July 01, 2010

I've always wanted to see Alaska (July 5,2006)

"I've always wanted to see Alaska", is the the first thing I hear when people find that we used to live in the 49th State. Then of course it is hard to explain how a person could leave such an awe inspiring place. Alaska can be hard, cold, and lonley, but as Robert Service described in his poem "Spell of the Yukon", the land and its people becomes a part of you, that you never totally leave behind.

I wanted the gold, and I sought it;
I scrabbled and mucked like a slave.
Was it famine or scurvy, I fought it;
I hurled my youth into a grave.
I wanted the gold, and I got it --Came out with a fortune last fall,
--Yet somehow life's not what I thought it, And somehow the gold isn't all.
No! There's the land. (Have you seen it?)
It's the cussedest land that I know,
From the big, dizzy mountains that screen it.
To the deep, deathlike valleys below.
Some say God was tired when He made it;
Some say it's a fine land to shun;
Maybe; but there's some as would trade it For no land on earth -- and I'm one.
You come to get rich (damned good reason);
You feel like an exile at first;
You hate it like hell for a season,
And then you are worse than the worst.
It grips you like some kinds of sinning;
It twists you from foe to a friend;
It seems it's been since the beginning;
It seems it will be to the end.
I've stood in some mighty-mouthed hollow That's plumb-full of hush to the brim;
I've watched the big, husky sun wallow In crimson and gold, and grow dim,
Till the moon set the pearly peaks gleaming, And the stars tumbled out, neck and crop;
And I've thought that I surely was dreaming, With the peace o' the world piled on top.
The summer -- no sweeter was ever;
The sunshiny woods all athrill;
The grayling aleap in the river, The bighorn asleep on the hill.
The strong life that never knows harness;
The wilds where the caribou call;
The freshness, the freedom, the farness --O God! how I'm stuck on it all.
The winter! the brightness that blinds you,The white land locked tight as a drum,
The cold fear that follows and finds you, The silence that bludgeons you dumb.
The snows that are older than history, The woods where the weird shadows slant;
The stillness, the moonlight, the mystery, I've bade 'em good-by -- but I can't.
There's a land where the mountains are nameless, And the rivers all run God knows where;

There are lives that are erring and aimless, And deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons; There are valleys unpeopled and still;
There's a land -- oh, it beckons and beckons, And I want to go back -- and I will.
They're making my money diminish;I'm sick of the taste of champagne.
Thank God! when I'm skinned to a finish I'll pike to the Yukon again.
I'll fight -- and you bet it's no sham-fight; It's hell! -- but I've been there before;
And it's better than this by a damsite --So me for the Yukon once more.
There's gold, and it's haunting and haunting;
It's luring me on as of old;Yet it isn't the gold that I'm wanting
So much as just finding the gold.
It's the great, big, broad land 'way up yonder,
It's the forests where silence has lease;
It's the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
It's the stillness that fills me with peace.
Robert Service


MrTex said...

Great Service. Reminds me of this blogger (sadly deceased) I came across last week.

MrTex said...

Service was great.
BTW I though of you last week when I discovered this blog with some great Alaska photos. Sadly the bought the farm in his super cub.

Scott said...

Thx for the link Tex. Some excellent pics of an awesome adventure.

How’s the project coming and are you going to make Oshkosh?

MrTex said...

Rented a hanger at KSHL to assemble the fuselage while working on smaller parts at home. But so many other things to do in the summertime.
Three weeks from today,(Sat) ETA OSH at around 1500. Camping for the first time in many years with the guys from chap 1295. Probably at the Stadtmueller farm AKA Relleumtdats Campground south of Camp Scholler.

Scott said...

Tex. We are going to be in Wisc.that week and I would like to take my daughter up to OSH for at least one day. She is at the age now that she might appreciate it more than the last time she went.It wont be the same as spending a week there but I will get a little airplane fix. If its no trouble I'd love to see a pic or two of your project. Scott