We Could Drive to Alaska but not to New Zealand
by Philip Richardson
(Lynden, Washington )
My parents were school teachers and in 1956, they were teaching in a small rural school district in eastern Colorado.
When they decided to find better paying positions elsewhere, they narrowed their destination down to New Zealand or Alaska.
My dad was an avid sportsman so these destinations were the most logical.
At this time New Zealand was seeking teachers to go there because the male population had been decimated due to WWII.
Everything would be provided except for the transportation to NZ and that meant taking a ship.
My dad would get deathly seasick.
Alaska was the obvious choice with Homer being the ultimate destination and jobs in the Homer Territorial School.
So in August 1956 with his newly acquired masters degree in hand from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, my dad, my mom, my sister and I left for Alaska.
My parents prepared for the trip by buying a brand new 1956 Chevrolet Red and White Station Wagon, a one-wheeled trailer and the trusty MILEPOST magazine.
After visiting family and Yellowstone along the way, we crossed the US-Canada border near Havre, Montana.
We started our ALCAN journey in Dawson Creek and proceeded to bump our way over the rutted gravel road toward our goal.
Eventually the constant bumping caused the welds of the trailer’s wheel mounting to break free. Fortunately we broke down near Burwash Landing where a road maintenance facility was located.
Mom and Dad’s travel budget was extremely tight but the welder charged a nominal fee.
When we finally crossed into Alaska, it was a relief to see a paved road for the remainder of our trip. (Except the Sterling Highway to Homer was all gravel.)
Anchorage Memories VIP, your fun, nostalgic, monthly magazine brings you memories of Anchorage back in the day. Plus you get a free Alaska book when you join! Check out Anchorage Memories VIP right now.
Click here to post comments
Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Alcan Highway Stories.
Hey, I like this website
then let us know
by clicking the "Like" button
This Anchorage Memories website
created by Mike and Mary Dougherty
Copyright © 2016 - 2020
All Rights Reserved
Wonderful Anchorage Memories
that fill your heart and feed your soul