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.)


How was your trip over the Alaska highway?

Carola Gough traveled the highway back in 1947.

Check out her ALCAN Diary right now.

Do you remember your time on the Alaska Highway?

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

thank you

Can I Share My

Anchorage Memories?

Yes... you can share your stories and memories

about your life in Anchorage, Alaska

Show Me How to Share My Stories Right Now

This Anchorage Memories website

created by Mike and Mary Dougherty

Copyright © 2016 - 2021 AnchorageMemories.com

All Rights Reserved

Anchorage Memories

a gathering place

fill your heart - feed your soul