My dad died in 1997, and one of his most cherished memories was being part of a ground breaking force that helped construct the Alcan Highway. He was a Staff Sgt. in the Army’s 18th Engineer Combat Regiment. He moved from Skagway toward Whitehorse and then inland for the better part of a year under extreme conditions. He also spent very hard times on Attu & Shemya in the Aleutians. His origins were from the hills of West Virginia, near Panther. Eleven children, a farm, coal mines and a lumber mill. Stills and shotguns. He left home young. He grew up quick. This was my dad. That was my surrounding aura of expectations. My dad worked til he died at 76 y/o. He never really learned how to relax. He did take me camping and as often as not, it was where I steered him toward possible fish. He didn’t fish, but he drove that way anyway.
I have a calling toward that mega roadtrip in his honor. Time is passing. I figure I would need a month to move up and back from Oregon to some meaningful end point to say we made it and to incorporate the fishing of B.C. and part of the Yukon. I am not sure I will make this happen. But, to write about it and the tough men that endured that experience is at a minimum important. It reminds me of my blessings. It reminds me of my genetics and upbringing. It reminds me to not be a complainer….he wasn’t. Duty, honor, country. He was man of complex components and a simple result…a rock. Love you dad.
If anyone knows of viable fly fishing opportunities up that way, let me know sometime. I may make it in a year or two.