I know I haven't been around a lot lately, but I hope I can make up some presence by participating in this April's A-Z challenge. My theme is "my travel bucket list." These are places I've yet to visit. We start at the beginning... The Letter A.
There are many places that begin with an A I’ve yet to visit.: Africa, Athens, Amritsar, the Amazon and Alaska.
Today, we're going to look at Alaska. I have flown over the state heading to Asia, but I’ve not set foot on the ground. So my first visit on my bucket list is to the one of the two last states to join the union. Alaska was purchased by the United States from Russia shortly after the Civil War. Russia had approached the United States before the war, during President Buchanan’s tenure, but the split of the Union postponed any additional sale. The deal, negotiated by Secretary of State William Steward, was known as Steward’s Folly or Steward’s Ice Box. Many people thought it was a waste of money. Seven million dollars for a vast territory of ice was a lot of money in 1867 (7 million works out to approximately 2 cent an acre). After gold was discovered there in 1898, folks realized what a deal that Steward negotiated. And then came the discovery of oil. Alaska was a good deal. It’s also beautiful.
I would love to take the ferry up from Seattle, through the Inland Passage, perhaps take the White Pass and Yukon Railroad out of Haines, up over the mountains. Then, I could catch a bus to Fairbanks. While in Fairbanks, I would have to see about getting up to the north along the road that parallels the Alaska Pipeline before heading south via the Alaska Railroad. I’d stop and visit Denali National Park, before continuing on to Anchorage. After seeing Anchorage, I could head back south on a bus or boat, seeing as much of the country as possible from ground level.