William Collins, at age eighty-eight, recorded his adventures as a young man during the mid-1920s when he traveled to Alaska to earn money for college.
In Alaska, nineteen-year-old Bill found adventure, misadventure, and not much money. He faced hardships, made friends (and a few enemies), and had experiences that changed a boy into a man.
During three summers and one winter, Bill survived hunger, earthquake, stomping caribou, and icicle frost. He learned about stopes, sluice boxes, and powder smoke. One friend faced a bear for him. One enemy waited to knife him, another tried to smash his hand with a twenty-pound sledge. He had one lucky day and more than a few really bad days.
This is the story of the young man who became Norma's father. He would be the first to admit, it is the story of a hot-head who learned the hard way. To his grandchildren, he was a man of legend. To those who never knew him, this story will bring tales of early days in Alaska and the quest for survival that men of his generation endured.