United States
August / September 2003 - Alaska and Canada

Washington DC


9,631,418 km²
(232x the Netherlands)


UTC -4 to UTC -10



Highest point

Mount Denali (Alaska) - 6,194 m


The flag of the United States consists of seven red horizontal stripes, interrupted by six white stripes. There is a blue plane (Union) in the corner containing fifty small, white five-pointed stars in nine horizontal rows. The fifty stars represent the fifty states. The thirteen stripes represent the thirteen original colonies that separated from Great Britain in 1776. The flag was changed 26 times since the union of thirteen states adopted it. The current version dates from 1960 and is the longest version in use. Previously, the 48-star flag had the record (47 years).


July through October are the wettest months around Anchorage. This is also the best time to travel. August and September are also good months to observe the Northern Lights. The table below shows the average temperature.


Temp. (°C) Jan Apr Jul Okt
max -6 6 18 5
min -13 -2 11 -2

After independence of the United States in 1776, the Spanish peso was the most commonly used coin. When the monetary unit was established by the American Coinage Act of 1792, a currency was chosen which had the same value as the common peso. The coin was called dollar. The dollar has a decimal system and the peso has an octal system. The dollar has been considered the anchor currency in international trade since World War II. Depicted on the banknote is George Washington who defeated the British general Cornwallis in Yorktown, Virginia in 1781 which ended the American Revolution. Washington became the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797.



Mount Denali is the highest mountain in North America with 6,195 meters. It is visible from far away. Make a day trip by bus from the Visitor Center to Eielson. It is a four hours drive to Eielson on a gravel road that sometimes passes deep chasms in beautiful surroundings. In Eielson you have time for a stroll. During the drive it is a possibility to see bears, caribou, moose and wolves.

Chicken is located near the border of Canada. During the gold rush it had approx. 700 inhabitants. Now there are only 20. There is a bar that is full of caps and hats at the ceiling, a liquour shop and a souvenir shop.

McCarthy's gravel road to civilization is on top of an old railroad. Along the way there's a wooden railroad bridge as you only see them in westerns. Acces to the bridge has been removed.

Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights. On this trip we saw it four times. Despite the fact that the evenings at the end of August and early September are cold, you keep looking at it. Sometimes these nighttime fireworks lasts half an hour or more.

The oil pipeline arrives at Valdez. From here the big tankers go out to sea. A nice excursion in this area leads to the Columbia glacier where you kayak between the pieces of ice from the glacier. Back on the boat you'll enjoy a bbq with fresh caught salmon.

The garbage bins at the Eagle Rest RV Park in Valdez are filled with the remains of the filleted salmon caught here. Here is Mecca for salmon fishermen.

The McCarthy area is where mountains of copper were discovered in the early 20th century. In 1938, all copper was mined and the owners gave the miners two hours to get on the last train to civilisation. This is how you'll find the Kennecott copper mine and surroundings. The Kennecott copper mine is located on the Root glacier. The miners literally dropped everything and left immediately. The Kennecott copper mine is being restored but if you go up the mountain to the Bonanza mine you will find everything as it was left behind. A tough climb and there are quite a few bears in the area.