Trip to Alaska

I was finally ready to publish ‘Crimson Gold’ in July of 2013. However, there was one more thing I needed to do, take a trip to Talkeetna, Alaska. Talkeetna was the last town before the prospectors made the long, difficult hike to the mining camps. Also, the majority of my Grandfather’s letters were mailed out of Talkeetna.

In August of 2013, my husband and I boarded a plane for Alaska. We flew to Anchorage, rented a truck and started on great adventure.

Referred to as a village, Talkeetna is a major tourist attraction filled with original buildings and cabins that have been preserved and serve as restaurants and gift shops. We visited the Talkeetna Historical Museum where we found a glass case displaying Helena Jenkins’ pearls and several newspaper articles about the murders.

We were directed to Petersville Road. This was the road that my family hiked to get to their mining camp. We were able to follow the road for several miles, taking in the beauty of a wilderness that is virtually unchanged.

I thought that I might need to make some edits to the book once I actually saw Alaska, but my grandfather’s descriptions of Alaska were incredibly accurate.

We spent seven wonderful days in Alaska, and can’t wait to go back.

 Talkeetna
Talkeetna
Talkeetna
Talkeetna
Talkeetna Lodge
Talkeetna Lodge
Talkeetna Village
Talkeetna Village
TalkeetnavHistorical Museum
Talkeetna Historical Museum
Talkeetna Village
Talkeetna Village
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Inspiration for Crimson Gold

In the fall of 1939, my grandfather’s brother, Frank and Frank’s wife, Helena were murdered near their cabin in the Dutch Hills. Frank was a successful prospector in Alaska and left a large estate that included several gold mines and 7,000 acres of property. Their murders have never been solved.

Delayed by inclement weather in Alaska, my grandfather, Charles, was forced to wait until the spring of 1940 to embark on his journey from Southern California to Alaska to claim Frank’s estate. He stayed in Alaska for five months. My grandparents exchanged several letters during his time in Alaska. I am fortunate to have possession of the letters. Among the letters I found a telegram and a letter from the authorities in Alaska and copies of the letter and telegram have been sent to the Historical Museum in Talkeetna, Alaska.

My book is a fiction based on the true story. Writing a story based on fact and fiction was a challenge I totally enjoyed.

Next Blog:  “My Trip To Talkeetna, Alaska”