Once upon a time on a trip to Alaska, day 18

 Anchorage, Alaska

Monday, July 2, 1973

 We left Mt. McKinley early the next morning, after discovering the trailer’s tank was out of water and stopping to fill it up and dump the septic. 

 My entry for this day is filled with road construction, and, given my vivid memories of the highway between the park and Anchorage, I’m not surprised.  Twenty-one miles (according to my diary) of boulders strewn across the road, for starters.  And machinery with wheels taller than our trailer.  Of course, I suspect my heroine Karin would have thought it a vast improvement given what she’d had to travel on.   But still, it went on and on and on…

 Then suddenly we hit the end of the construction, and the road was like glass.  I think we were all afraid to go inside the trailer after that, figuring everything would have been shaken up like James Bond’s martini, but my diary doesn’t say whether it was or not.  At least we’d latched all the doors and cupboards closed, including the refrigerator.

 The rest of the drive wasn’t very exciting.  I do remember the Matanuska Valley, which was famed then for growing enormous vegetables.

A very large cabbage. I don’t know who the man is, but the photo is clickable if you want to find out.

 And, of course, now it’s famous (or infamous, depending on your political persuasion) for being the home of Sarah Palin.

 It was odd, after driving through so much untamed country, to suddenly find ourselves in what looked like transplanted Iowa, plowed fields and plants growing in neat rows.  But we only had to look up at the mountains to see that we were still in Alaska.

 We arrived in Anchorage late in the afternoon, and called my Aunt May from a pay phone, but no one was home, so we found ourselves a trailer park along the side of the highway and listened to the traffic rushing by all night.

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