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Last of the Long Hunters

Last of the Long Hunters

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Last of the Long Hunters

164 Seiten
2 Stunden
Oct 31, 2015


Long Hunters opens with an interesting early history of the 49th State, leading to the eventual use and development of a new tool of transport – the single engine airplane, but not without extracting a terrible price. Experience what it was like to growing up among the dangerous game, hunting the massive caribou herds and absorbing the greatness of the country by ground and air. Includes a vital chapter on Alaska flying and specifically pass and weather flying. This volume is a must for any pilot in general and critical for safe flying in and to Alaska. Pilots will gain from the flying experiences related and more importantly, be compelled to grapple with its final truth.

Oct 31, 2015

Über den Autor

Mark Rose is a commercial helicopter and fixed wing pilot with many hours flying in the Alaskan Bush. He was in charge of contract operations building the 28 mountain sites for the Alaska Pipeline, a 24/7 three year undertaking. He grew up on the fringe of the Alaskan wilderness, hunting and trapping in bear country and later flying hunters into Alaska's frontier Arctic. Rose has over 40 years flying experience in both fixed wing and helicopters, and is also the author of The Noah Code, a work resultant of his 25 years working directly in the mining industry around the world.

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Last of the Long Hunters - Mark Rose


Last of the Long Hunters was written by one who flew and hunted the Alaskan Arctic while it was still Frontier. The events recoded represent an attempt to promote a better understanding of this period, and as a tribute to those who blazed the Alaskan wilderness trails by air in the early days, they contributing to the development of the State in innumerable ways.

Note that the author has included an important section and diagram on mountain and safe pass flying, this based on his many years of flying experience which is a must read for anyone flying in or to Alaska.

This account occurs prior to the dispersal of Alaska lands into parks and native land withdrawals. As a result of these Federal actions, free access and hunting privileges to these immense tracts of territory were lost forever, this in the name of preservation and the public good during the Carter administration. These acts were imposed over the objections of many Alaskans, as in essence much of the country would be locked up and the flying long hunter era would end.

Few roads exist across those expanses even today, excepting those tracts close to civilization in the lower quarter of the State. The lion’s share of the country remains unseen by most of the populace, excepting the local village inhabitants and the wealthy. The truth being, these immense parks are maintained at great pubic expense for the benefit of a few, mostly the rangers and government employees themselves. In those early years the vistas of Mt McKinley and furthest north Fairbanks were merely jump-off points for these hardy adventurers, a place to fuel up and go as they struck North.

Alaska is a place like no other on Earth; her broad rivers bound by countless precipices; her rugged coast lines jutting into wild Pacific surf, and her boundless plains prolific with freely roaming wildlife. These expanses measured in hundreds of thousands of square miles, not merely acres. The varied climates and violent storms are well known, threatening the stoutest ships and stranding many interior traveler to their peril. The sum of this varied geography coming together—towering mountains, plains, glaciers, rivers, lakes and streams, are unequaled on Earth, creating breathtaking scenes of grandeur incapable of written description and mocking the lens of the finest camera.

To this place men came in the early days, first to find fur and gold; then to fight a World War. At the conclusion of the latter more of adventuresome spirit were added to the population, their heart and souls feeling the call to explore and search out every inch of her magnificence and build a new life within her borders. These early efforts were aptly rewarded in 1959, with the Alaska Territory winning Statehood and the 49th star was added to the flag of the United States.

In the natural course of time came those coveted institutions of justice, government and family that make a true Nation. Notable we find the entrance of the Honorable Judge George Wickersham in 1900, assigned the Federal bench of the central territory of 400,000+ square miles, so named Alaska District Number Two. The magistrate a hearty man of firm constitution and a fine traveler, well suited to the daunting task the country placed before him. A citizen of Washington State, Wickersham was appointment by President McKinley to this important bench, recommended by a number of upstanding citizens who had stake in the great territory; they forward thinking men who saw the benefit a Federal Court would bring to this remote Territory in the Course of Empire.

Traveling by ship to Skagway and onto the gold fields of Yukon City in particular; it happened the good Judge arrived just late for an organic service of matrimony in those parts, but not an affair completely by mutual consent. Apparently, some Dapper Dan had jilted one Jill so to speak, a well loved yet innocent damsel of the dance floor in this frontier town. Upon learning of the outrage, the citizenry formed a posse and captured the guilty scoundrel, this just before he made good his escape. Forming a court and fixing a rope as incentive for the gents due consideration, after a short deliberation, (which included the testimony of the defrocked) a judgment of guilty was decreed and a sentence reached; the alter or the tree. Now Dan, after a moment to consider his options, wisely chose the former, and with this confession a happy ceremony of matrimony ensued. With this decision the mood of the mob reversed, a great celebration following, the couple now amazingly reconciled. (Noting the record showed a $500 bail was ordered posted, this for birthing fees - if so required.) At the conclusion of this affair, it was also recorded that a great volume of spirits were consumed in honor of the happy occasion; said to have completely depleted the stock for miles around.

