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Eureka Lodge

Eureka Lodge

Even with an established trail, the route was difficult, and few followed it except prospectors. In the early 1900s some of those prospectors discovered gold…

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The Passage

"The Passage" A Story of Fathers and Sons Traveling Alaska's Inside Passage About "The Passage" In 1974, Nathan Dappen's 20-year-old parents and uncle, Andy, built their own canoes, launched them into the Pacific, and became some the first people in modern history to...

Without a Trace – An Alaska Tragedy

On the east side of Anchorage in the Wonderpark area of town sits a decaying gas station. Time and elements have chiseled away at paint and trim. Vandals have destroyed the showroom windows plus a good portion of the interior. Someone lit a tire on fire in one of the garage stalls blackening the walls. In a few more years I have the nagging suspicion Yeager’s Service Station will be gone without a trace.

Hatcher Pass Explorations

The desire to see Mint Hut for ourselves grew during our busy summer, and finally, on the second to last day of August last year, the weather and our schedules came together. Again, we set off early. The temperature at the parking lot near where Mother Lode Lodge used to be, was about 22 degrees. All the foliage was in full fall colors and covered with frost, the sky was clear and we were determined.

A Quick Bite of Alaska

The fishing was great! We averaged one to two fish per drift, including two fish over 25 inches. The time flew by, and after countless fish, it was finally time to head back to camp. At day’s end, I thought about an old Will Rogers quote: “If all politicians fished instead of speaking publicly, we’d be at peace in the world.” Mr. Rogers hit the nail on the head with that one.

The Master Pilot

Troy yelled for me to open the door and jump. Everything was blinding white outside. It was like leaping into a freezer. Wind instantly froze tears in my eyes. Smoke or steam rose from the propeller area and I thought the plane was on fire. Snow quickly came up to my waist and the real possibility of sinking further petrified me. All was quiet except for the wind and popping of our aircraft strobe.

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Three of my Favorites

What is the main reason these three are among my favorites? Hardiness. These plants fight for their space in the garden and are easy to remove if they are needed somewhere else.

Without a Trace – An Alaska Tragedy

On the east side of Anchorage in the Wonderpark area of town sits a decaying gas station. Time and elements have chiseled away at paint and trim. Vandals have destroyed the showroom windows plus a good portion of the interior. Someone lit a tire on fire in one of the garage stalls blackening the walls. In a few more years I have the nagging suspicion Yeager’s Service Station will be gone without a trace.

The Good Old Days

The day before was one of those warm sunny days in Palmer, Alaska, when at 40 degrees students ran around in t-shirts, or at least short sleeve shirts, and a spring was in everyone’s step. School was almost over for the year and we were all excited for summer vacation to begin.

Hatcher Pass Explorations

The desire to see Mint Hut for ourselves grew during our busy summer, and finally, on the second to last day of August last year, the weather and our schedules came together. Again, we set off early. The temperature at the parking lot near where Mother Lode Lodge used to be, was about 22 degrees. All the foliage was in full fall colors and covered with frost, the sky was clear and we were determined.

Fleas, Refrigerators and Fur Fish

Moran made it as far as Juneau where he found an Eskimo who spoke no English. Charlie Pastolik bought the icebox for “$100, two fox furs and a piece of ivory.” But that wasn’t the end of Moran’s Alaskan adventure. In addition to his broadcasts on NBC, he hacked 300 pounds of “Arctic ice” from the Mendenhall Glacier—which was quite a feat since the Arctic Circle was 1,000 miles to the north—and collected two fleas from the back of Pastolik’s husky which he secreted in a matchbox. From Juneau he went directly to Hollywood where he pitched Paramount Pictures on using the fleas in a movie.

A Quick Bite of Alaska

The fishing was great! We averaged one to two fish per drift, including two fish over 25 inches. The time flew by, and after countless fish, it was finally time to head back to camp. At day’s end, I thought about an old Will Rogers quote: “If all politicians fished instead of speaking publicly, we’d be at peace in the world.” Mr. Rogers hit the nail on the head with that one.

The Master Pilot

Troy yelled for me to open the door and jump. Everything was blinding white outside. It was like leaping into a freezer. Wind instantly froze tears in my eyes. Smoke or steam rose from the propeller area and I thought the plane was on fire. Snow quickly came up to my waist and the real possibility of sinking further petrified me. All was quiet except for the wind and popping of our aircraft strobe.

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Eureka Lodge

Even with an established trail, the route was difficult, and few followed it except prospectors. In the early 1900s some of those prospectors discovered gold…

Fishing With Mike

Mother went on to inform me she overheard Uncle Noel complaining. Not everything could be heard but she understood this much, “Fishin’ with Mike was a total waste of time!”

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