June 6, 2008


Filed under: — Susan Stevenson @ 5:46 pm

In 2003, the US Army brought me and my soldier husband to Fort Wainwright Alaska, from Jacksonville FL. After nearly 12 years moving around the southeast, we never felt we were ‘home’ until we arrived in Alaska. In 2007, my husband retired from the army, after serving 23 years. Moving away from AK was never a consideration.

We spend almost all of our free time ‘roadtripping’ around Alaska. We have traveled just about every paved road in the state and quite a few gravel roads too.

I am never without my camera, and my greatest passion is to capture the grandeur and spectacular beauty of this great state, and share it with you.

You can read about our cross-continent journey from one corner to the other in our TRIP JOURNAL. I’ve been keeping an online journal since we arrived and you can find the TABLE OF CONTENTS for 2003-2008 here.

If you’d like to read a blog entry I made about life in Fairbanks, you can find that here.


  1. Susan and Steve are a wonderful couple and we are proud to call them our friends!


    Comment by Carmen and Gip — March 4, 2009 @ 2:38 am

  2. I am just thrilled about you photos, Susan, your passion comes thru with each one,Our God’s Majectic handywork!
    My passion is waterfalls, I am trying to collect waterfall photos from all over the world.
    When I first saw your beautiful “Sedonia”, quickly I copied her picture, she is a beauty and my dog “Kline” could have been her brother, Would it be possible to send you a picture of him?
    Keep up the good work.
    May God Bless you and keep you safe.


    susanstevenson Reply:

    Hi Bea and thank you so much for your lovely comment!

    My Sedona is my baby girl. I adopted her from the pound when she was only a puppy. She just turned 13 this summer. I love her to pieces, and she is my faithful companion when I run errands or go walking.

    I’d love to see a photo of your dog Kline. You can send the photo to susan@susanstevenson.com.

    Have a lovely day, Bea!



    Comment by Bea Jamison — October 10, 2009 @ 3:17 pm

  3. Hi, Susan. We are heading to Alaska in two months from southern Virginia. My husband got hired by the Alaska State Troopers and we are very excited about our impending move. We have four kids, love the winter and the outdoors, so we believe it will be a good fit. Just wanted you to know I’ve been reading your blog and enjoying it. Will keep checking it out as we head north, too!


    Susan Stevenson Reply:

    Hi Dawn, and thank you for commenting.

    How exciting for you to be making the move to Alaska. What part of the state will you be living in? There is so much to see in this beautiful state, and so many fabulous communities of people.

    I’m happy that you’ve been reading my blog. If you have any questions about making the move, feel free to email me any time and I’ll try to help.

    Safe travels to you and your family!

    Warmest regards,


    Comment by Dawn — October 24, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

  4. Hi
    I stumbled accross your website looking for interesting stuff about alaska. My wife and I LOVE the state, and have been fortunate enough to visit 3 times. I also love to dabble in photography and really enjoy your pictures. Keep up the good work so us Alaska wannabees can have just a piece of it down here in the lower 48. Happy Holidays…


    Susan Stevenson Reply:

    Hi Mark, and thank you for commenting. How exciting for you to have been able to visit three times. So many people only dream of visiting AK!

    Thank you for your kind words about my photography. And happy shooting to you too. There is so much beauty around us.

    Happy holidays to you and yours, Mark. Have a happy and healthy 2011 too.



    Comment by Mark — December 14, 2010 @ 6:49 am

  5. Aloha Susan,

    I spent four summers in Dyea…the from 4-8yrs old with my mother(the last i saw of her before she died) she was part of the artist’s co-op in Skagway….every one of your pictures brings back the indelible images in my mind of those times(we would walk out to the old wharf almost every day)…i wonder if you have any other pics…and maybe some of her home..she left in 79’…if you could please e-mail me i would really appreciate it.



    Susan Stevenson Reply:

    Hi Joey, and thank you for writing.

    Unfortunately, the only photos I have of that area, are those I posted in my blog entry about Dyea. We only visited Skagway for a few days. It was a wonderful vacation, and I’m so glad we were able to go. I especially liked the history, and visiting the Dyea area. I could almost imagine what it was like during the Gold Rush Days.

    I’m happy that my photos brought back memories for you. I’m sorry for the loss of your mother.

    Perhaps Marlene McKluskey could help you with photos of your mother’s home. She’s a historian living in Skagway. You can reach her here: skagwayinfo@gmail.com

    Good luck! I hope she can help you!

    Thanks again for commenting.

