A daily commentary by the Swans


August 6, 1996

(Free Speech)

Alaska 2
June 2, 1996

by Frank Wycoff

Flying over Alaska through the heart of the state to reach the city of Fairbanks, you are hard pressed to see any sign of man along the way. Once in a while you will see a road, maybe a small town or resort and if you look closely you may even see the Alaska pipeline before it goes back underground for whatever reason, I never did ask, just assumed it had something to do with the permafrost, did not find it all that interesting, just long and out of place. Up there in the sky, I could easily envision some higher form of life looking down at the same view as I and coming to the same conclusion as I, that this green life form that covers so much of the view, was very powerful, those tiny little things scurrying about on two legs or in gravity held smoke powered vehicles, were most likely some sort of disease, not much to bother with.

Once on the ground and a short way out of town, you find that you really cannot see the forest for the trees, dense, really dense, how dense was it? So dense you could not stop to the side of the road and just walk in, you could of course rub your body down with a little oil and maybe side yourself in sideways, but you would be looking at several hours to go one mile in. Very impressive, stands of Birch, Poplar, Cottonwood and Spruce, crammed onto every square foot of the forest floor, less than a shoulder width apart are the trunks, with no leafs showing except at the top of the canopy. All the seeds that fall to the ground, must germinate each spring, very fertile this Alaska, with only one hundred or so days of growing time, I guess that's a given. I Listened to a builder up there tell a story of how he cleared a patch of land to build on late last August, and that by the first of July this year, you could barely see the ground for all the trees that took root, "looked like I cleared it three years ago, not eleven months ago, with a long winter in between".

Which brings me to another pet peeve, why would the University of Alaska clear off a mountain top, and build a school of higher learning, only to look like it belongs in the rolling hills of Ohio. Buildings surrounded by three hundred yards of lush lawns, that keep the Alaskan forest at bay, though ever ready to jump in, if the ground keepers ever let their guard down. Why not build a school that compliments the environment that surrounds it. Higher learning, yeah right! We most likely have been visited by other life forms in the universe, they just communicated with the highest and most powerful life form. I accept this, still would have liked to have seen them. Just as I liked seeing, Alaska. Fifty stars, check it out.

Thank you for reading!


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Copyright © 1996, Frank Wycoff.