National Geographic : 1965 Jun
"calved," into the salt-water channel, leaving cobalt-blue scars on the glacier's white face. Swirling mists, ponderous fog banks, and brilliant patches of sunshine mingled in a slowly churning kaleidoscopic sky. Many Coastal Towns Not Linked by Roads Southeast Alaska hangs under the main body of the state like the tail of a treed rac coon (map, pages 778-9). Sitka, Ketchikan, Wrangell, and Petersburg are on islands in the Alexander Archipelago, while Haines, Skagway, and Juneau are backed up against mountains and glaciers. No roads lead to any of these towns except Haines, which has a 160-mile link to the Alaska Highway. Near the first stop, Ketchikan, a fellow passenger asked in a friendly drawl if I was Mr. Garrett of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. "I'm Bill Boardman," he said. "I've been on a trip outside. Heard you were aboard." I had written to Bill, manager of the Ketch ikan Chamber of Commerce, for information. Like many Alaskans we were to meet, he and his wife Flossie became our good friends. Their help was of the personal "we're-proud 782 of-our-state" kind we received everywhere. Alaska is two and a quarter times as big as Texas, and Alaskans seem that much prouder. Maybe it's because their state is so new.* Bill offered his home on Tongass Narrows as our night's campsite. We drove off the ferry in a rain which was contributing to the 150 inches a year that make Ketchikan the wet test town in the continental United States. To set up camp, we had only to park our motorized home. The living and dining rooms are up front, right behind the driver. Lucille, my copilot, navigator, cook, and housekeeper, need go only a few steps to reach her kitchen with its hot and cold running water and gas stove and refrigerator. In the rear of the 26 foot bus are four bunks, a toilet, shower, and storage space. A 110-volt generator supplies electric power. We had no need for our kitchen on this first evening on Alaskan soil. The rain stopped, and a glowing sunset reddened the sky and water. Chickens broiled on Bill's outdoor grill. We interrupted a game of horseshoes *See "Alaska's Warmer Side," by Elsie May Bell Grosvenor, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, June, 1956.