Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wagon Ho! Anchorage to Tok

Left Anchorage this morning and arrived in Tok, Alaska, this evening around 6pm. We traveled 318.7 miles. It took us about 8.25 hours. We stopped several times. Distance in Alaska is measured in hours, not miles. The drive from Anchorage went well in spite of the very curvy, 25-mile-long section of the Glenn Highway (Alaska Highway 1) that fills me with fear (drop-off and no guard rails). The scenery was gorgeous, of course. It rained a good part of the way down the Glenn Highway from Anchorage, but began to clear somewhere before Long Lake. Then it sprinkled off and on the rest of the way. There are frost heaves on the Glenn and Tok Cut-off highways that slowed us down, cracks in the pavement, a pot hole here and there. Is this just a sample of what the Alaska Highway will be like?



All my worldly goods fit into the back of my car. Well, not really. I gave away a lot of stuff and shipped a lot of stuff to Georgia, mostly my books. Then anything that I grabbed. I’m sure my family is going to appreciate the massive amount of boxes they’ll be receiving from me. Packing the back of my car reminded me of an old western movie where the wife insists on taking some piece of heirloom furniture in the covered wagon as she and her family head west. Somewhere along the way, they leave the heirloom furniture behind on the trail. I was wondering what I was going to have to leave behind. The big, cardboard box on the bottom contains my bike. Long story. Maybe that should have been the one that got left behind.



If one can have a favorite rest stop/Alaska outhouse, this one is mine. I always stopped here anytime I traveled the Glenn Highway between Palmer and Glennallen. Wonderful views from the parking lot. Beautiful fall colors! (That’s the Glenn Highway running through the middle of the photo. I’ve been blueberry picking across the highway from here.) You can see the hazy, cloudy sky in the background. That’s where we came from. We’ve had nothing but rain for days and days in Anchorage, so the sun was a very welcomed sight. I was a tad upset that I couldn’t stop for photos earlier along the highway because of the rain.



Fireweed in the foreground, some birch trees with golden leaves, and black spruce.



These last two photos were taken along the Tok Cut-off Highway. A lot of the golden leaves had already blown off of the trees. The wind was so strong today. It rocked my car a few times on the highway and caused me to take a few blurry photos. Hard to hold still when being battered by the wind.

Tomorrow we head to the Canadian border. It’s less than 100 miles from Tok. Then we continue on to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. I’m looking forward to seeing Canada!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Moving back down South

Well, I’ve finally done it. I’ve sold my home in Alaska and am moving back to my home town of Valdosta, Georgia, to be near my family. I’ll be driving over 5,000 miles. I’ve wanted to make this trip by car ever since I decided to move back and felt it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Who knows when I’d get to see some of the places we’ll be seeing, if ever! My Aunt Catherine flew up here this Tuesday and will riding with me. Tomorrow, the Redles and Pendleton Odyssey Across North America, from Alaska to Georgia, begins.

Look out Family, I’m coming home!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday’s Obituary—John Adam Redles

My maternal 2nd great grandfather John Adam Redles was born June 10, 1817, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He was married to Jane Eliza Myers, and he was a ship chandler (wholesaler for ships). The letter copies that I found in my grandmother Leona (Roberts) Redles’s desk at my mom’s house from the 1840s indicate he was in business at the time as Redles and Stewart. Thirty years later, as of the 1874 Philadelphia city directory, he’s in business as Young and Redles [1]. He died in Philadelphia on October 5, 1880. Below is a transcription of his death announcement.

JOHN REDLES, A WELL KNOWN AND highly respected citizen of Southwark, died at his residence, No 122 Almond street, on Tuesday last. He was a quiet, earnest worker among the poor, taking a deep interest in the welfare of the Southwark Soup Society, of which he was a member. His left hand never knew what his right hand was so quietly and unostentatiously doing. He was a vestryman of the Old Swedes’ Church, and for the past twelve years its rector’s warden. An upright, earnest Christian, earth can illy afford to spare such men as he.     S.

Philadelphia Inquirer 11 October 1880.

His death certificate indicates that he died from heart disease. I had trouble reading the doctor’s handwriting (of course), but the second word on cause of death is “pulmonale” [2]. John was buried on October 8, 1880, at the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes) Church [3], [4].

An interesting side note: the undertaker was John C. Rulon, a cousin of John Redles [5]. John Redles’s mother was Sallie Rulon. The 1880 census lists John C. Rulon, age 43, as an undertaker [6]. According to The Rulon Family and Their Descendants, John C. Rulon’s grandfather was Nathaniel Rulon who was the brother of my maternal 4th great grandfather John Rulon [7].



[1] U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (Beta) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

[2] "Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915," index and images, FamilySearch( : accessed 16 Sep 2012), John Redles, 1880.

[3] See footnote 2 above.

[4] memorial for John Redles.

[5] See footnote 2 above.

[6], 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Roll 1174, Family History Film 1255174, page 410B, Enumeration District 229, Image 0141.

[7] John C. Rulon. The Rulon Family and Their Descendants. (Lineaweaver & Wallace, Philadelphia, 1870).