The Road to Athabasca — the Final Chapter

Doug Guido

Today we arrive at the final installment of Doug Guido’s 1990 adventure in Alaska. If you missed the first two episodes, simply enter the term Athabasca in the search box on the OLLI Connects home page or follow the link instructions provided at the end of today’s story. Enjoy! — Editor

Fishing

A week or so after meeting Earl, I stopped for the night at an RV park just north of Haines, Alaska. I was to rendezvous the next morning with Bob, a fishing guide who owned a fish camp on an island on Chilkat Lake. I’d called him from Fairbanks and reserved a half day Sockeye salmon fishing with him.

The plan was that I would call him on the CB at 7:00 the next morning. As I drove up to the spot he’d picked for us to meet, a couple came walking up the riverbank rather quickly and told me that there were two grizzly bears down there fishing and to be careful! I tentatively walked down to the water’s edge, warily watching for bears.

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Uzbek Surprise

Diane Henrikson Russell

Never in a million years did I imagine that I would visit Uzbekistan, a Soviet republic in Central Asia!

In August of 1979, I accompanied my graduate-student spouse on the 1979-80 USSR academic exchange sponsored by IREX (International Research and Exchanges Board). We participants began the exchange by taking a crash course in Russian while living in the Moscow State University dormitory. We met two exchangees who were heading to Toshkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, in September, while we planned to study in Tbilisi, the capital of Soviet Georgia. We became such good friends that we vowed to visit each other at our exotic locations.

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Beryl’s Byways Continued

Beryl B. Byles

Even though our mission is “Sharing Stories. Building Community”, Beryl’s recent “live in” visit to New York City produced more great memoir material than even OLLI Connects can share with you.  So, we’ve chosen to highlight only a few of her adventures.  This issue focuses on museums and combines material from at least two of Beryl’s Byways. — Editors

Sharing my experience of New York became a unique family opportunity with a visit from my daughter, Victoria, and granddaughter, Tina! I loved it!

Going to the show, “The Cottage”, was high on our list early on. We were especially delighted to recognize Eric McCormack (Will on “Will and Grace”) and Alex Moffat from “Saturday Night Live” as two of the main characters. It was an especially fun experience to hear their 

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Beryl’s Byways

Beryl B. Byles

It began like this for a few of us….

Welcome to the first issue of “Beryl’s Byways”, my travel journal in this “Year of Adventure”. As you can see, it is a pdf attachment to an email, which is the format I will use going forward. Divided into four chapters, the first chapter has been a unique experience of housesitting near Safety Harbor, across the bay from Tampa. The second chapter begins at the end of next week and is distinguished as a bucket list item, specifically “autumn in New York”! I’ll be living on the Upper East Side, volunteering at the Metropolitan Opera (hopefully!) and looking forward to being both daunted and delighted by the “city that never sleeps”. As you can see from the masthead, I plan on commenting on experiences that happen by choice and/or those that happen by chance!

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The Road to Athabasca — The Adventure Begins

Doug Guido

 


Several weeks ago, we whetted your appetite with a chapter from Doug Guido’s memoir describing his extraordinary journey to Alaska. Today, we will start at the beginning and take you up to that episode. And if you wish to read or re-read the earlier chapter, a link has been provided at the end of today’s publication. A future blog will finish his adventure story, but for now, we embark on The Road to Athabasca. — Editor


By early 1990, my brief marriage was all but over, about the same time my job was. After a false start with another company in a town where I knew no one, I quit and decided it was a good time to have my mid-life crisis. I went directly from my new ex-employer to the bookstore and bought two books about a subject that had fascinated me for some time: Michener’s ‘Alaska’ and “The Milepost’ a soup to nuts travelers guide to Alaska.

Thus armed with literary fact and fiction about our 49th state, I set out to find the appropriate vehicle to get me there….

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2023—A Look Back

As the editors of OLLI Connects, we love to take one week each year to simply reflect on the stories and articles that you, our members, have shared over the previous twelve months. This year is no exception. Moreover, 2023 distinguished itself from others due to the sheer diversity of material we were able to publish.

So we invite you to take a little trip down memory lane and revisit the riches our subscribers and authors shared every week. You might even find a few stories you missed! The links provided in the body of this story will bring you to specific stories or categories; you can also use our search box to find specific authors or topics in the complete archive. Or….you can just look at the images.

We hope you enjoy the journey—Editors

Earl the Athabascan

Doug Guido


By early 1990, my brief marriage was all but over, about the same time my job was. After a false start with another company in a town where I knew no one, I quit and decided it was a good time to have my mid-life crisis. I went directly from my new ex-employer to the book store and bought two books about a subject that had fascinated me for some time: Michener’s ‘Alaska’ and ‘The Milepost,’ a soup-to-nuts travelers guide to Alaska.

Thus armed with literary fact and fiction about our 49th state, I set off.

The Road to Athabasca

With these words, Doug Guido invites us on an epic journey of more than five thousand miles, criss-crossing the lower forty-eight with a keen eye on his ultimate destination, Alaska. Many adventures lay ahead, including unique experiences in our forty-ninth state. To whet your appetite, today’s story jumps forward in his narrative entitled The Road to Athabasca and describes a surprising encounter with “Earl the Athabascan” from Ft. Yukon, Alaska.

Stayed tuned in the new year for further episodes of a trek which took Doug from Florida, through the western states and northward to Alaska. We will be sure to link the stories together at each episode should you happen to miss one.—Editors

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My Come From Away

Theresa D’Aiuto Sokol

It was the summer of 1973. A year after college graduation, I was making a life for myself on the gritty upper west side of Manhattan in a run-down tenement building occupied by a motley crew of hippies and disillusioned Columbia University graduates.  My boyfriend Fred and I shared a fifth-floor walk-up at 105th Street and Columbus Avenue, adjacent to a building controlled by the local drug dealers. Each evening we were serenaded by salsa music emanating from the bodega just across the street, sometimes punctuated by the click, click, click of dominos accompanying excited comments from local Dominican and Puerto Rican players and onlookers.

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The Holy Land – A Personal Journey

Beryl B. Byles

In January of this year, through a combination of events that we’ll simply refer to as “divine providence”, Beryl was able to travel with a small, select group, including three Jesuit priests, to the Holy Land.  It was a powerful personal journey for her, and she kept a daily photographic journal.  She agreed to let us adapt her journal for publication here in OLLI Connects, and we invite you to share it now. — Editors

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