There are few places in the US quite as remote or just
plain out there as the Aleutian Islands. On the map, it looks like someone (perhaps North America) grabbed Alaska by
the waist, perhaps for a quick dance, pulling it from the grasp of Asia, and a string of islands got left behind,
trailing in the ocean like a broken spine.
The winds in the Aleutians are said to be fierce and
unrelenting. Seems they are. Here in this fine piece in the Globe and Mail writer Guy Nicholson
heads to the distant Aleutians riding aboard a cargo vessel known as "Trusty Tusty". The ship hauls
passengers and cargo a few times a year out to the Alaska Peninsula where they visit villages, canneries, and
commercial ports, and see all sorts of wildlife.
The folks along for the ride are not your typical
tourists. There is Dieter, a Swiss kayaker who wants to explore the islands’ historical fur-trade routes. A former
state ferry captain who grew up in a Russian-speaking village on the Kenai. And bird-watcher Jane, a something-genarian
who is also an avid bird watcher.
Anyway, it’s a good piece that delivers a strong sense of what
traveling these islands is like. It’s ain’t exactly easy, but then again, what good travel is?