Goatview Farm - The Saint Report www.goatview.com

November 14

Saints o' the day include St. Lawrence O'Toole, Dyfrig, Emmerich, and Sidonius.


Prince Charles turns 51 today.


On this day in 1889, intrepid reporter Nellie Bly embarked on a round-the-world trip, succeeding, 72 days later, in beating the record of Jules Verne's fictitious Phileas Fogg. Ms. Bly, born in either 1867 or 1869 as Elizabeth Cochran, was an investigative journalist who contributed to the improvement of conditions for women in prisons and insane asylums. In 1895, she married Robert Seamans, an aged millionaire whom she had met only a week prior.

Haines Junction

The plan was to drive straight through. I was going to be dropped off at Haines and he was going to continue to Anchorage. By dawn we were in Prince George heading east to get on the Alaska Highway, which was already being covered with snow.

I slept while my ride drove and he was supposed to sleep while I drove, but my obvious inexperience with snow driving, the relatively pristine condition of his Cadillac, and his compulsion to backseat drive all contributed to his staying awake for the entire trip. By the time we arrived at Haines Junction, Yukon Territory, we were barely speaking.

Now, on the map Haines looks very close to Haines Junction. Haines is in Alaska and Haines Junction is in Canada, and there is just a little itsy line between the two. The catch is that the top of the little line is at an elevation of maybe 8 or 9,000 feet and the bottom of the line is at sea level. The line is really a 200 mile switchback trail. The outlook for the Cadillac, were it to attempt the trip to Haines, was very poor indeed. I had to find another ride.

My ride cheerfully unloaded me in front of the only open business, a little restaurant, and as I watched him pulling away (and as the dogs, shivering in the snow, watched their warm backseat disappear), I had my first attack of second thoughts.

Tying the dogs to a post, I went into the restaurant and asked how I could get to Haines. They thought for a while before responding that there was a bus in the summer. At least I wouldn't be stuck there longer than eight months. I had a cup of coffee and just waited. Finally, someone took pity on me and acknowledged that his son would be going to Haines in the afternoon. If I paid the gas, I could go with him.

My new driver was about 19 and drove a hot pickup truck. He had driven on snow and ice more than clear roads, which was a good thing since I had seen my last clear road back in British Columbia somewhere. There was so much snow on the road (?) to Haines that the only way you knew you were on a road at all was by the tall poles that were stuck on either side of it...sort of a raised shoulder-marker system. Everything was drifting snow, right left, and straight ahead...and those poles. We passed a tanker that had missed a turn and was hanging half over a cliff.

I saw a ptarmigan, its brown feathers almost all replaced by the winter white.

Tomorrow: Haines

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Marilyn Jones 1999