I moved to Alaska in the early 80's. I thought some of you might be interested in some stories. I figured that I would start with how I got up here. If people like the story, I can add some more. I was a Psychology Major in Tucson which was were I grew up. I hated living in Tucson. I had left college a few times looking for something better. I didn't have any money so I would hitchhike and sleep wherever. The first time I tried to get to Alaska, I was stopped at the Canadian border with Washington. No matter how persuasive my appeal, I could not convince these Canadians that the $20 in my pocket would get me through their country. A couple years later, I was done with school. Most of my friends were engineers and were flying around the country for job interviews. I had no prospects and no direction. I did have over $200 saved. That May, I hitchhiked to Seattle and bought a deck class ticket on the Alaska State Ferry. The ferry was leaving the next day so I rolled out my sleeping bag in a nearby lot and boarded the next morning. Cabins and car space is limited and more expensive. Deck class though, is a gift from Heaven to a budget traveler. An Alaskan cruise for a couple hundred dollars. Lots of people took advantage of this. There were all sorts of people from all sorts of places to talk to. A lot of people didn't have cars. Rather than compete for rides, I started chatting people up. I found a guy who would take me from Haines AK, through Canada, and onto Anchorage for $20. It was light most of the day. I spent my days looking at the scenery, talking to folks and drinking whatever wine and nibbling whatever food I'd bought at the last port. The Alaska ferry system is the transportation for Alaska towns along the Inside Passage. It was a sunny May and I found the whales and eagles, and ice bergs, and sea otters, and seals annnnd …. just beyond mesmerizing. I was a wanderer wandering into someplace I wanted to stay at. This was suppose to be a trip looking for a summer job, but it already felt bigger than that. People could sleep anywhere on the boat. I just rolled out my sleeping bag in a covered section of the deck. Some people had pitched their tent, and many others preferred to sleep in the common areas inside. Meals were sold, but most of us ate and drank what we bought in port. The boat would dock for varying lengths of time. We would get off the boat and tour the town. On our last stop before Haines, I decided to stick with my ride. He really liked exploring the town and ignored my suggestions that we get back to the boat. We were already late and I would have ditched him if my backpack wasn't locked in his truck. I finally got him back to the ferry. They were already pulling the walkway, but put it back for us. A dockworker scolded us as we boarded. We docked at Haines and most people disembarked. We passed maybe a dozen hitchers as .we drove out of the area. I figured the $20 was well spent. It turns out that my ride had several firearms stashed in his truck. He was moving to Anchorage and the truck bed was packed. Canadians take smuggling guns into their country pretty seriously. We didn't declare anything and fortunately they didn't search the truck. I don't remember a lot of details about my first days in Anchorage. I found a disconnected trailer (the type that semis pull) that hadn't seemed to have moved awhile by a Fred Meyer's in midtown. My 2nd or 3rd night there, someone came by asking about a previous resident. He must have vacated before I moved in, but he had a place to stay if he showed again. Canary's were hiring. If I didn't find a job soon, I'd hitch south for the fishing season. I had spent some summers working residential treatment for kids. Turned out an agency was hiring. The menial wage they were paying seemed a kings ransom to me. I had a big smile on my face and the guy offering me the job explained that in Alaska it mattered how much money you made. My life in Alaska had began.