Alaska Air Ambulances at Rick

payments received from government programs like Medicare and Medicaid as well as private insurance programs. When Medicare and Medicaid payments are combined with other government programs and the number of uninsured patients is factored into the equation, more than 7 in 10 patient means of transport receive no or below cost reimbursements. Insurers that once agreed to pay more to cover the low reimbursements from government programs so their beneficiaries would have access to critical services are refusing to continue this practice. This often results in a surprise bill for the patient. Living in a frontier state with far-flung communities comes with a unique set of benefits and challenges. Together, these forge Alaskans into a hearty, self-sufficient family that can solve most problems that arise. Yet, every so often there are issues, like health crises that push us to our limits. When a health emergency arises and in the most critical moments, we must rely on air medical services to help. Each year, thousands of Alaskans are flown from villages to cities that have the facilities to treat

Alaska is for the Call of the Wild Land of ADVENTURE

Muskox | September 7, 2019 – Our only stop this morning befo…


September 7, 2019 – Our only stop this morning before our arrival in Anchorage was the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center located in Portage, Alaska. AWCC is a sanctuary dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife through conservation, education, research, and quality animal care. “Despite their name, muskox are members of the goat family. They’re an ancient species of arctic mammal with a thick outer coat consisting of long (up to 36 inches) guard hairs that cover a dense underfur known as qiviut. Qiviut is considered to be one of the warmest materials in the world.” Previous text from the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center website: 


Shishaldin volcano (Alaska, USA) activity update: low-level eruptive activity with periodic bursts of lava

Seismicity at the volcano has decreased over the past few weeks to levels slightly above background. In addition, satellite views of the volcano over the same period show a decrease in surface temperatures at the summit. The eruptive activity appears to have ended or paused. …
Alaska the land of Ice and Snow the Call of the Wild. A great place to live if you can stand the clod. It has a lot to offer hutting and fishing and a place to get away from it all.
Alaska NoMans land Land of adventure.

Things to do in Alaska Before Your Cruise

Cruising Alaska is a great introduction to the many things to do in Alaska. Having just come home from an UnCruise, we felt that we truly experienced the rugged wilderness of the 49th state.

But being on a cruise is just one part of going to Alaska. That’s why booking an added package before or after your cruise is a must. If you are going to make the trek all the way up north, why not make the most of it?

UnCruise has several packages to extend your cruise, and we’ve experienced a lot of what Alaska has to offer in the past.

UnCruise has several packages to extend your cruise, and we’ve experienced a lot of what Alaska has to offer in the past.

What you’ll see in this Alaska Guide

So we thought we’d round up our favorite things to do in Alaska to help you plan the land portion of your Alaska vacation.


Discover the Temagami Region of Ontario by Dog TeamDiscover the Temagami Region of Ontario by Dog Team

We started our cruise with UnCruise in Juneau and have done some adventures in Juneau in the past.

Their package have you stay in the Four Points Sheraton which is walking distance to everything and makes it easy to experience the many things to do in Juneau.

Things to do in Juneau

Juneau cool town that feels like it takes you back to the Gold Rush days with the swinging red doors of the Red Dog Saloon and colorful facades of shops lining the streets taking you back to the 1800s.

Mendenhall Glacier

Their package have you stay in the Four Points Sheraton which is walking distance to everything and makes it easy to experience the many things to do in Juneau.

Things to do in Juneau

Juneau cool town that feels like it takes you back to the Gold Rush days with the swinging red doors of the Red Dog Saloon and colorful facades of shops lining the streets taking you back to the 1800s.Discover the Temagami Region of Ontario by Dog TeamDiscover the Temagami Region of Ontario by Dog Team

There are many things to do in Juneau but visiting Mendenhall Glacier is a great choice. They say it is the most-visited glacier in the world, and it’s an excellent chance to get up close to the massive glacier.


Juneau’s Whale Sculpture on the waterfront looks so real!  On an UnCruise we saw many whales on the ship, but nature isn’t always predictable and you never know what will happen.

