Alaska Book Tour for IF I WERE A PARK RANGER – Stop #1: Skagway’s Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

Planned since 2019…and after a loooooong delay, it finally came to be: The 2022 IF I WERE A PARK RANGER Alaska Book Tour! This series of posts showcases some of this once-in-a-lifetime trip and the four Alaska locations with author events.

To all the store managers, park rangers and even Cruise Director Nick who welcomed and supported me at these events, and to the park visitors and cruise passengers who stopped by my table or asked me to sign their book – a heartfelt thank you.

And to the staff of any other National Park Stores that carry the book, I’d love to plan an event with you!

June 23: The First Stop: Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Skagway, Alaska.

The town of Skagway was a starting point for the White Pass Trail, a treacherous passage to the Yukon Territory that “stampeders” traversed in the late 1890s. This site offers a film and displays that illuminate this fascinating event in history.

Site One: Held in the theatre of the beautiful Visitors Center, the event opened with a public read-aloud of the book, followed by a Q&A with Ranger Jolanta and Ranger Jeremy about their work. They replied to such inquiries as: Do you remember the moment that you first knew you wanted to be a park ranger? What is your favorite part of your career as a park ranger?

Site Two: Also in Skagway, at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park’s Moore Homestead, I took part in an Author Meet and Greet, and offered Ranger-themed kids’ activities at an outdoor table. I had never before participated  in an author event with a backdrop quite like this!  Met another amazing park ranger (my heroes). Sharing below some of the art kids created that day (printed with permission).

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Alaska Book Tour for IF I WERE A PARK RANGER Stop # 2: Glacier Bay National Park

June 24: The second stop on the Alaska National Park Site Book Tour was one of my most unique signing spots ever – on a cruise ship as we passed through Glacier Bay National Park. I had done a book signing on the historic RMS Queen Mary moored in Long Beach for another book, but this was my first author event on a moving ship. And the setting was spectacular!

National Park Rangers boarded the cruise ship as we passed through Glacier Bay, and offered a riveting narration of all that we saw – and boy, do they know their stuff! They were also available for passengers’ questions.

The Glacier Bay area is the spiritual home of the Huna Tlingit. From the ship, passengers can view the glaciers and may even spot one in the process of calving, with chunks of ice falling off into the water. Lucky viewers may catch sight of wildlife, too.

Again, to be surrounded during an author’s event with stunning views of glaciers was a never-to-be-forgotten experience.

Thank you to the park rangers for their kindness to me and the Alaska Geographic staff who made this event possible. And thank you to our cruise director who warmly greeted me that – and even included me on the ship’s event program.

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Alaska Book Tour for IF I WERE A PARK RANGER – Stop # 3: Denali National Park

June 29: Visiting Denali was a longtime bucket list goal. Being invited to do a book signing there – that exceeded even my dreams.

Regional forest fires dimmed views that day and turned the sun orange, but the sights were still spectacular. The Park Store staff graciously set my table near the front door. I met travelers, young and old, who were also drawn on that day to this beautiful place.

Not to be missed at Denali – the Denali Sled Dog Kennels and dog demonstrations. So fascinating, I attended twice. Both times, the yipping dogs nearly jumped out of their fur with excitement at being chosen to pull the wheeled cart that served as the summer demonstration substitute for the dogsled. And both times, the knowledgeable park rangers related amazing facts about the Alaskan huskies and the work they do at the park.

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Alaska Book Tour for IF I WERE A PARK RANGER – Stop # 4: Fairbanks

The final Alaskan Book Tour stop brought me to the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center which houses the Alaska Public Lands Information Center and the Alaska Geographic shop. Again, the kind staff welcomed me and provided a table in a front row spot.  Among the people I met – a grandmother whose young granddaughter aspires to be a park ranger!

The center offered enlightening exhibits and films with park rangers available to answer questions.  A great stop on any visit to Fairbanks!

In conclusion, I cannot overstate the amazing-ness of this Alaska Book Tour – truly an experience I will never forget.

Photo Gallery: Coming Soon