My wife, Pat, and I and our then five kids, ranging from 6 months to 11 years old, headed for Alaska from our home in Virginia in July 1986. We spent the following school year in the tiny rural hamlet of Gakona Junction. Had there been room for a sign, it would have said "Welcome" on both sides. There were many sources for humor despite the sometimes dangerous and always tenuous ability to live there. We published 1000 copies of a book of 60+ black-and-white cartoons on life in Alaska, Too Far North, A Northern Cartoon Odyssey, which we sold on the road in Alaska to pay for our trip home in June. My new book, Living Too Far North, includes all those cartoons updated and in color, plus new ones, with commentary on each and on life in rural Alaska. (The cartoons appear periodically in our friends and publishers' website, Copper River Country Journal 2020. For related information, see TD&H's Alaska Connection.
We lived within the vast Copper River Valley, an area the size of West Virginia with a human population of about 2500, bounded on four sides by mountain ranges, including the United States' largest National Park and a semi-active volcano. This map includes the main roads and settlements of the valley, as well as mountains, rivers, and Wrangell-St Elias National Park, the nation's largest, with cartoon references to local human and natural activities.
Tom Duck and Harry
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