Alaska Highway trip reunites old friends and fosters new ones

BOB JONES | Contributed
S-E Staff Reporter

This is an ongoing story, the first of the dairies was published in the Sept. 27 edition of the Statesman-Examiner. Each week since there's been an update.

Bob Jones, 78, is driving along the Alaskan Highway in honor of its 75th anniversary.

Jones rode on the highway for the 25th and 50th anniversaries, and has made it his goal to take his 1942 Dodge Caravan, built for WWII, along for the 75th.

On the 15th day of Jones' trip he spent time with his daughter Kim touring museums and monuments at Fairbanks, Alaska.

Day 16: Alaska Highway Diary
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Library in Delta Junction to Johnson River Bridge
48 miles

We took advantage of the fantastic WiFi in the parking lot of the library in Delta Junction where we camped for the night. This time I parked out back.

An old pal of mine from Republic, a character named Dirty Jack Windsor, had moved to Delta in 1972 to work on the Alaska Pipeline. I met Dirty at Washington State University in the mid-60’s, where we were both majoring in Wildlife Biology. I was a senior while he was a freshman. He invited me to come up to Republic to hunt mule deer during the fall of 1965. That hunt led to many more, and a life-long friendship with him and his family was the result.

I paid several visits to Jack over the years.

He was up the Goodpastor River on a week’s boat trip when I came by on my way north. His wife Judy had made me promise to stop on the way back. Jack would be home by then.

Kim and I got to his log house on the bank of the Tanana River around noon. Jack was his usual “perfect host” self, and we were soon sitting around his kitchen table with a big pile of the best smoked salmon on earth. Complete with a few beers.

To read the full story, click here to subscribe or pick up the Nov. 1, 2017 edition of the S-E at a local merchant. To read the next installment, pick up the Nov. 8 edition of the Statesman-Examiner and look in the Sports and Outdoors section.