Letters from Alaska
Someone has commented that the Bartoo family is made of people who are highly literate, adventurous, and in love with the outdoors and animals. From the articles in this collection, I think any reader will agree with that. In their 30 to 40 years of living in Alaska, my mom and dad wrote many things to describe what their life was like. Some were letters written to family and friends, some were trapping logs, some were just personal accounts of activities on hunting trips and other travels, often written strictly for their own enjoyment. My mother and dad were over 50 when they moved to Alaska, and started a new life there. From my mother’s letters over the years, she tells all about their life in Alaska in the 20th century. She makes the stories of their experiences come alive: hunting for moose, goats, or caribou; then fishing for salmon and halibut, and how they lost the Salmon Derby; and their fur trapping of mink, martin, etc.
The perennial question folks ask, “What’s it like to live in Alaska?” Mom answers from her viewpoint, both in showing details of daily routines of growing flowers while “weeding and feeding mosquitoes,” as well as how to prepare for spending weeks or months at a time “in the bush” on their annual trapping trip.