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What I like About Alaska

One day I was asked why I keep going back to Alaska so I put together this brief list for him. Here they are, in no particular order:

Lawn mowers on top of the roof.  Well, it was a sod roof.

Saw plenty of American flags flying high on houses, outhouses, out buildings, construction sites and on many businesses.                                                                                               

My wife letting me stay in a bordello in Dawson City for a father’s day present.  She did NOT tell me it is really just a bed and breakfast.   


The guy that used wet wipes in the outhouse only to discover that wet wipes contain alcohol and are NOT supposed to be used on hemorrhoids.  Ouch! I wondered why he was always standing.        


The bear revolvers some of the folks carried. Especially some of the women that were packing.    


Meeting Al Johnson and hearing a firsthand account of a bear attack from someone that has lived through it and has the scars to prove it. This brings a whole new meaning to the danger when one encounters a momma bear and her cubs.


Eccentric Andy Hehnlin, the world renowned painter, I just happened to insult and the reaction I received.  


Skagway, Dyea and the starting points for the Chilkoot and White Pass trails to the Klondike.

Didn’t meet many liberals, or if they were, they were “closet” liberals.

Rolly Polly Grant, Debbie the camp cook, collecting agates.                  


Wild flowers everywhere and they are huge.    


This tenderfoot went walking in grizzly territory without protection and later being severely chastised by the crew for:  (1) going alone, (2) going unarmed, (3) going on foot,  and (4) smelling like food.        


Gold nuggets I found.  Yep, got a bunch of ‘um.      


The scenery, wildlife, mountains, streams, lakes, rivers, bears, moose, eagles, sheep, musk ox, etc.

The quiet, except for the bears rummaging around at night and their midnight visits to the campsites.      


The seafood, especially the halibut.                


The people.

The honesty, money left for tips laid on the bar without anyone attempting to steal it.     


My wife’s company on the journey                                                                    

Lack of TV, radio, Internet, cell phone service and even XM radio does not work once you are past Whitehorse Yukon Territory.                                                                                

Bill, the bush pilot, and all the extra dives, turns, backtracking and loops so we could see the animals, scenery and terrain.                                                                                               

The Oxford assaying business, Peggy’s Pies, the Anchorage weekend markets, and Humpy’s.              

The old metal detecting friends I got reacquainted with when in Alaska.   

Hike to a trapper’s cabin to see what life must have been like for him. Not sure I could have handled it.

The ghost towns I visited, especially Independence Mine, Kennecott, Chitina, Sunrise, Hope and Eagle.

Chicken, Alaska was okay also.

Twenty-plus hours of daylight.  And blackout shades in hotels.                                

Meeting Nelson, the 11 year old gold miner, and listening to his story of his bear encounter.

Hughes satellite dish pointed at the horizon and not at the sky.                   

The ravens that stole the spark plugs in the middle of  winter. Snowmobiles don’t go far without them.         

Traffic.  Drove the speed limit.                                                                                

Fox News at the airport and the hotels instead of CNN.                              

Setting foot on the Iditarod Trail and then actually hiking on it.                   

Gun shops that actually have guns, even Walmart, Fred Meyers and others had them         

Mad bear at the pond. Thanks to a warning from the neighbors.                

Fooling tourists with my gold nugget drop.

Top of the World Drive, dredges in Fairbanks, and Dawson City.

Rika’s Roadhouse at Delta Junction and the best-ever cup of coffee you can get.    

Alaskan graffiti is rocks stacked on the slope of the highway, no spray paint here. Typical Kilroy was here type stuff, plus a lot of Harry loves Mary.                                                 

The women of Alaska, these are hard core pioneers.

These are some of the women and their stories I discovered in Tok, Alaska:

At breakfast a woman walked in and announced that if we hear shooting in the night not to worry as she is only killing the wild hogs. (Then having a pig roast) She instructed the firefighters camped out on the runway to ignore it and not send the sheriff over.

Grandma was walking along fishing when she realized a moose and a calf were headed towards the island she was on. She deserted the island, left the pole laying, and swam across the other part of the river to avoid a confrontation.

Martha solves her problem. Some pigs in the junkyard grew in numbers and finally broke out of the place. So now there are wild pigs running around in the woods. Well, not so many as Martha took a couple home, raised them and had a mighty fine pig roast.

And no, I did not go to the “Great Alaskan Bush Company” as suggested by my son. I would NEVER go in a place like that.