My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Nenana to ‘end’ the school year in June and Ketchikan to begin anew in August

on August 8, 2012

We used to say summer was our slow time at my office but that can not be said any more!

Nenana, Alaska

I did a workshop in Nenana on June 11-13 and then started the new school year off on Aug. 1-2 doing a workshop in Ketchikan.
Here’s a little about each of those communities!
Nenana: To get to Nenana I flew from Juneau to Anchorage then onto Fairbanks.  It was a beautiful day when I landed and I got to visit with my friend Gwenn, we met while we were both working for Galena School District but that’s another story!  After lunch with Gwenn I drove the 55 miles from FB to Nenana.  It was a beautiful day for the drive.

Nenana is known for a few key things:

1) dog mushing; a number of world-class teams train in the area.

2) The Nenana Ice Classic which has become a popular betting/lottery event each year in Alaska.  People buy tickets and pick the date and time to the closest minute  when they think the ice will break up on the Tanana River. Typically this happens in April or May.   This contest was started in 1917 when people working in the area had to waste time waiting for the river ice to break so that boats could get there with the needed supplies.  A black and white striped tripod gets set on the ice during the winter and has a timer on it and when the ice begins to melt, the tripod falls into the water.   The winner(s) typically win lots of money, this last year was over $300,000.

3) President Harding drove a golden spike into the Mears Bridge which is 700 feet long and goes over the  Tanana River.  President Harding died a few days after this visit to Alaska.

I spent a lot of time in Nenana when doing the Residence Life grant b/c they built a Student Living Center for kids that choose to come to a residential boarding high school vs staying in their community.  It is a beautiful building and about 80 kids a year come to Nenana to go to school.
Ketchikan, Alaska

To fly to Ketchikan I must either get up super early and fly directly or go mid morning and stop in Sitka on the way.  When I googled it to see how far it was the directions made me smile!  99% of this would be on the ferry (Alaska Marine Highway) system!
Once in Ketchikan I was thrilled b/c it was not raining.  I was instantly reminded of my first step in Alaska in June 1995 when I flew to Ketchikan and spent 2 nights before hopping on the ferry to get to Juneau.  Wow, it has changed a lot.  After the mills closed tourism became a big part of the community and more cruise ship docks were put in place to house more guests each day!    I miss some of the ‘old’ Ketchikan feel.

Ketchikan is known for it’s rain and is one of the wettest spots in Alaska. Ketchikan is actually on Revillagigedo Island.  You may have heard of this place during the 2008 elections because Ketchikan airport is located on Gravina Island and you have to take a ferry ($10 RT cash or $11 other wise) back and forth from town to the airport, there was legislation in at one point to build a bridge, latter to be called, “the Bridge to Nowhere”.
Ketchikan also has a branch of University of Alaska Southeast here and I used to come here often to do leadership classes and other such events for UAS.

I love both of these communities and have been to each about a dozen times.  Each time I see something new and experience something different.

Here is what popped up when I googled the directions!!

  1. Juneau – Ketchikan
  2. 311 mi, 9 hours 20 mins
    Ketchikan,Ak – Wrangell,Ak and Petersburg – Juneau
Driving directions to Juneau, AK 3D2D
This route includes a ferry.more info »
Ketchikan, AK
1. Head northwest on Main St toward Dock St
436 ft
2. Take the 2nd left onto Grant St
233 ft
3. Turn right onto Water St
0.4 mi
4. Turn left onto Tongass Ave
1.6 mi
5. Turn left
453 ft
6. Take the Juneau – Ketchikan ferry
282 mi
7. Turn right toward Glacier Hwy
213 ft
8. Turn right onto Glacier Hwy
4.0 mi
9. Continue onto AK-7/Egan Dr
8.5 mi
10. Turn left onto W 10th St
0.1 mi
11. Take the 2nd right onto Glacier Ave
240 ft
12. Turn left onto W 9th St
374 ft
Juneau, AK

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