The latest trip to the great State of Alaska brought my camera to the southeastern corner of Alaska, or SEAK to local populations, and home of the famed “Inner Passage.”
The majority of SEAK lies within Tongass National Forest (the largest Natl. Forest in the USA) and is situated between 54° 40’ and 60° north latitude (the same as Scotland and Southern Sweden). SEAK stretches from Dixon entrance at the US/Canadian border (just south of Ketchikan) to Icy Bay located northwest of Yakutat. Characterized as a narrow strip of mainland backed up against the Coast Mountains and Canada, SEAK is approximately 125 miles wide by 400 miles long. Along with thousands of islands covered with dense forest of spruce, hemlock and cedar (the result of the mild, moist, coastal climate) this area forms the “Inside Passage.” The islands of SEAK make up the Alexander Archipelago and includes Prince of Wales Island, third largest in the USA (the Big Island in Hawaii is first, followed by Kodiak.)
Approximately 69,000 people live along the Inside Passage (approximately 20% of the region’s population is Native. Alaska’s Natives, mostly Tlingit (KLINK-it), Haida (HI-duh), and Tsimshian (SHIM-shian) inhabited this region long before Vitus Bering arrived in Alaska in 1741.
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