Alaska Dispatch News
Outdoorsman, climber and aspiring filmmaker Clint Helander and six of his friends took the Alaska Railroad from Talkeetna north to Curry for a packrafting adventure. The team made a whistle-stop at a remote spot to hike in to Clear Creek (Chunilna Creek on most maps). According to Helander, it's “a simply wonderful section of water that flows north of the Talkeena River for about 20 miles before joining into it. With solitude, crystal-clear water and sections of very splashy rapids, this is a packrafting dream trip.”The hikers/floaters also included Shasta Hood, Logan Bean, Tad McCrae, Erin Johnson, Sarah Heck and Chris Page. The group hiked up and over Curry Ridge to the creek.  The alpine tundra provided “absolutely incredible views of the Alaska Range, so close that you feel like you could touch it,” says Helander. Excellent camping can be found at one of two lakes, according to Helander.The wildlife was plentiful. But there was a reminder of civilization: the enormous Alaska Intertie power line. The 170-mile line on towering poles between Willow and Healy services areas north of the Alaska Range. For part of the journey, the group hiked directly under the line.Floating down Clear Creek to the Talkeetna River was “one of the best trips I’ve ever done in Alaska and I will certainly go back,” says Helander.For more information and discussion about packrafting in Alaska, visit the packrafting forum.To submit your video to Alaska Dispatch News contact Tara Young at tara(at)alaskadispatch.com.
Shelby Lum
Technically, Kenny Herriot won The Alaska Challenge handcycle race when he finished Monday’s final, taxing stage, an 18.8-mile, rain-soaked, mist-shrouded climb from Palmer to Independence Mine in Hatcher Pass.By the Scot’s reckoning, though, the springboard to victory was loaded in the weeks and months prior to the week-long, eight-stage grind of the Challenge.READ MORE: For Alaska Challenge champ Herriot, preparation proved perfect
Shelby Lum
The river, swollen with glacial melt since last weekend and carving sandy banks like butter, is threatening seven properties as the river has devoured 50 to 60 feet of bank in the past week.
Emily Russell | KNOM
The research vessel Sikuliaq docked in Nome on July 21 and opened its doors to local visitors. While touring the ice-capable ship -- owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks -- visitors asked questions of the crew and learned about their upcoming missions.
Tara Young

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It’s salmon season in Alaska, and many people will opt to can their catch rather then freeze it. While vacuum-sealing and freezing fish is a good option, not everyone has the freezer space. Advantages to canning your catch in glass jars is that your fish is already cooked, sterilized and ready to eat once it’s processed. The jars of fish are good for camping and shipping to friends and family, and they make for quick easy meals. Löki Gale Tobin grew up in Nome and has been fishing and canning her catch for much of her life. Using guidelines provided by University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension program, Tobin walks us through how best to can our fresh, wild Alaska sockeye salmon.What you will need:-Fresh or frozen fish-Pressure canner – weighted or dial gauge-Jars – pint or ½ pint wide-mouthed, straight-sided jars-Lids including flats and rings-Jar lifter-Lid lifter-Cutting board-Timer-Small pot-Salt-Table knife for removing bubbles-Spoon, if you need to remove scales from the skin-Clean clothInstructionsFirst you need to sterilize your jars, flats and rings. Boil water and add the jars for 5 minutes. You can do this in batches if you don’t have a large pot. Heat water for flats but once the water boils turn it off and cover the pot and let the flats sit for five minutes. You want to heat up the flats without melting the seal around the edge. Once the jars are removed from heat and cooled, check the rim of the jar with your finger to make sure there are no scars or nicks that might prevent proper sealing.Prepare your fish by cleaning, and removing bones if desired. You can leave bones in the fish, the processing will make the bones soft and edible straight out of the jar. If you want to keep the skin be sure to remove the scales. Take a spoon and with water scrap against the scales to remove them from the fish skin. Frozen fish needs to be defrosted in the refrigerator before processing. Cut your salmon into strips the size of your jars, and then pack the salmon in tightly leaving one inch of head space at the top of the jar. Add any extra ingredients you might like to add to your fish such as jalapeno, lemon pepper or garlic.Seal the jars with the flats and rings and tighten to finger tight. Moisture will need to escape these jars so be mindful to not tighten the lids too tight. Add 2-3 inches or 3 quarts of room temperature water to your canner and then add your jars to the canner. Make sure the canner is properly closed and then turn on the heat. Once you see a steady, white stream of steam start the timer for ten minutes. After the ten minutes has elapsed you will add your weighted gauge on the 10 pounds setting.Once the canner has built up enough pressure the weighted gauge will jiggle, and you then begin your processing time of 100 minutes, which equals an hour and forty minutes. Manage your heat to make sure the weight gauge only jiggles four times per minute. If the gauge jiggles more or less then four times per minute you need to adjust your heat. If you have a dial gauge you need to build the pressure to 11 pounds and then keep the pressure steady at 11 pounds for 100 minutes. If you pressure dips below the needed pressure for your type gauge, you will need to build the pressure back up and begin counting your hundred minutes again.After 100 minutes has elapsed, let the canner cool down completely. Leave the weight gauge on the canner until the dial is at zero pounds pressure and the weight gauge is still and quiet. Open the canner and remove the jars with a jar lifter. Place jars on a cooling rack and leave to cool for 24 hours. After the 24 hours has passed you can check the seal on the jar by removing the ring and testing to see that the flat is firmly in place. If a jar has not seal you can either keep the fish in the refrigerator and eat it within a week or reprocess the jar all over again.For a time lapse of salmon smoking and canning, watch this terrific video by Philip Tschersich of Kodiak.Watch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)alaskadispatch.com.
Tegan Hanlon
The mint-colored shack near Westchester Lagoon in Anchorage has reopened this summer as a snack-selling offspring of the Busy Beans coffee shop tucked in Government Hill.
Shelby Lum
A rainstorm Saturday night was a “50 year rainfall event” for July in Anchorage, dousing parts of the city with more than 2 inches of rain in less than 12 hours, the National Weather Service said Sunday.
Alaska Dispatch
Flooding in Anchorage stranded vehicles, forced the evacuation of an apartment complex and shut down major intersections in midtown Saturday, July 25.
Zaz Hollander
The state of Alaska paid nine farmers more than $8 million to clear a path for the as-yet unfinished 32-mile railroad line slated to cross Point MacKenzie farmlands en route from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough port to the Parks Highway.
Shelby Lum
Crow Pass is a rugged trail that many hikers take two or three days to complete. Besides the big ascent at the start, there’s a river crossing at the midpoint and untold hazards and challenges between the start near Girdwood and the finish at the Eagle River Nature Center.
Alaska Dispatch News

Polar Bear Films Cub's First Steps Outside of Den

John Downer Productions recently uploaded footage from its 2010 BBC show called “Polar Bear -- Spy on the Ice,” which used remote controlled cameras to capture insights into the unseen lives of polar bears. In this clip we see the mother polar bear playing with the spy camera, flipping it around as though adjusting it to capture the cub's first steps outside the den. Similar to a home movie, the bear moves the camera again and again and finally gets the perfect final shot.To submit your video to Alaska Dispatch News contact Tara Young at tara(at)alaskadispatch.com.
Shelby Lum
Between a warm, sunny night and a long, hard hill near the end of the race course, sweat was everywhere Friday evening at the Jeff Dusenbury SweatFest.

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