Once upon a time on a trip to Alaska, day 10

 Kluane Lake, Yukon Territory, milepost 1064

Sunday, June 24, 1973

 Something I’d forgotten to mention yesterday.  One of the things we tried to do when we arrived in Whitehorse was to go to the ferry office and make reservations for the Alaska Marine Highway ferry from Haines, Alaska, to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, on our way home.  I don’t remember precisely what the deal was there, but I suspect my father had underestimated the amount of time it was taking us to actually reach Alaska (we had six weeks, but still), and thought it would be faster going home via ferry.  At any rate, we were unable to make the reservations that day, but the woman at “the ferry place” had told us we’d be able to do so the next day.  Except that all concerned forgot that the next day was Sunday, and the ferry place wouldn’t be open.

 So we spent the morning bopping around Whitehorse, visiting a museum, which I vaguely remember as being about the Klondike Gold Rush, and a shop where I made my first souvenir purchase of the trip, a little (about 6″ tall) soapstone carving of a totem pole, which I still own.

Miniature totem pole from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory


We ate lunch out, a rare occurrence on this trip, at a Dairy Queen, no less, and headed out afterwards.  We drove through Haines Junction, and stopped at the ferry place there instead, and called my aunt May, who was living in Anchorage at the time (my uncle Lucien was a chaplain in the Air Force, and he was stationed at Elmendorf AFB). 

 We arrived at Kluane Lake campground, which is now part of a national park, but was then just a territorial campground, late in the afternoon of a cold, windy, and clear day.  In my mother’s family room are a number of photographs my father took over the years matted together into three frames.  One of those photos is of my mother standing in front of Kluane Lake.  She’s in shadow, and standing next to a group of rather stubby-looking trees, and you really have to look at that photo to tell she’s not just another tree. 

 True Gold, a novel about the Klondike Gold Rush, is now available through Amazon and Smashwords