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That USB device is still locked up with my whole book of ‘What Line’, so I decided to take advantage of the time I’m waiting for it to behave again and start on my Alaska book for which still does not have a name. That will come to me I’m sure.

I’ve gathered all my notes together and have started the journey of writing the book my mother should have written long ago. She did start and I’m so grateful to have these notes. I have a roll of cash register tape she wrote on to begin. There is a tattered notebook with the start date and expenditures throughout the trip. Faded letters and numerous pamphlets and information on homesteading and Alaska hold some of the information I will need. The letters themselves tell a unique story.

It doesn't look like much, but those letters hold a wealth of information.

It doesn’t look like much, but those letters hold a wealth of information.

As I read through the cash register tape yesterday I am overwhelmed with the memories. Even though I was only four when we left on this trip I remember so much as do my two older sisters and younger brother. Whether we remember so much detail because it was talked of so often or the trip had such an impression on our young lives I do not know. I do know there are plenty of pictures in my mind.

This is a letter we children all compiled in 2004 to add to the letters my mother had written to relatives when we were living this adventure in the great state of Alaska. I’m so thankful to the ones who saved these letters for her. I typed them up years ago and compiled them with this one in a spiral bound book before they all faded away to nothing.

December 24, 2004

Dear Mother,

We have encouraged you for years to sit down at the computer and write a book about yours and Daddy’s adventures in Alaska. The following pages include letters from 1961-1963. The letters are from you to Aunt Ticia and PaPa and Aunt Letaine. It is hard to believe you and Daddy pulled a two-bedroom house trailer behind a truck for 4040 miles with four children in tow – children ranging in ages from two to six. The journey begins on June 17, 1959 at 6:00 a.m. with $1000.00 and a credit card. The Knowles family arrived in the state of Alaska on July 1, 1959 at 8:50 a.m. The journey begins…


Naomi, Debbie, Lindy, Chip, and Tish

If you noticed there is one extra name on that signature. Yes, there was another sibling born in Alaska. We have no pictures of Tish until she was about eighteen months old because the film was so expensive. Plus you know the last child never gets as many pictures taken as the first ones do!

I’ll be posting most of my updates and pictures as I write with inserts from the letters that will not all be in the book on my author Facebook page so jump on over and LIKE the page. You wouldn’t want to get left behind in the story!

This is going to be an enjoyable journey.


P.S This first draft will be saved in multiple places! 😉




About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

16 responses »

  1. Elle- (Love your name, but I’m partial, my second daughter’s name is Elle)- love your blog and following your journey. My husband and I want to go to Alaska once the kids are old enough to appreciate it and remember it (oh, and we don’t have to tote around diapers, formula, and strollers).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jennifer. Actually it is the spelling of my first initial. LOL! Alaska was great and I was verrrrry young, but still have the memories. Drop in on my author FB page and LIKE so you can keep up with the journey as I write and also see pictures that probably won’t be in the book. Here’s the link – – Hope to see you there and thanks for stopping by. 😉 ~Elle


  2. that traveling nurse

    I love Alaska! We went two years ago with friends, on a 7 day cruise then on a camper for 9 days. It was one of my best vacation memories! I’m still writing little bits and pieces of our Alaska adventure on my blog. I would be excited to read yours. Your parents surely know how to adventure. 🙂 Good luck on the book!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds wonderful! Save, save and save again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so moved by this Elle. No wonder you’re excited. Must feel like she’s right there with you. Love what she wrote on. Very touching. Don’t forget Monday blogs. Wonderful essay.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alaska has always fascinated me, can’t wait to see more about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This one sounds like a winner – do make sure you save it properly – you owe it to your Mum to make a good job of it – good luck – I look forward to reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Best of luck, Elle. Sounds like an exciting adventure.

    Liked by 1 person


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