LONG AWAITED TOUR OF ALASKA IS FULL OF INTEREST FOR WOODVILLE WOMAN
A tour of Alaska which has been looked forward to for a very long time was undertaken by Mrs. H.P. Horne, of Vogel Street, Woodville, during July, August and September of this year. Mrs. Horne planned it with her late husband, who was a Mayor of Woodville, 19 years ago when they were previously in Canada and United States, and now that she has at last had the opportunity to go she has absorbed every detail and brought back innumerable impressions.
Mrs Horne visited a number of fascinating places. In Ketchikan she saw houses and shops built out on supports over the water, so that a fisherman need only tie his boat up at his house or shop, and never set foot on the land.
A special thrill was her first sight of icebergs in Auke Lake and the Inland Passage. They were a vivid blue, she said, and one of the things she had discovered was that natural ice stayed hard far longer than the man made variety when used for domestic purposes.
At Prince Rupert, her first port of call, after leaving Vancouver in the Princess Louise, Mrs Horne visited a fish freezing works, which is the largest cold storage plant for fish in the world. Prince Rupert has a fleet of 2500 fishing boats, and here Mrs Horne was introduced to five different kinds of salmon.
Ketchikan, she said, was a more attractive port, with a fishing fleet of 2000. The fish caught here were brought straight back to the canneries. She remarked on the great number of totem poles here, which are apparently bought by tourists at a high price. Juneau was the one place where she saw cows, and Mrs Horne had her first taste of moose while on her travels. It was like beef, she said.
At Auke Lake Mrs Horne saw the Chapel-By-The-Lake, which was very similar to the one at Franz Joseph, including the view. From the lake she watched salmon going up the streams to spawn, some with no scales or skin left because of the rough passage.
The vegetation was beautiful and lush with the long hours of daylight, although Mrs Horne confessed that she had not stayed up all night to see the 24 hours of daylight round.
A railway trip over the White Pass to Yukon provided some thrills as many beds [bends] were so sharp that the engine was opposite the other end of the train. All the way along were snow-sheds and fences built to catch the drift and stop the snow encroaching on the line.
Drove Cars Into River.
At White Horse, capital of Yukon, Miss [Mrs] Horne was disappointed not to have a ride in the river paddle boats, which have just been taken off the river after providing a source of transport for years. This place was not significant for its comfort, because there was more dust here than Mrs Horne had ever seen before, and no shade or grass – for there is no water, which has to be bought. The residents are accustomed to drive their cars into the river to wash them. And this was not all, for bathing in the mineral springs at Takhina it was necessary to keep under water to avoid the mosquitoes.
Mrs Horne returned to Canada by the Alaskan highway, sometimes driving in terrific clouds of dust, and at other times in mud which rendered the driver quite blind. In Edmonton she saw over Parliament Buildings and the auditorium which had been built entirely from oil royalties.
She was fascinated by her hotel in Dawson Creek, which provided little soft maps of the surrounding district as tablecloths.
“I’m afraid I packed my tablecloths up to bring home,” she admitted.
The vicinity of Banff impressed Mrs Horne with the expense of the meals served there. She paid over 3s for one baked apple, and a family of three paid £5 for one meal.
She visited the Columbia icefields, travelling in a snowmobile, with the wheels on skis. She liked the brilliant colours, but said that they were very dirty at the top, and cold to look down on.
One thing Mrs Horne was disappointed to miss were the beautiful sunsets, of which she saw only one.