Discover the Temagami Region of Ontario by Dog TeamDiscover the Temagami Region of Ontario by Dog Team

Bald Eagles may be difficult to spot in other parts of the world, but in Juneau, they hang out on the beach, sit on totem poles and soar through the air.


Dog Mushing

Discover the Temagami Region of Ontario by Dog TeamDiscover the Temagami Region of Ontario by Dog Team

When we first visited Juneau, we were supposed to go dog mushing. Dog mushing is still a very large part of the community in the North as locals still use dogs to get around in the winter.


It was raining pretty hard when we were in port, so it was canceled due to inclement weather, but we have since gone dogsledding I n other parts of the world, and it is an uplifting, joyous experience, so make sure you do it!

Picking the Perfect National Park for Your Family Vacation

There are so many decisions that go into deciding a vacation destination. When it involves more than just you and your friend or significant other, it seems to get even more complicated. Small and even family vacations should not drive you to drink or pulling all your hair out. These are just a few tips to help you make your choice a little less stressful.

The first and easiest thing to ask yourself is what you and the people you will be going with like to do? Are you totally outdoor people, strictly indoor types, or a combination? Are all of you athletic or in good shape? Do you like hot weather, mild or cold seasons? Is sightseeing something you would like on your agenda or are you strictly an activity oriented type? Do you enjoy ‘roughing it’ or do you want more comfort? Do you like camping, fishing, backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, bird watching, wildlife viewing, history, learning how some of the unique formations in the parks came to be there, snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, sailing, boating, kayaking, whitewater rafting, photography, hunting, or just lazing around beautiful places?

The next thing to consider is how much do you have to spend and how much time will you have. There are so many national parks and monuments that are relatively close to people that it is not expensive to get yourself there. Some of the exciting wilderness areas in Alaska can be expensive to get to, but if you have the money and enjoy the great outdoors, it is certainly worth going for an incredible experience you won’t soon forget.

That being said, it only remains to pick your destination. Bear in mind, that almost any area has inexpensive travel options and moves up from there to more expensive ones. Also, just because you are going to a national park, does not mean you have to ‘rough it’. There are plenty of options for day hiking, climbing, fishing, water sports, etc. that do not involve sitting by a campfire enjoying the great outdoors if that is just not your style.

Camping is generally believed to be the cheapest type of a vacation after you make the initial investment of camping supplies. This can be a tidy sum, but remember that the equipment usually lasts for quite a few years. It is generally true that camping fees at the parks are cheaper than an average hotel room. And if you own an RV, you can camp in true comfort. Most campgrounds are situated in gorgeous surroundings and allow you easy access to the park’s highlights. There are very few parks that don’t have some kind of campgrounds. Also, when you camp, you usually cook your own food which also saves you money. And no, you do not have to eat hotdogs all week unless that is what you love!

Now, if you live in the Midwest, there are plenty of park options within driving distances that take no more than twelve hours or less, depending on where you live. Of course, you can always choose to fly anywhere, but some parks are a little distant from the nearest airport. Driving allows you the luxury of taking along everything you think you need for a comfortable stay.

My favorite pick for the Midwest is Great Smoky Mountains, National Park. This is hands down one of the best all-around parks for the family. It falls within the states of Tennessee and North Carolina. You can choose to rough it on the Appalachian Trail, camp out in a developed campground or wilderness, or stay in anywhere from luxurious suites to nice inexpensive hotels in nearby Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN. And, speaking of Pigeon Forge, you have Dollywood and all the innumerable attractions they offer in the area. On the North Carolina side, you have more campgrounds, the city of Cherokee that has several Indian souvenirs and museums, whitewater rafting and flies fishing (the last two are actually offered in both states). The mountains are absolutely beautiful and make for great photo ops. Please look up our Great Smoky Mountain web page for further details.

