A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Fairbanks: 55°/88°/Intermittent clouds
Juneau: 49°/75°/Mostly cloudy
On and off the road system, Alaska is dotted with cities, towns and villages that give the state its real character.
Luck struck around 6:30 a.m. Sunday -- less than nine hours before the end of the 10-day Slam'n Salm'n derby -- when Robert Hayes hooked a 40.97-pound king salmon that made him the winner.
Summer solstice marked the beginning of the warm season last week, but two Anchorage fly-fishermen discovered Monday morning that winter still lingers deep in the Chugach Mountains.
The Kasilof beach is cool and calm at 10 a.m. on Monday as Yolanda Thomas emerges from her family-sized tent for a morning of dipnetting on the shore of the Kasilof River.
Residents of Copper River town, on edge of national park, use subsistence methods
Chitina, Alaska, sits on the west bank of the big Copper River at its confluence with the Chitina River.
Chitina is at Mile 34 of the Edgerton Highway, 53 miles southeast of Copper Center and 66 miles southeast of Glennallen. It's a 265-mile drive from Anchorage.
Most of the 120 residents in this village, which is half Alaska Native, engage in subsistence activities year-round. During the summer, dipnetting for salmon on the Copper River brings a large number of Alaskans from Fairbanks and Anchorage and other areas of the state.
Gardening, berry picking, herb gathering and other ''wildcrafting'' are popular pursuits, as are various arts and crafts. Winter activities include trapping, snowmachining, dog mushing, skiing and skijoring, and ice fishing.
Employment is primarily with the village council, village corporation, Prince William Sound Community College, state Fish and Game and highway maintenance offices, and the National Park Service.
Many residents are self-employed or work in retail establishments. The summer influx of fishermen, tourists and campers provides some cash income in fish guiding and other services.
Athabaskan Indians have occupied this region for 5,000 to 7,000 years. Chitina was historically a large Native village whose population shrank because of the influx of people, disease and conflicts.
Rich copper deposits were discovered at the turn of the century along the northern flanks of the Chitina River valley, bringing a rush of prospectors and homesteaders. The Copper River and Northwestern Railway enabled Chitina to develop into a thriving community by 1914, with a general store, clothing store, meat market, stables, a tinsmith, five hotels, rooming houses, a pool hall, bars, restaurants, dance halls and movie theater.
Almost all of Chitina was owned by Otto Adrian Nelson, a surveying engineer for the Kennecott Mines, which supplied electric power to all structures with a unique hydroelectric system. After the mines closed in 1938, support activities moved to the Glennallen area, and Chitina became a virtual ghost town with only the Natives and a few non-Natives staying on.
In 1963, the Nelson estate was purchased by ''Mudhole'' Smith, a pioneer Bush pilot, who later sold off the townsite and buildings.
Source: Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development