The Alcan Highway
in 1952

by Ron Maley
(Washington)


In the summer of 52, my dad and I drove our 1952 DeSoto down the ALCAN Highway to L. A. for the VFW convention.

When we got to Whitehorse, the road was 2 feet deep in mud. We had to wait for about 3 hours in the 100-degree sun, our hood got sun burned, it looked like someone took sand paper to it.

A road crew chained 6 cars together and hooked us to a bulldozer and pulled us for about 3 blocks, then another crew hit us with hoses and blasted the mud off.

There was a picture of the Wasilla Road House hanging in the mall in Palmer with our DeSoto with the sun burn. We were running the Road House at that time.

A Note from Anchorage Memories

Ron, your Alcan Highway story reminds us just how challenging the Alcan was in the early days and what kind a character, resolve and resourcefulness was needed by early motorists.

The Alaska Highway in 1952 was no Sunday drive.

Thank you on behalf of all our readers for giving us a glimpse of what you had to go through to make that challenging drive.

Mary and I last drove the Alcan while a good deal of the road was still not paved, and we remember pulling into a facility just inside Alaska where we could use a water hose to blast the caked mud off our car and the under carriage.

Your story of being pulled out of the mud by a bulldozer is amazing.

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