THE LAST FRONTIER
JUNEAU, Alaska: The floatplane trembles over the firs and fjords of southeastern Alaska. I shift slack pounds in the cockpit trying not to elbow the yoke.
Mine cave-in, bellows the bush pilot over the engine's revs. Flood! whroooooarrrr only mules died rrrooooowwwww one man disappeared, though. Wwwwrraww gambling debts.
Wow. The license plates don't lie, I think: truly, Alaska is the last frontier.
Later I discover the Treadwell Mine collapsed in 1917, not last week, as I'd misheard. The swimming pool drained five feet in one great gulp as the gold-diggers' wives basked like a sea lion harem. These details temper my Call of the Wild fantasy somewhat. I didn't weather three nights outside on the world's longest ferry route Washington to Alaska to hear about a Ladies' Auxiliary.