    Warm regards,


    Comment by joey — February 12, 2011 @ 11:14 am

  6. Susan,

    Thank you so much for the reply, and the info.




    Comment by joey — February 16, 2011 @ 1:44 am

  7. Hi Susan

    Just saw your photos of the aurora and am quite excited. We will be in and around Anchorage and Denali mid-September and REALLY hope to see the lights. We were in Churchill last year but unfortunately didn’t see anything. Fingers crossed this time. I love taking photos, especially wildlife, and hope to have some as amazing as yours.


    Michelle (Australia)


    Susan Stevenson Reply:

    Thank you, Michelle. I hope you enjoy your trip to AK and Denali. The foliage is gorgeous right now – autumn colors are everywhere.

    Good luck on aurora viewing!


    Comment by Michelle — September 3, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

  8. Hi Susan,

    I came across your blog when doing some research on Fairbanks. We are moving there the first of May (military) and I found your blog fun to read. If you know anybody wanting to rent out a house:) I can see it’s going to be hard to find rentals there.
    Your photography is amazing, I am too an avid photographer, and I get all gitty thinking about living in the state of Alaska.

    Lacey Bowen


    Susan Stevenson Reply:

    Hi Lacey and thanks for commenting. How exciting that you’ll be coming to AK in May. The army brought us here, and we couldn’t bear to leave. I hope you enjoy your stay as much as we have. Consider it an adventure and see and do as much as you can and you’ll have a wonderful tour here.

    As for rental homes, it IS hard to find rentals here – especially decent rentals. The good homes are very high. We didn’t like living on post when we were stationed elsewhere, but when we came here, we opted to live on Wainwright. The homes (especially the newer ones) are GORGEOUS! And with the cost of utilities, you might find it’s better to get into post housing rather than live on the economy. I know it’s not for everyone, but for us it worked out pretty well for a couple of years before we bought our home.

    If you’re on Facebook and into photography, check out our Fairbanks SMUG group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/FBXsmug/) It’s for photographers of all skill levels. We have monthly meetings, share information, and really enjoy hanging out with each other. You’ll get to “meet” people before you get here, which will make the transition easier too. There are military folks in the group, as well as civilian folks for a good mix.

    Good luck with the move!


    Comment by Lacey — March 13, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  9. Hi there!

    My husband and I are Ft. Wainwright bound next summer! We’re coming from Ft. Benning, GA. I’ve been searching for Alaska information and stumbled upon your blog. Thanks for your road trip journal! Your photos have been very encouraging for us as we prepare for this adventure. Cheers!


    Comment by Bonnie — August 22, 2013 @ 6:16 am

  10. PS: The housing situation and heating prices seem intimidating. You chose on-post housing, right? Any general advice or “things we wish we knew…” are so appreciated!


    Comment by Bonnie — August 22, 2013 @ 6:18 am

  11. Hello from Valdosta Georgia
    We have lots of Family in Jax
    I just stumbled on your site — Awesome Photos
    How Awesome you ended up in Fairbanks
    We are going to be in Alaska Feb 12th thru the 21st
    Cant wait to get there so exciting the Wife has been studying all she can about tips on “how to” photo the Aurora and saw you mentioned a FB link of local Fairbanks Photographers that share tips but I couldn’t find it — Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance
    Larry & Cathy


    Susan Stevenson Reply:

    Hi Larry, and thanks for commenting. How exciting that you will be visiting Alaska in February. As for aurora photographers and tips for photographing the aurora, may I suggest the Facebook Group Aurora Chasers, if you are a member of FB:


    You can post in the group asking for assistance in photographing the aurora, I’m sure there will be many who can help.

    Here are the settings I like to start with:

    First of all you need a tripod (I’m sure you know that!). You will also need to manually focus your camera lens to infinity so that your stars will be sharp. You can get this set up by shooting on a moonlit night (the moon) to get the focus dialed in. Auto focus will not work at night as the camera will be hunting for a focus point in the dark.

    Set your ISO to 800 to start. This can be adjusted later to either go higher or lower. Set your f-stop as low as your lens allows. Some lenses allow as low as f/1.8. Some don’t go any lower than f/4.0. If your camera allows for aperture priority, this is a good place to start. This way, based on your ISO and aperture setting, your camera will determine how long the shutter should stay open to capture the light. This is a great way to start and you can adjust settings up or down accordingly.

    Good luck and safe travels! 😀


    Comment by Larry Treitinger — January 26, 2015 @ 6:41 am

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