“The tourist cannot afford to lose an hour of this scenic watch.”

~Appletons’ guide-book to Alaska and the northwest coast,
  Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore


The Alaska route: During the excursion season

of climate change, many thousands of tourists

visited Alaska. All were delighted—charmed.


All made the same report: the matchless grandeur

of the trip, the trip of a lifetime, such splendor

and novelty. There is nothing like it.


Make the usual preparations—adjust

your internal clock to the earlier plant bloom

and migration.


Spiked shoes, ice axes, and ropes are not needed—

our ancient temples are toppled. You can climb

over totems, through our old boats, and even lasso bergs.


Itinerary: A day is given to a glacier

in the tourist season. Fight a wildfire,

measure snowmelt, count dead murres.


Hike higher mountains and nightgaze

at satellites spinning faster across the sky.

Watch for sinkholes,


and make sure your immunization

for smallpox are updated—the ancient dead

are thawing all around.


Take your allergy medicines and inhalers.

We provide masks and tissues. Visit

the memorial for 125 Arctic lakes.


Photograph algae blooms. Buy vials of soil

samples of what was once Shishmaref, Newtok,

and Kivalina.


Make a summer excursion to Alaska;

it is the finest and cheapest in the world.