Discoveries America: Alaska
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Denali National, Mt. McKinley, the spectacular scenery and wildlife on the 60 mile drive into the Denali Backcountry Lodge… Travel to Denali by rail on the Alaska Railroad gives one the opportunity to relax and enjoy the passing scenery of the rugged Alaskan wilderness. Ferries on the Alaska Marine Highway System bring visitors north from Bellingham, WA to a variety of ports along the Inside Passage. Ports of Sitka, Ketchikan (the Salmon Capital of the World). Whether it’s for salmon, halibut or many other varieties of fish, sport fishing in Alaska is “huge!" Visitors can learn about Native culture, dancing & totems at Saxman Village or take a dune buggy ride into the wilderness. Bear watching & fishing guide/pilot Butch Laughlin brings travelers to the Pack Creek Bear Preserve. The Glacier Bay Express, brings guests up close to calving glaciers and wildlife in Glacier Bay National Park. A special tour highlights breaching, rolling, and frolicking whales near Adolphus Point. In Haines, journey upriver into the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Further north in Fairbanks, learn about the workings of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and passionate entrepreneur Bernie Karl of Chena Hot Springs explains the connection between hot springs, greenhouses, ice sculptures and energy. World-Record vegetables are the stars of the Alaska State Fair in Palmer and a glass harmonica player charms the crowd at Anchorage’s Farmers Market. REVIEW: VIDEO LIBRARIAN - breathtaking mountain ranges (highlighting Mt. McKinley – the highest peak in North America at over 20,000 ft.) marine highways (including the farmed Inside Passage, home to port cities such as Sitka, Ketchikan & Juneau), the rail belt (with spectacular train routes throughout Alaska’s interior), and several points of interest in between, ranging from an overview of the Trans-Alaska pipeline to a look at both Mendenhall Glacier & Glacier Bay. Recommended.
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The show opens up with a tour of the Rocky Mountains and especially Rocky Mountain National Park, with its many high mountains and spectacular views. Next is a visit to Pike's Peak by cog railroad. Just below Pike's Peak, on the edge of Colorado Springs, is the famous Garden of the Gods, unique rock formations in their own park. The show takes quick turns through Denver and the outdoor recreation possibilities at Winterpark and Cripple Creek. The narrative shows down for a fascinating look at the sheep dog championships in Meeker, before moving on to Durango for its Railroad festival. There is an extended tour, with Park Rangers, through Mesa Verde's ancient cliff dwellings, then it's on to fishing and rafting on the exciting rapids of the Gunnison River.
The voice-over narrative keeps the viewer oriented without drowning out the spectacular scenery, and the show includes comments by locals and visitors. The effect, hopefully, is motivate folks to consider visiting Colorado. To that potential audience, this DVD is highly recommended.
This survey of Wyoming is very brief and probably uneven in its coverage; on the other hand, if the viewer doesn't know much about Wyoming, this DVD might be a pleasant way to start. Published in 2003, its information is probably just a little dated.