Another great choice is Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and State Park. They also have camping and wildlife viewing, especially bird watching. A unique shoreline allows for walking on the beach or swimming in Lake Michigan. They even have areas for you to bring your own horses and go horseback riding. For those of you that enjoy sightseeing and history, you can see the five World’s Fair houses from 1933 or attend the Gathering At Calumic in early May, where Eastern Woodland Indians and Western Great Lakes fur traders and Voyageurs reenact what life was like along the Calumet River from 1730-1830.

If you enjoy boating, there are several places in the Midwest, but the two northern ones are Voyageurs National Park and Isle Royale National Park. Voyageurs is in Minnesota and Isle Royale is off of the northern coast of Michigan in Lake Superior. Both offer great wilderness adventures as well as canoeing, kayaking, motor boating, and fishing opportunities. Voyageurs is considered a water park meaning you have to take a boat over to the actual park, but it is a short journey. There are places to camp out or lodges to stay at that will help equip you, enabling you to boat around the waterways and find those great fishing spots. Isle Royale is a long boat ride or a short “puddle jumper” flight. It has wilderness camping only but also has a lodge for those who only enjoy day hiking and some comfort. There is kayaking, fishing, backpacking, wildlife, with the longest-running research program studying wolves and moose, scuba diving, and shipwrecks. It is truly a unique ecosystem to observe.

The The western US has much more to offer in national parks. The most famous is Yellowstone where you will see Old Faithful and lots of other geothermal marvels and one of the few places in the lower 48 to observe grizzly bears up close. You’ll also see bison roaming very close by so be careful. It is located on the border of Wyoming and Montana. There are numerous ranches and lodges to stay at or you can camp out in the park. There is also great fly fishing, kayaking, climbing, and backpacking. Another biggie is Grand Canyon, National Park. This one is in Arizona, again on the border of Arizona and Nevada, but also close to the southern Utah border. It is part of the Grand Staircase, an immense sequence of sedimentary rock layers that runs south from Bryce Canyon National Park, through Zion National Park (both in Utah) and ends at the Grand Canyon. There is camping, backpacking, day hiking, whitewater rafting, and plenty of photography opportunities.

Other great parks, (although all of them are super places to visit) in the west, are Yosemite, Channel Islands, Redwood, Arches, Olympic, Grand Teton, Canyonlands, Rocky Mountain, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mesa Verde, Crater Lake, Mt. Rainier, and Sequoia. All of these have great widespread activities that will suit any vacationers’ needs and desires. Please check out our individual park pages for further information on each of these superb parks.

The Eastern United States also offer splendid options for vacationing. Acadia National Park in Maine has unsurpassed northern oceanside views and cliff climbing that you won’t find in other parks. There is also fishing, island exploring, hiking, and beautiful gardens to gaze upon. Further down the eastern side is Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The Appalachian Trail runs through the park for 101 miles giving you plenty of hiking and backpacking options. There is also camping, fishing, bird watching and horseback riding.

In Florida, you will find three national parks and one preserve with the most famous being Everglades. Everglades is so much more then what you have seen on TV. The wildlife is phenomenal and makes it easy to get some great animal and bird shots. There is also wilderness camping, (watch out for alligators!) canoeing, fishing, airboat rides, hiking, and rare, as well as beautiful flora. Big Cypress National Preserve is right by Everglades and is very similar, but also offers cypress stands, mangrove forests, endangered species of wildlife like the peregrine falcon and the Florida panther. Activities include fishing, biking, canoeing, hiking, and hunting. Biscayne National Park is off of the eastern tip of southern Florida. As the world’s third-longest coral reef tract, there are snorkeling, scuba diving trips, sailing, swimming, fishing, canoeing and kayaking opportunities, making it a celebrated national park vacation for family vacations or outdoor adventure-seeking spring break crowds. Dry Tortugas National Park is a unique park preserving Fort Jefferson that was built during the Civil War and never finished, and the nesting places of terns and sea turtles. You will be able to enjoy Key West snorkeling, saltwater fishing, swimming, lighthouses, ship wreaks, hiking, beach camping, boating, scuba diving, bird watching, and underwater photography of some of the best coral reef and marine life areas down in Southern Florida.

