The Great Thoroughfare of the North: River of History and Legend

Were a raven to lift off from the tidal flats at the head of Southeastern Alaska’s Lynn Canal, point his beak due east and catch a thermal updraft to carry him high above the intervening mountains, his flight would take him—in just fifteen miles—to a view looking down on the headwaters of not only one of the most famous, but one of the most remarkable rivers in the world.

One might assume that waters arising in such proximity to the Pacific would soon find their way to that close-by ocean. But no. As if above anything so ordinary and predictable, and as if disdaining to be defined as an indistinct, minor stream, finishing its course while still insignificantly small, it instead is seemingly determined to take charge of its own destiny, do something unique, and make a name for itself. So this unusual river immediately does an astonishing thing: it turns its back on the nearby Pacific and chooses a roundabout way to an entirely different, faraway sea.

Continue reading


We thought we were sold out, but a few have been found.

The last remaining copies of my first edition of  TRAILBREAKERS Pioneering Alaska’s Iditarod (Blazing the Last Great Gold Rush Trail in North America) are available while they last at

When these are gone, they are gone. History. There will be no backorders. When the new revised edition appears in early summer, though it will be under the same title, it will be an expanded work at an increased price.

Before you jump all over this order, make sure you understand which of my two volumes you are ordering.  Volume I (which you may order from Amazon until the short supply is gone) is about how the Iditarod TRAIL was born back in gold rush times. Volume II (which you may order straight from me through my website) is how the Iditarod RACE was born.  For more information about the two volumes, please visit my website

Limited copies of First Edition Volume ONE:  Trailbreakers Volume I