tundra, salmon, the whole bit!"
Alaska and then traveling the Alcan Highway south to a major port
or airline hub is an experience that one should not miss, if at all
possible. One can sense the difficulties that the early settlers
overcame to survive in the harsh environment of this part of the
world. You can't help but feel that the rugged Alcan terrain demanded
that its inhabitants be equally rugged . . and they were.
Burger Kings, Home Depots, and Walmarts now dot the Northwest's landscape,
one finds that many of the structures that were built during the
1860-1900 period still abound, particularly in the small communities
in both Alaska and its adjacent Yukon Territory.
44 tour was most enjoyable in yet another way: it catered to us with
different options. Some wanted to really "go Arctic" and
for those of us that did there was a pre-tour add-on that flew the
group north of the Arctic Circle to Kotzebue and Nome. This segment
was pure Eskimo, caribou, and tundra all the way. And a few of us
went to Prudhoe Bay, the front end of the Alaskan pipeline.
travels took us from Anchorage to Denali and Fairbanks and then by
motor coach on the Alcan through some of the most historic communities
in the Pacific Northwest: Beaver Creek, Burwash Landing, Whitehorse,
and Skagway. While many of our friends may name drop Vienna or Monte
Carlo or Beijing on us, we usually stop them dead in their tracks
when we describe the "Follies" at Whitehorse.
bumping along mile after mile on the Alcan was boring? No way. During
the day there were many majestic vistas to observe - the terrain
was truly beautiful. On our overnights in the well-appointed Westmark
(Holland America) chain or in the oldtime saloons that we chose to
patronize in the small towns, we did not suffer from a lack of good
food, entertainment, and camaraderie.
land tour's end in Juneau, we boarded the very elegant Noordam and
cruised south for a few laid-back days in the inland passage before
disembarking in Vancouver. In looking back, we recall that all of
our CLUB 44 members logged time in a domed train, white river rafts,
school bus (Denali transport), large paddlewheeler, and narrow gauge
mountain railway as well as the cruise ship. The same itinerary is
yours to experience and we highly recom-mend that you do so.