September 11th 2011 12:51 pm
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On this 10th anniversary of the tragic events of Sept 11,2001 I thought that I would share my story on where I was on that fateful day.
Dad and I were on our first Alaska trip together---he had adopted me the year before as a result of my brother Butch`s accident as they were headed home from Alaska in the fall of 2000. We had left home on the night of Sept 6 and after a few days traveling,had just reached the Alaska Highway on Sept 10. We camped that night at the Charlie Lake campground about 60 miles from the start of the Alaska Hwy in Dawson Creek,British Columbia. Dad and I awoke early the next morning and he took me on a walk along the trail that leads from the campground down to Charlie Lake. We returned to the tent,broke camp,and backtracked a short distance to the town of Fort St John where Dad wanted to stop for breakfast at a McDonalds. We were listening to a tape casette and didn`t have live radio on thus we were ignorant of the unfolding events of Sept 11,01. He left me in the car (promising to bring me back a hash brown) and went inside. As he was sitting down,he overheard a woman at a nearby table comment that a plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. Dad didn`t think too much of it at the time,as planes do after all crash now and then. He went out to his car and turned on the radio just as the 2nd tower was collapsing. Dad was in shock as he couldn`t visualize something that massive coming down! Then we learned that the US/Canada border was closed. Dad was wondering just how long we might be stuck in Canada. For the next few days,we followed the news whenever we could as radio reception can be sporadic along the remote towns of the Alaska Hwy. Fortunately the border was quickly reopened. As we were crossing into Skagway,Alaska a few days after Sept 11,Dad observed that the poor lady at the customs booth seemed rather nervous! Probably as a US government official,she felt herself to be somewhat of a target. Dad gave me my first hike along the Chilkoot Trail in Skagway(this trail was used during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898)then we returned back into Canada and journeyed up to the Alaska mainland. Traveling throughout Canada Dad was heartened by commentators on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)who professed their solidarity with the US at this difficult time. In the small town of Dawson City in Canada`s remote Yukon Territory a local resident even had an American flag in the window of their log cabin! As we neared the border of the lower 48 on the way home,we passed a fuel truck in Alberta that had a US flag on the back!
We were thus not in the US when the events of Sept 11,2001 unfolded,but this is how we experienced them. Dad and I were to travel to Alaska again in 02,05,and 07 but this trip remains special to us both.
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Such events forever freeze where we were and what we were doing in our minds.
I wasn't born yet, but I was born 1 year and 1 day later. So that are kinda nice for my momma since she always feels so sad on 9/11, but on the next day she is happy.