Local man takes two-month dream trip
By Carol ThouinMonday, November 27, 2000
As he cast his line out over the sparkling, pristine river he couldn't help notice the majestic purple, snow-capped peaks of Mt. McKinley framed by lush green Alaskan timberline. The air is crisp, the scenery a post card, and the salmon fishing -- out of this world.
It was a dream Steve Majors, from Spring Valley, woke up from more than once. An avid outdoorsman, Majors was fascinated with the notion of visiting what many outdoor enthusiasts consider paradise. His dream came to fruition this past summer as he packed his half-ton 4X4 Ford pickup on June 27 and headed north to Alaska.
"I left with no particular plans -- just to have fun," Majors said. Although exact destination points were sketchy, Majors researched the trip for nearly a year before venturing out and counted on books like the Milepost, a best-selling guide to Alaska, to give him pointers. "I highly recommend the Milepost to anyone thinking about traveling to Alaska," Majors said. "It's the Bible to the North Country."
Once on the road, Majors found that he didn't want to stop driving and logged 700-mile days. Day one took him to Williston, North Dakota. Day two to Airedrie, Alberta and day three to Fort St. Johns, British Columbia; on day four, Majors drove to Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory.
"I was getting such a scenery rush that I didn't want to stop driving," Majors said. "I started keeping a journal of the wildlife I saw when I got on the Alaskan Highway -- black bear, elk, mountain goat, mountain sheep, moose, caribou, grizzly bear, lynx, coyotes, wolf -- I finally had to quit because there were so many."
When he did finally stop for the night, Majors alternated between motels and sleeping out of the back of his off-road pick-up -- a perfect rig, he says, for such a vacation.
On day five Majors reached Fairbanks, and decided to follow in the footsteps of earlier prospectors who waded the glassy streams panning for their fortune.
"I think I only ended up with enough gold to buy a postage stamp or two," Majors admitted, "but the experience was worth it." Another memorable excursion involved driving up a remote mountain in Hyder, Alaska to view the spectacular Salmon Glacier.
"It took nearly 25 minutes to get to the peak -- and there were no guardrails." said Majors. When his truck began pushing through thick clouds and .....[Read the Rest]