Again, I want to stress that this has been just an overview of some of the impressive parks to be seen in our national parks system. I urge you to dig into our site,, and read some of the park pages for the areas you are interested in visiting to find the perfect place for you to enjoy a wonderful vacation full of memories and remarkable photographs. A lot of the research has already been done for you, so dive in! With the national parks, your choices are truly endless.

Corie Marks

The Fish We Cook, Arctic Char and Greenling


The arctic char is a member of the salmon family that is found in cold arctic waters and in some deep mountain lakes in Canada and Europe. They have many similarities with their cousins the salmon and the trout. Like the salmon, they are born in freshwater and then they migrate to the sea. They return to freshwater at maturity to breed and unlike the salmon, after breeding they do not die, but they return to the sea. There are also some that are landlocked and spend their entire life in freshwater. The market size for arctic char is usually between two and four pounds but they can reach as much as 30 pounds. They are fished commercially and by sportsmen but the majority on the market in the United States have been raised in fish farms throughout Canada and Iceland. Its meat has a firm texture which ranges from pink to dark red and is rich in flavor and somewhat high in fat. It has a taste similar to trout and salmon but many think it is not quite as rich as salmon. The best way to cook arctic char is to bake, broil, grill, and sauté or poach.


A family of fish from the Pacific Ocean, greenling is sometimes referred to as rock trout or Tommy cod and are commercially known as sea-trout. Their average size is from 2 to 4 pounds and about 21 inches in length but the lingcod, which is a member of the greenling family, can grow to 5 feet and over 80 pounds. The lingcod and the kelp greenling are the two most popular on the market. They are found in shallow coastal waters of the Pacific coast from Alaska to Baja California and range in color from brown to blue or green with a lighter belly and have the ability to change color according to their surroundings. The males generally are brighter in color than the females. The greenling is a good eating fish and is of importance to the fishing industry. The kelp greenling is of importance to sport fishing but not as much for commercial fishing. They have a delicate flavor and are low in fat. Their very flaky, firm flesh is very mild in flavor and remains moist after cooking. The best way to prepare greenling is to sauté, pan-fry, broil, deep fry, oven fry, poach or steam.

Difference Between a Sea Otter and River Otter

Although both mammals and desired for their fur, there are unique differences between a river otter and sea otter. Each is playful, curious and depends on water for its food source.

The the sea otter is a mammal of the weasel family well adapted for sea life. It can be found off the central Californian coast, western Alaska and the Bering Sea. It is known for its highly desirable fur.

Its hind feet are broad and webbed and function as oars. Its teeth are flat and broad enabling it to crack the shells of shellfish. It will float on its back with food on its stomach using a flat stone to crack open the food.

It measures 5 feet in length with a 12-inch tall and weighs 30 to 100 pounds. Its feet are short, square and hairy with a hairy tail. Its whiskers are long and sensitive enabling it to find food in dark waters. Usually feeding in the morning and before sunset, it hunts in short dives. It can hold its breath for up to five minutes. It feeds on sea urchins, abalone, mussels, clams, and large snails. Its fur is dark brown with a silver tint. It protects itself from cold water by air trapped between its long hair fibers. If the hair is soiled, the insulating feature is lost.

It is an independent, curious and playful animal. It will coo or grunt when content and whistle or scream when threatened. Its predators are orcas, sea lions, and bald eagles. It also will be attacked by sharks, but the sharks rarely eat it. It has been hunted for over 170 years for its fur and has recently been threatened by extinction. Now protected by an international treaty, its population is on the rise but it is still classified as endangered. It does well in captivity and is featured in many zoos and aquariums.

There are several types of river otters: North American, Southern River, Neotropical, Eurasian and Japanese. It is a mammal that is adapted to aquatic life and known for its playfulness and prized fur.

