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Making Alaska highways

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Faster horses

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As many of you know on ranchers.net, my father passed away August 29 at 87 years of age. He worked in Alaska for over 15 years making roads including the pioneer roads that they took the heavy equipment in on for the North Slope. He had quite a reputation up there and he was very proud of what he did. I found this picture and I wanted to share it with my ranchers.net 'family.' I hope you enjoy it. It is of dad on top of a cliff, cutting a trail. Asked if he was afraid when he was up there, he replied, "If you were afraid, you shouldn't have been there."



karensdad.jpg
 

HAY MAKER

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fasterhorses,your Dad and men like him are one of the reasons this country is the greatest country on earth,wish I could have known him,just think of the stories he could tell..........good luck
 

OldDog/NewTricks

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I got to Elmendorf Air Forse Base, Ancorage in May of 1958 - Judged Livestock at the first State Fair in 59 - Met a friend from my home town at the fair - he had a 40' Cattle gas rig - Daries at the Matanewska (sp) Dairy Assoc. were milking 3 tited cows that some trucker was buying in Washington State.

They were nocking calves in the head when they were born - I got outdated powered milk from Elmendorf - my friend his wife and kids would feed claves untill we had a load to pay gas to make a trip to Seattle.

We could buy GOOD Springer in thoses days for $200 and sell them 7 days later in Palmer for $700 to $900 (the first good cows in Alaska)

Over night in Whitehorse we would ad 2' of cowmanure in the truck to sell also.
 

Soapweed

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Faster Horses, it looks like your dad forgot he was on a caterpillar and thought he was in a bush plane. It looks like he's about ready to take off into the wild blue yonder. Sends chills down my spine just looking at the deal. :shock: :wink:

The father of my brother-in-law died last week in Newcastle, Wyoming, and we went to his funeral. I was reminded of when he told of helping to build the tramway up to the top of Rendezvous Peak in the Wyoming Tetons. He drove the caterpillar to do the ground work for each of the uprights. This tramway has two cars, each holding sixty people. When one is at the top, the other is at the bottom, and when traveling they pass each other in the middle of the ride. From the bottom to the top, the ride goes up 4500 feet in the distance of two and a half miles. It is about half spooky just riding to the top, but when you think of the work and "bravery" that went into the making of this ride, it is just plumb overwhelming. My hat is off to the people that are involved with this type of hazard duty occupation.
 

Faster horses

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Yes, Haymaker, my dad could tell some awesome stories. I just wish I'd have paid more attention.

On this particular spot, he had to make a road going down to the creek for some reason. There was no good way down to it. I'm going to see if I can find out exactly what it was he was doing. I think when he got done and the road was finished, you could drive a car down it. But he was the first one to punch a hole in that rock.
 

S.S.A.P.

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:shock: Now that picture might make an ordinary person think about developing a fear of heights!!

I can't say as I envy your father, Faster Horses but the picture is pretty awesome (to a prairie dweller). Just think of the amount of dirt and rock that has been moved by fearless people to make roads accessable (sp) for all of us.
 

nr

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I've never ever seen such a scarey picture and am certainly glad he lived to tell about it. That makes bull riding look like a piece of cake.
 

TimH

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Great picture, Faster Horses!
I worked on the Alaska Highway,in northern BC and Yukon, widening and straightening it, during the '90's. It was originally built in the early 1940's.
It was truly amazing to see some of the work that had been done,back then, using equipment that was "tiny" by today's standards.
There is a really cool museum in Watson Lake,Yukon, that has a display of some of the old equipment that was used. :)
 

Faster horses

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That is a good question, MR, and I don't have the answer.

Dad went to Alaska for around 15 years. I think he was 50 when he first went. So that would have been 1967 to 1982. My mother passed away in 1979 and I know that he went to Alaska for several years after she passed away, so the 1982 is not correct, I don't believe. I will have to try to find out. Now you have my curiosity up.

Dad's favorite was the D-8 Cat.

When Komastu came on, he always said you had to bow to them. :wink:

Many years ago a rancher had him make an approach up to a bridge. It took a lot of dirt and dad did the finish work with a D6 cat. The rancher was ready to smooth everything out with his tractor and big land plane. When dad was done, it was so smooth, the rancher went on home without having to do anything more.

Dad was an artist with a grader, too. He absolutely loved his work. He said he would do it all over again and that's a mouthful, because he worked in some horrendous conditions. Ran cats before there was any safety regulations or accessories; no cabs~he was very hot or very cold LOTS of times. Way too many times in fact, but I never heard him complain about it. He was TOUGH.
 

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