American actors John Wayne and Ernie Kovaks, British actor Stewart Granger, a beautiful French actress named Capucine, a big shaggy dog, and a young American named Fabian starred in the comic western movie North to Alaska 50 years ago. The cast seemed like an unlikely mix, with John Wayne actually playing a parody of himself, but it worked. The title song, performed by Johnny Horton, became a hit, and some say it was Horton's most popular song ever.
In 2007, Dick and I went "north to Alaska" on a cruise aboard Holland America's Zuiderdam, which visited Skagway, Ketchikan and Juneau. While the ship was docked in Skagway, friends picked us up and took us, as the song says, "across the majestic mountains" to the Canadian city of Whitehorse, Yukon. (Dick rode part of the way on the White Pass and Yukon Railroad, which I had been on previously.)
It was a super vacation. The ship's route took us from Vancouver, BC, up the Inside Passage between Vancouver Island and the mainland, and also between Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) and the mainland, then up the Alaska Panhandle. The scenery was spectacular, with icebergs large and small, glaciers large and small, eagles, seabirds and orcas (killer whales).
Photos by Richard Schear and Kay Davies
Posted by Kay for