Below are a few sample chapters from my book. When the reader receives the e-book itself, it's nothing like what you see on this webpage. The e-book comes is in a very easy to read, pdf format. The story has over 700 hundred photographs to go along with it. From May of 2009 through March of 2010 I went through this 280,000 worded manuscript four more times to get it up to par. If you enjoy what you've read so far, then please contact me at the email address that's on every web page here. The e-book can be purchased at the following link:
When we continued, the road that we were on was now called Highway 2. The only difference at this point was the fact that the clocks had gone back an hour. Ninety-two miles later we arrived at a place called Tok. In the background was a whole peninsula of mountains and most were covered in white.
Further on beside the highway, was the strange combination of small airplanes and cars; parked next to one another like a huge alternative parking lot. I’d never seen anything like that before.
Just past this we stopped to get some food. When we stepped out of the van it was a complete and utter nightmare. Mosquitoes, the size of a housefly instantly attacked us. Apart from being the largest that I’d ever seen they were the most aggressive as well. I wondered if they grew to the size of birds the further into Alaska we went.
Most of the rivers that we passed were frozen and covered in a thick snow and ice. On occasion water had broken through and it trickled down the hardened riverbed.
I had to laugh at Delta Junction and Big Delta. Both of these towns were on the map and I considered them to be of some relevance in size. Yet in reality they were both the size of a toothpick.
The first major stop was the Alaskan pipeline. With an overall length of eight hundred miles the big silver pipe looked alien amongst the green wilderness. Big letters on the side revealed that it first came into operation in July of 1977. This Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System was designed and constructed to move oil from the north slope of Alaska to the northern most ice free port of Valdez, Alaska. It crosses three mountain ranges and some 800 rivers and streams. This long silver tube had cost eight billion dollars to build and construction had begun on Thursday, March 27th, 1975. It was completed on Tuesday, May 31st, 1977. It was quite a sight and I certainly put my camera to use.
At 10:35 p.m. I still had my sunglasses and cap on, it was that bright outside. I’d never experienced so much light in a day before and I questioned the reality of living in such a place. Although I was here in the spring, I also knew that Alaska had some long and dark days during the winter. I don’t think I could handle that. I met many individuals as the years went on who’d resided in The Last Frontier and they all said it took some getting used to.
Around 11:15 p.m. we stopped beside a river to camp. It looked like it was late afternoon to me, because there was still so much light left in the sky. I could quite easily have read a newspaper or written a letter. The disadvantage though was trying to rest. My mind was trying to stay awake while my body, which was totally exhausted, wanted to sleep.
The following morning we were up early and it was already seventy degrees. We set out towards Fairbanks which was further west and the scenery was similar to the terrain in the movie, Gorillas in the Mist. There were hardwood and softwood trees everywhere. This combination made the surroundings quite green and compact. It was the perfect place for an outlaw to hide.
A few miles before Fairbanks, I came across the first set of stoplights in seven hundred miles. I must say that it felt really weird taking commands from a light bulb again. One thing that I’d noticed up to this point were many of the roads had been uneven and broken since I’d started traveling on the Alaskan Highway. When I asked Ken about this he said the roads have a condition called permafrost. This means that the soil or rock remains below freezing throughout the year and it forms when the ground cools sufficiently in the winter; which produces a frozen layer that persists throughout the following summer. How they even built roads in such conditions in the first place, was way beyond me.
I saw a few moose roaming free and I wondered how much wildlife Alaska had. I’m sure it was packed with all kinds of strange and unusual animals.
As we passed the Eielson Naval base, I saw a very large airfield and simultaneously I watched as two large black planes took off. I assumed that their purpose was for war.
Another large area of land was the Fort Wainwright Army base. I wondered how many men had trained in this very post over the years and what their fate had been after they’d left. One thing was for sure though, military or not there was no shortage of land here.
Entering Fairbanks I’d finally reached the end of this long highway and I was so glad that I’d made it. This city reminded me of a few other places combined. I could see parts of Federal Way, Washington, Des Plaines, Illinois and La Porte, Texas all rolled into one here. It was pretty spread out and it looked more like a big old country town to me.
Gasoline in these parts ranged from $1.14 to $1.31 a gallon. After Ken had filled up we got underway again. The sky above was completely blue and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. As we drove north Ken asked me what I wanted to do next. He wasn’t trying to get rid of me, he was just curious about my plans. I told him if I could hang out with him until he found his fishing spot, then that would suit me fine. He said that I was welcome to stay with him until that time came.
Ken wanted to take Highway 2, which ran north of the city, to see what it was all about. Eleven miles into it, the road split and the one we took soon turned into complete dirt. Continuing along it, the scenery became greener with an abundance of trees. One interesting sight was a line of telephone poles that were spaced out from one another. They went on for a long time and each one was leaning over at a thirty degree angle. It looked like they’d all topple over at any minute.
At one point we stopped by a river to drink some of its water. There was snow around the edge and within the current stood some large boulders of ice. It was so cold to sip on but so refreshing at the same time.
We later headed back and took the other fork in the road which went northeast to Fox. Along the way we stopped to ask a Native American about fishing. He told Ken about a few lakes before running across the road to stick his thumb out for a ride. Seconds later, the car that he sought pulled over and he got in.
Again the highway turned into dirt and gravel. Twenty miles later we reached the town of Chatanika. The road by now was so bad that we had to turn around.
On the way back we stopped at the Lower Chatanika River. There were some poplar trees here that had some beaver claw markings on them. The indentations were about a meter up and because of this, most of them were rotten inside and were barely standing. Apparently beaver’s continually claw away at them until they eventually snap. Up the stream was a beaver dam and even though the water around it was brown it was still quite drinkable. Ken attempted to throw his line in here but he didn’t get a catch.
Like I mentioned earlier the permafrost was quite relevant the further north that I traveled and many of the road’s surfaces were quite uneven. Most of the time, it was like driving on a roller coaster. The majority of the highways are in need of constant repair. Ken said that in Canada they mix crushed glass in with the tarmac. I assumed that this helped and it was another preventative against the frost.
After our adventure off the beaten track we decided to head south. We went back to Fairbanks first to stock up on some food. After driving around a few blocks in the city we continued on. Anchorage was three hundred and sixty miles south and this was Ken’s destination.
As we went out of town on Highway 3, the University of Alaska came into view. On top of one of its buildings was a satellite and it seemed to be bigger than the whole university itself. It looked so out of place.
Further on I saw lots of moose, many deer and a few bears. There were mountains of all shapes and sizes in the distance and each were covered in snow.
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