Alaska 2117

Summer 2015. Southcentral Alaska. The road north passes through familiar scenery: hay flats near Palmer, lakes by Wasilla, scattered homes and businesses and forest in between. Then somewhere around Willow, the landscape changed. Greenery gave way to black. We were...

Creating Reality

Ben Ellis has always loved to design clothes. He’s been designing them all his life—he just didn’t know it. His earliest recollections involve fashion. He remembers pulling out a fresh sheet of paper and crayons, drawing his favorite superheroes and adorning their...

Date Night in ‘Old Russia’

You hoist wooden spoons in the air and smile politely. “Look into each other,” Nina commands. She means “gaze into your date’s eyes,” but in her Russian-inflected English, words have a way of coming out upside-down. Which is how you’ll feel after a night in Nina’s...
Last call in Ketchikan

Last call in Ketchikan

In the bustling Ketchikan Visitors Bureau, a woman scrawled on a whiteboard with the smooth red ink of a felt-tip marker: “Ship departs at 2 p.m.” Behind her was a frenzied dance of newcomers, fresh off the MS Volendam, the last cruise ship to make port in Ketchikan...
Welcome to the Kasaan Whale House

Welcome to the Kasaan Whale House

Drumbeats resound through the forest as I make my way along the Kasaan Totem Trail to the Whale House. The Haida singers’ voices, rhythmic and strong, fill the trees. The easy trail is wide and flat, and soon there is a view of the beach through the forest fringe. I...

The Da Vinci of Ice Cream

Elissa Brown’s cookbook is a mess. Not because it’s blemished with ingredients, but because it’s really more a scientific logbook than step-by-step instructions. Her pages read more like mad scientist scribbles—many of the recipes have annotations, percentages for...