Walking My Dog, Jane: From Valdez to Prudhoe Bay Along the Trans-Alaska PipelineNed Rozell $16.95
Published in 2000 | 342 pages | paper | ISBN: 978-0-8207-0335-0
“Walking my Dog, Jane is at once an adventure book, a travelogue, an environmental piece, and a man-dog love story. . . . His prose, his descriptions, his insights are as fresh as the Alaskan air.” — Christian Science Monitor
“Ned and Jane are compelling traveling companions, and their story is animated by many small moments of mutual accommodation, shared experience, and genuine communication. . . . Walking my Dog, Jane will offer readers of western American Literary Studies an unusual and interesting approach to nature-culture interactions in the Alaskan wilderness.” — Western American Literary Studies"
“I took my dog for a walk last spring,” says Ned Rozell, “and we didn't come home until fall.” In Walking My Dog, Jane, readers travel along with Ned and Jane, his chocolate Labrador, as they walk 800 miles across Alaska along the trans-Alaska pipeline, beginning in the south at Valdez and ending at Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean. “I wanted a few things from this walk,” Rozell writes. “I wanted the quiet times, alone with my dog. Maybe to learn something about myself, maybe not. I wanted to find out who lives here, where they came from, why they stay. This trip would be about time. For one summer of my life, I could walk, and I'd never be late.” Rozell describes the extraordinary wildlife and spectacular scenery of Alaska, but perhaps the greatest wonders in this story are the people who live near the pipeline: homesteaders who in the 1960s nearly starved on a diet of grouse and hares while taming their piece of Alaska; a husband and wife recovering from alcohol and drug addictions by running a hamburger stand on the Yukon River; gold miners who stubbornly pick at a hillside above the Arctic Circle with tools a century old; a pipeline worker who commutes 3,000 miles every two weeks to be with his son in San Diego. As Rozell discovers on his 120-day journey, the frontier still exists in Alaska, but it's not the same frontier that stampeders encountered 100 years ago, or the one to which pipeline workers rushed 20 years ago. Instead, it is a spirit found in these people who live there, now, at the end of the century.
NED ROZELL is a contributing editor to Alaska Magazine who writes the "Wilderness Adventurer" column each month. He has made his home in Fairbanks, Alaska, since 1986. His longtime trail partner Jane died in 2000 at the age of 13.