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  • Writer's pictureJohn J King II

Alaska 50: Full Circle, the Beginning times…

Updated: Jul 2

At the age of 22 I have to admit, I was clueless about most of the ways of the world. It was June 1974 and one year had passed since my summer job experiment in Alaska. The work had been hard but with the ability to pull double shifts and lots of overtime pay I had been able to cover the expenses of the round trip and still exceed the take home pay from the traditional summer job I had held previously working at Boatyard on Cape Cod. Now armed with a BA Degree in Anthropology I needed to make some decisions and I needed a job.

President Nixon had signed the legislation to allow the Trans - Alaska Pipeline to be constructed and hundreds of thrill seeking fortune hunters were heading up to Alaska to strike it big. Having already been there and brimming with way too much confidence, I decided to head west again and see what the fates had in store for me. My plan was to head to Anchorage, a hub for employment and try to get on one of the pipeline crews as a common laborer. I loaded up a backpack and headed Northwest.

50 years down the trail our grandchildren known to us as “The Young Royals “ are (above) celebrating a special birthday with Pops. “Tell us about the Alaska days...” ... and so we will tell them …..

JJK marooned on the ALCAN highway with a second flat tire and no spare near the Kluane Lake Preserve in the Yukon. We waited for hours for a car to come along and give us a ride to a service station that had a pile of used tires we could pick through. We found one that was a little oversized but we were eventually on our way. It took us two weeks to travel from Philadelphia to Anchorage camping along the way!

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