Q: Why Alaska?
A: So many reasons. There is no place in North America that is like Alaska. It's easy to lose yourself there, see an incredible variety of wildlife, some of the best scenery in the world, and really, just have an adventure. I want all my travel books to be what I call an "attainable adventure." That is, something that is well off the beaten track, but still something that an average person can do. I'm in my late fifties, not an athlete by any measure, so these are all things that any of us can do if we just set out to do it.
Q: Any disasters on the trip?
A: Sadly, no. Of course, you never want things to go terribly wrong, but it does make for great stories when disaster strikes. Driving almost eight thousand miles in a 21 year old Subaru Outback, up and across some of the most desolate roads in the world, disasters were certainly a possibility, but I made it up and back in one piece.
Q: What's your single greatest memory of this trip?
A: That's impossible to answer. Spending a few days in Seward, Alaska, where I spent three summers as a teenager back in the 1970s, was special. So much of the town was unchanged from forty years ago, and that's a rare experience. When I think of this trip, though, it will always be about the solitary moments, pulled off to the side of a lonely road, looking out across at a shimmering lake, or a thundering river, or watching two foxes play or a black bear dig for grubs. The best things in Alaska happen unexpectedly. You never know when they will be right around the next bend in the road.
Q: Have you satisfied your desire to travel around Alaska now?
A: I don't think that will ever happen. As long as I am breathing, I will be thinking about my next trip to Alaska. I have two more on my mind. One, I want to ride the Alaska Marine Highway from beginning to end, and two, I want to do a flightseeing trip out to the remote areas that can only be reached by seaplane. Just writing that has made me excited to start planning the trip!