His Honor was early called on to conduct that sacred service summer or winter, by dogsled, river, gold strike or trail, following the miner parties across the interior and helping establish an orderly society and governance, the foundation of Nation. Note a tax was also established by the Judgeship upon entrance to the country, this as monetary support for the new Judicial District. This income generated by authorizing a $1,000 liquor license levied on the Saloons, a profitable business in those parts.*

Many from the continent also found good wives among the native inhabitants, (Wickersham noting their religious piety) others coming north with their spouses and more of that gender arriving in support of the War effort later. Thusly, by and by the foundations of civilization came to be, a Great State forming, grounded in the hearts and minds of good people both native and white. Now refined in the crucible of the country, a class of sturdy men and women developed, they who persevered in this Last Frontier.

*Old Yukon, Trails, Trials and Tales, Judge J. Wickersham 1937 See also History of Alaska Bancroft, 1895


Jed Smith, Circa 1925

The First Long Hunters

In American History, the first Long Hunters struck out from the Eastern settlements with muzzle loader, knife and knapsack, heading for the sacred Native lands of the Tennessee and Kentucky territories, ancestral hunting grounds of the Cherokee, Shawnee and other tribes. Though brimming with game and perfect for settlement, a dark and bloody land the natives called it, so hotly contested between tribes none dared settle the country. *

*The Winning of the West, Theodore Roosevelt

At sight, opposing bands would enter into an instant and vicious battle; no more than tolerate a white skin in their country.

Dauntless, Long Hunters such as Daniel Boone, Davy Crocket and others defied these dangers and established outposts, these meager settlements eventually becoming towns, then cities. Thus by sheer will, determination and the ever assisting hand of Providence, civilization eventually settled the country, but not without terrible loss, setback and hardship.

The deeds of Lewis and Clark are well enough known, but others came and actually stayed on in the country; trappers like Jedediah Smith,* Kit Carson and Joe Meek,** possessing the Rocky Mountains and westward, yet despite discouragement, loss and terrible hardships they held on, homesteading the country ahead of the great wagon trains of the mid-1840’s. These such as Joe Meek in Oregon becoming the West’s first Sherriff and Carson a Southwestern General, but Smith meeting an untimely end at the hand of the Comanche’s while searching for water on the Santé Fe in 1832.

Note that Jed left the Oregon Territory only after shaking hands with Hudson Bay Chief Proctor McLaughlin at Ft. Vancouver in 1825, he the first American transiting the Basin and Range to California to the Oregon Territory and return. This after most his band was massacred on the Colorado and again on the south Oregon coast; he and the last two survivors eventually fleeing to the fort. Under mutual agreement with McLaughlin, Smith left the country heading eastbound, carrying with him the first map of the Oregon Trail which he sent on to the War department. This document also including the location of the critical South Pass route east of modern Cody, WY, the only known passage allowing wagons through the mountains for 600 miles.

*Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West, Dale Morgan 1956

**Kit Carson Days, Sabin 1914

Later, coming at the famous 1832 petition to Clark of the western Natives, missionaries Samuel Parker, Marcus Whitman and Henry Spalding brought wagons through this same pass in 1838. So now as word got out that carriage and women* could be brought through the Rocky Mountains, the immigration to Oregon began. None can deny these men and women the due they deserve as frontiersmen, pathfinders and true American Patriots, key to the expansion of the Union from coast to coast or from - sea to shining sea.

*Eliza Spalding and Narcissa Whitman the first women to cross the plains. Eliza was deeply stricken with a virus before and during the entire journey. She explaining - it says ‘go’ no excuses


Reeve’s Fairchild in Valdez, Alaska circa 1935

The Pioneers

On March 30, 1867 Alaska was purchased from Russia, no less important than the Louisiana, California or the Southwest acquisitions in 1847 before, adding this strategic and immense archipelago to our Union. The Russians, their fur trade now exhausted and in need of war funds (and mistakenly thinking the tract useless, save for some fish and lumber) turns out made a grievous error, as gold was soon discovered after the sale in equally immense quantities as California, eventually fostering the rush of ’98 that engulfed the entire Yukon and Alaska Territory. In like frustration to the Russian Czar, so was the King of Spain, who lost California to the Forty-Niner's; both unknowingly sitting upon their ever coveted pots of gold now handed on the cheap to the Americans! As it happened in Alaska, the chief city of the former Russian possession being Sitka; this place only a short distance west of a quiet native habitation

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