Time Zone: America Anchorage (USA Alaska Time)
City and Borough of Juneau website (external)
Travel information website (external)
Juneau is the capital city of Alaska and the only way to get there is by boat or by plane. If you want to bring your car to Juneau, you'll have to put it on a barge or a ferry first.
The Auke and Taku people have lived here for thousands of years. They are Tlingit, with rich artistic traditions including carving, weaving, orating, singing and dancing. After gold was found, a mining camp sprung up. The town was organized in 1881. By the turn of the century, the placer miners had wandered on, but large underground mines were being developed. Juneau was a mining town up through the 1940s. The mines shut down during World War II under wartime orders, as they were not considered essential.
Travelling around Alaska still demands a spirit of adventure, and to make the most of the state you need to have an enthusiasm for striking out on your own and sometimes 'roughing it'. Binoculars are an absolute must, as is bug spray; the mosquito is referred to as the "Alaska state bird" and it takes industrial-strength repellent to keep it away. On top of that there's the climate , though Alaska is far from the popular misconception of being one big icebox. While winter temperatures of -40°F are commonplace in Fairbanks, the most visited areas - the southeast and the Kenai Peninsula - enjoy a maritime climate (45-65°F in summer) similar to that of the Pacific Northwest.
AURORA BOREALIS - "Northern Lights"
Named after the Roman goddess of dawn, the aurora are caused byan interaction between the earth's magnetic field and the solar wind, aninvisible stream of charged electrons and protons continually blown out intospace by the innate violence of the sun. The earth deflects the solar wind likea rock in a stream, with the energy released at the magnetic poles - much like aneon sign. An ethereal display of light in the uppermost atmosphere, give theirbrightest and most colourful displays in the sky above Fairbanks. For up to onehundred winter nights, the sky appears to shimmer with dancing curtains ofcolour ranging from luminescent greens to fantastic veils that run the fullspectrum. The Northern Lights are at their most dazzling from December to March,when nights are longest and the sky darkest, but late September can be good forsummer visitors.
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