin’ On Clapton – A Tribute

Alaska in Da Bronx
Eric Holzenberg was born in Anchorage, and has collected roughly 5,000 pieces of Alaskana. He keeps them in his “Alaska Room” — which, it turns out, is closer to the Statue of Liberty than it is to Sleeping Lady. AK host Rebecca Sheir paid him and his “tchotchkes” a visit.

  • Music Button: “Theme From Northern Exposure” by David Schwartz from Northern Exposure: Music From the Television Series

Getting Hooked
Alaska’s wonderful fishing draws plenty of people to the state, all hoping to catch a big, beautiful salmon. But as APRN’s David Shurtleff learns from speaking with Dr. Paul Foreman, a physician at Providence Seward Medical Center and Dr. Hal Smith at Central Peninsula Hospital, sometimes they end up on the wrong end of the hook.

300 Villages
Cantwell and Manley Hot Springs

On the Road, Part 3
After crossing the border to Canada, cyclist Jen Miller meets up with her friend Nat, and his dad Barry, who are also heading to Inuvik on bikes.

  • Closing: “‘S Wonderful” performed by Al Caiola from Soft Guitars