On our first trip to Alaska, we absolutely *had* to stop in at the Alaska Chainsaw Carvers (actually called Town Of Living Trees) in Sterling. Not only could we watch the carver working on large sculptures of salmon and bears and eagles and people, but there were also lots of completed carvings there that you could pose with and take pictures of ourselves. We had a fine time, and several of those pictures are favorites of mine in our 2001 scrapbook.
In the years since, I've gone back on every trip I've made to Alaska. The Chainsaw Carver has changed a lot. Some of the old oversized carvings that we posed with are no longer there, presumably worn down by all the tourists and the weather. In their place are some new carvings for photo ops, as well as the Alaska Carousel, featuring animals native to the area. There are more buildings there to walk through, too.
Here's a favorite photo of mine from 2001: Ten-year-old James riding the saddled salmon. Contrasted below it is a photo of 18-year-old James in 2009.
With some old favorites gone from the touristy lineup of carvings to pose with, James posed with the bear in the den:
Ah, this place just never gets old for me. :^)