Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Call of the Wild

Posted September 10, 2007

Have you ever been to Alaska?  If so what are your best memories?  What were your favorite places in “The Last Frontier.”

My good friend and co-worker Nathan Clendenin has just returned from a working vacation in Alaska. Nathan has compiled a stunning slide show of his travels. If you haven’t already seen it please check it out. I can’t believe Nathan got that close to a grizzly bear. And what an awesome rainbow shot!

I have never been to Alaska but I have been thinking about it a lot lately. Former Miss Garner Leigh Tulloss lives there with her husband in the military and Leigh was our correspondent from Alaska in the quest to get comments from old 50 states. Also, for some reason, my music gets a lot of airplay in Alaska and I have developed a nice relationship with many radio air personalities. Maybe it’s the reverence we share for the environment that connects us.

Plus, I will never forget my nephew Matt Green’s tales of the Great North adventure. He drove from Virginia to Alaska for the thrill of taking an icy dip in the Arctic Ocean.

During my environmental reporting days I was almost sent to Alaska to cover the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989 but the trip fell through at the last minute. Then I was working to go there this past spring while working on a global warming documentary but another snag came up.

So, to say the least, I am still hungry for a trip to that great place my childhood writing hero Jack London chronicled. Let’s listen for the Call of the Wild!


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  • packandcanesfan Sep 11, 2007

    The slideshow is absolutely breathtaking. I have never been but really want to go. What is the best time of year to plan a trip? I know winter is probably out huh? :)

  • Legswilson Sep 10, 2007

    Wow, what beautiful scenery! Nathan did a great job. I wish he would share more of the photos from the trip. It's breathtaking to say the least.

  • thefensk Sep 10, 2007

    I guess it depends on whether you think of "Carolina" as the place or as the people or as a smattering of both.

    I sort of go along with the latter.

  • bleslie Sep 10, 2007

    I think it's okay to take an occasional vacation away from the homefront. I wanted to highlight the photographs of Nathan Clendenin with this blog. I feel there is something that connects all of us and when I do reach beyond the borders of the Old North State I try to look with the perspective of a native North Carolinian with family roots running deeper than the Revolutionary War.

  • eyesblue Sep 10, 2007

    I repeat myself....what became of CAROLINA conversations? I've been to Alaska, I've been to Japan. I haven't been to Weldon...I haven't been to Madison or Mayodan. I want to hear and share in what's going on in NORTH CAROLINA...places to go, things to see, things to do, interesting stories of NC...past and present. Perhaps you need to start a second blog for people who want to explore the continent, and keep this one true to it's name.

  • Kathleen Sep 10, 2007

    My husband and I vacationed in Alaska with our two teenage sons the summer before last. It was an incredible trip. Highlights include a small private plane charter around Mt.McKinley (it's hard to get close to it and appreciate its grandeur without a plane ride to it!), hiking in Denali, a 1/2 day salmon fishing trip on the Kenai, a glacier cruise, visiting the official dogsled team of Denali National Park. I could go on. It is an incredible place, well worth visiting. You will remember it all of your life because nowhere in the lower 48 compares to Alaska's rugged beauty. We went at the soltice, and it barely got dark at night. I would love to visit again, because the vastness of the state make it nearly impossible to see all the different areas you might want to visit. However, NC is still a better place to call home in my book! I wouldn't recommend a cruise; there is too much of the landscape you miss that way. Take a great camera when you go!

  • GarnerGirl00 Sep 10, 2007

    I have been to Alaska and loved it! My family took a week long cruise and had a blast! I was scared at first, thinking there wasnt going to be much to do, but to my surprise there was tons! I have to say that my favorite part was the "Floating with the Glacier" day that we had, scared me at first bc the captain turns all but 1 motor and you float and watch the galciers fall into the water! Very Cool!! And the whale watching was fabulous also!

  • JerryO Sep 10, 2007

    I haven't hit all 50 yet, but I'm working on it. I'm at 45 and counting.

  • JerryO Sep 10, 2007

    Well Bill, I have been to Alaska. Unfortunately, it was a business trip, so I didn't get to do much sightseeing. However, I met a very interesting lady on the plane, who told me about the problems they have with moose and trains. Moose are absolutely fearless and they, quite often, decide to do battle with oncomming trains. While the moose usually loses these battles, she told me that, just a few days before our flight, a moose actually derailed the train near her house. Score one for Bullwinkle.

  • bleslie Sep 10, 2007

    Oh, what a wonderful goal. Visit all 50 states and write about them. Love it!




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Bill Leslie