The Northwest

Fronteras | Borders


Alaska: Good Peoples Waiting for Me


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July 18, 2016 — Turns out my Rhode Island pal, Rebecca Noon, lived in Alaska. Her father lives there now. He lives in the Goldstream Valley outside of Fairbanks, as Rebecca put it, “where there is a road that comes to an end” before hitting the woods and Canada.

I tease, and asked: “Is that where, according to Sarah Palin, you can see Russia from here?” The answer is NO.

Translation: lots and lots of trees and mountainous territory, and rivers lined with beautiful purple flowers.




My preference on this trip is to meet people and to travel where I can experience and learn about border culture in the Northwestern U.S.

Rebecca puts me in touch by E-Mail with two people. First, Clara Weishahan, who after meeting me for coffee in Providence connects me with her parents. She writes in an E-Mail:

Hello Ma and Pa (Ron and Cary),
“Im writing to introduce you to Marta Martínez . . . She will be traveling to Alaska in late-July as part of an amazing project she has been conducting to document borders through photography and on-the-ground exploration. We met earlier this week to talk about Alaska and Juneau, and Haines in particular. So I, of course, encouraged her to visit you at
Milky Way Farm, right at the US/Canadian border!”

Then, there’s Roblin Davis (pictured above, with sons Forrest and Arlo), who immediately responded to Rebecca’s E-Mail like so: Hey Marta, I think you could stay with us! We have a dog and two boys, as well, but an extra room in the house that should be available then.

My mother often refers to some folks as “good peoples.” I think I found two of those “good peoples” in Clara and Roblin (three, counting Rebecca!). I leave tomorrow — Tuesday, July 19th — for my Alaska adventure and I look forward to spending a few days in Juneau with Roblin, and then to connecting with the Weishahans in Haines before crossing the U.S.-Canadian border.

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