It can be found in inland streams, estuaries and sea coves in most parts of the word. It measures 5 feet including a tail of 2 feet. It is brown with the lips, chin and throat red-gray. It has a long cylindrical body, flattened head, broad snout, small eyes and ears, thick lips and long whiskers. The front legs are short and the hind legs and feet are large with webbed toes and hairy pads.

It feeds on fish, birds, frogs, crayfish and water rats. It will catch its food in the water and bring it on land. Closing its nostrils and ears while swimming, it can remain underwater for long periods of time.

It digs its own den on river banks but will retreat to the water when frightened. It is not affected by frigid water and will float for periods of time in the freezing water. It is a playful animal and likes to slide down snowy river banks.

Its predators are alligators, crocodiles, killer whales, bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, gray wolves, red foxes, black bears, and domestic dogs. Humans also are predators since they hunt it for its fur. It is also susceptible to pollution, parasites, and diseases such as distemper, rabies and urinary infection.

The Proverbial Rock and the Hard Place – Choosing From Fear Or Faith

In the process of self-development and personal transformation often we come to a place in the road where we feel doomed either way we choose. We are caught between the Rock and the Hard Place. The way through this juncture is UP into infinite possibility.

The The rock represents your human-mind thought which is usually telling you the logical, rational and linear way to go. The safe road, the commonly taken road, the easy way out. The hard place is that deep place inside of you that wants you to follow your heart, take the high ground and follow your bliss. It is rare in this world when you are evolving to a higher level of consciousness that you avoid the crush of the rock and the hard place.

The the dilemma is between you and You. The small you, the human mind you, is the one who wants the road most commonly taken. The You of you is the God-chip that wants you to follow your joy.

In the journey to a higher consciousness you are reaching for the infinite possibilities but the human-minded you don’t quite believe them in this context. You might believe in the “miracle” in another context, but can’t fathom it in this one.

For example: you’re talking to a friend about their leaving a miserable job where the pay is low and the boss is miserable. You can counsel them to take the risk, take that job that feels like more fun in Alaska. In this choice it seems easy for you to know that what feels better is definitely a better choice for your friend than staying put and being miserable.

However, when the choice is yours to make for you, you stew and stew on it. You continue to go to that miserable, rotten job day after day being bored out of your mind and swallowing up criticisms by unappreciated management. Every chance you get, though, you are looking for a new job. Then, lo and behold you find one! You go to the interview and it all seems too good to be true, except for one thing: no benefits. The pay is better; the position is exactly what you’re looking for with decision-making responsibilities. You make your own hours and get bonuses for projects completed on time and on budget. This is exactly the challenge you’ve been looking for. And to top it all off, you can set your own hours and even work from home. However, the position offers no benefits.

Now comes the Rock and the Hard Place over this one issue of benefits. But it is really not about the benefits, it is about your faith and trust in the Good that is Yours. Your human mind begins sounding all the doomsday warnings about sickness and accidents. Your Self is jumping up and down with glee for having found the exact perfect job that will delight you on a daily basis.

It comes down to this: you both believe and trust in the Goodness that is Yours or you don’t. You either choose to live in Faith and move that to Know your Good is at play; or you live “safe” letting fear rule your adventure on Earth.

These scenarios are most gut-wrenching when you are going through them; but they are exactly the ones that come in answer to your asking for a freer life, more joy, more love – but you will have to grow your consciousness from fear to faith in your Good in order to move past it. These are the defining moments of life; the road most commonly traveled or the road less traveled.

Your Spirit, your God-chip, your True Self is reaching for the fun, the joy, the fulfillment.

Follow It; your Good is always at play. Your Good is infinite. Your Good always feels good.

Alaska Fishing Trips – Three Distinctive Anger Options

Alaska fishing trips are popular for a reason – the pristine state offers hundreds of thousands of square miles of fresh streams, beautiful coastline, glaciers, and forests. The fish are massive, the trips are sure to be a success and there's always an adventure for everyone.

