Short Stories

The Percy John Blatchford Story

The Percy John Blatchford Story

An Alaskan Legend and Hero It’s said that some of the strongest people on earth are the quietest. This holds true for men and women alike where physical and mental strength is concerned. Many such folks walk amongst us totally unnoticed. They do not seek special...

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From Inglewood to the Yukon

From Inglewood to the Yukon

I was there to face my fears—of being on open water (I cannot swim), of wildlife I had only ever seen on TV, of new experiences, of risk and of being far away from my home and family for the first time.

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Alaskan Wild Berries

Alaskan Wild Berries

An Introduction to Making Jams & Jellies “Where’s that extra sugar?!” I asked my husband this question after putting 4 ½ cups of the 6 cups of sugar the recipe called for in a pot of berry juice at a full rolling boil. If you are a jelly maker you know what I’m...

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Artist Spotlight – The Sculpture Kid

Artist Spotlight – The Sculpture Kid

Artist Spotlight IV: Bryce Ehmann From Kenton Media Bryce is a former welding student and a recent graduate of the art program at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Bryce takes his skills as a welder and passion for sculpting to make some truly eye catching...

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The Passage

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...

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Smoked Salmon Stuffed Poblanos

Smoked Salmon Stuffed Poblanos

For preparing your salmon you can choose the smoking or non-smoking path. Both will lead you to a party-favorite dish, but if you choose to smoke your fish, be prepared to put in a lot more time.

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Three of my Favorites

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.

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Without a Trace – An Alaska Tragedy

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.

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The Good Old Days

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.

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Hatcher Pass Explorations

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.

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Fleas, Refrigerators and Fur Fish

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.

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A Quick Bite of Alaska

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.

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The Master Pilot

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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The Trading Post

The Trading Post

The Trading Post, as it was known from 1935 to the beginning of WWII, bustled with activity when the commissary/grocery store opened in 1936. In that first year only, instead of U.S. dollars the government issued scrip, called bingles, monthly to the new colonists. The amount distributed was based on the size of their family.

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Flying, Oysters and a Day at the Spa

Flying, Oysters and a Day at the Spa

We met up on the helicopter pad located behind the lodge, and after receiving our safety instructions and meeting with our pilot, Leif, myself, and two other guests boarded the R44 helicopter. As it warmed up and the rotors started spinning, all of my trepidation subsided and was replaced with sheer exhilaration. We twirled our way into the sky and up the Knik River Valley.

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WWII Brings the Military to Anchorage

WWII Brings the Military to Anchorage

“…after the outbreak of the war, a blackout went into effect. Cars drove with parking lights only, and on the base all windows were painted black with only a small slit in the center for daylight. In the face of a shortage of black paint, residents improvised and dissolved phonograph records in acetone and used the result as a paint substitute.”

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