So, for three trips that could appeal to any fisherman – the family trip, the friend's adventure or the angler, keep reading.

A Family Adventure – Emerald Pines Lodge in Homer, Alaska

You can find the beautiful, family-oriented Emerald Pines Lodge just above Kachemak Bay.

Not only does Emerald Pines offer a locale known for its incredible fishing of rainbow trout, Arctic char, Alaskan halibut, and king salmon, it's also all-inclusive. Rather than packing up the kids and all your gear, you can simply bundle the bare essentials and you' re ready to go. For a five-day and six-night package, the price is typical $ 2850 per adult and $ 1425 per child.

Big Adventure – The Copper River Valley

The Copper River Valley is home to the Klutina River, one of the wildest fishing destinations in the world. The salmon are massive and plentiful, but anglers must do battle with 5 to 15 mph currents alongside strong fish. With heavy test lines and rapid efficiency, you have to be ready for speed fishing, scoring your catch before the rapids sweep your raft away.

In addition to testing your fishing skills on the mighty Klutina, you can also explore nearby Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the largest reserve in the United States. Between your fishing expeditions or after a long day, you can simply relax and take in the majestic view.

The best months are between June and September, but July is the optimum time for fishing King Salmon. Recommended companies include the Copper River Salmon Charters, Kennicott Glacier Lodge, and the Orca Adventure Lodge.

An Angler's Paradise – Middleton

Bluewater Alaska sport fishing is not an activity for those with weak arms or hearts. With typical halibut catches ranging between 80 and 160 pounds, Middleton Island, approximately 90 miles from Seward, has some of the best fishing in the world.

The ideal season for Middleton, Alaska fishings is June to September. Costs will depend on your charter company, but it typically ranges between $ 700 and $ 800 per angler for two days. Cracker Jack Charters is a popular company to coordinate a trip.

Whether young or old, experienced or novices, people who venture to Alaska for fishing opportunities seldom return home disappointed. An individual could commit just a few relaxing days or a calendar month on the sunny waters in Alaska and still want more. The choices mentioned above will no doubt be a lot of fun, but there are plenty of great options from which to select.

Discover the Temagami Region of Ontario by Dog Team

The Temagami region of Ontario is one of the province’s best-kept secrets. Blessed with over a million acres of crystal clear lakes and countless ancient canoe routes, the Temagami wilderness offers the very best of the Canadian Shield topography. Deep boreal forests and impressive glacial stone are the main features of the landscape and are home to multitudes of plant and animal species.

Rich in human history, Temagami has been home to the Anishnabai people for thousands of years. Evidence, such as the pictographs on Diamond Lake, serves to transport travelers back in time to an age of camaraderie, hard work, and survival…a reminder that the world existed before computers and email!

The traditional way of travel during the winter months was by swift dog teams which enabled hunters to cover many miles of trap lines and carry loads of supplies to the trading posts.

It is the very same traditional trail system known as Nawstagan that you will be traveling today by dog team. Wolf Within adventures is a company that promotes traditional ways of travel; their mission is to keep sled dogs as a part of Temagami’s heritage. Much has changed over the years however, dog sledding still remains one of the true pleasure offered to anyone blessed by an adventurous spirit.

Dog teams today are mostly made up of Alaskan huskies; a medium-size mix breed, world recognized for their endurance, stamina and very friendly nature. Their excitement to run is contagious and they are eager to lead you through an amazing landscape; across windswept lakes, over muskegs, and down the snowy highways trough the forest.

These dogs are excellent athletes; they have proven their ability over and over again during the thousand-mile sled dog races such as the Iditarod in Alaska and the Yukon Quest that runs between Canada and Alaska. The countless hours spent caring for them, training and playing, generate a strong bond between the dogs and the driver in such a way that human efforts are rewarded by these amazing dogs many times over, once on the trail.