Finding True North

Molly Rettig

Finding True North

Molly Rettig

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

201 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $21.95 ISBN: 9781602234437 Will Publish March 2021
Melting sea ice and simmering volcanoes. Sled dogs racing through unnamed valleys. These were the images that came to mind when Molly Rettig got a job at the local Fairbanks Daily News-Miner following journalism school. An environmentalist at heart, she craved the vast, untouched spaces that had long been paved over on the east coast. But when she got to Fairbanks, her seventy-two-year-old neighbor, Clutch, invited her on a tour of his gold mine—an eight-hundred-foot tunnel inside his house. Not exactly the wilderness she’d imagined.
 
As she searched for the “Last Frontier,” she met four sourdoughs who helped her find it. They led her on a wild journey from the gold rush days through the greatest oil boom North America has ever seen, revealing a place that was built on resources. As she pans for gold in an Arctic stream, swoops through valleys with a legendary bush pilot, and retraces the pipeline route with one of its builders, she realizes that even she wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the roads and mines and oil fields that came first. But when Alaska’s oil economy crashes, she faces the same question as every Alaskan: What is most important about this place, and what do we really need to live here?
 
Contents
Introduction
Part 1: Gold
Chapter 1: A Gold Rush Town
Chapter 2: The Stampede
Chapter 3: Frozen Gold
Chapter 4: Going Home
Chapter 5: Hot Rocks
Chapter 6: Gold Fever
Part 2: Air
Chapter 1: The Bush
Chapter 2: The Dream
Chapter 3: Beaver Creek
Chapter 4: Life on the River
Chapter 5: Kaboom
Chapter 6: Drafted
Part 3: Oil
Chapter 1: The Proposal
Chapter 2: Boom Time
Chapter 3: The Alaska Dream
Chapter 4: Mining Camp
Chapter 5: The Alaska Reality
Chapter 6: The Crash
Part 4: Subsistence
Chapter 1: Visiting the Land of Caribou
Chapter 2: Fending for Myself
Chapter 3: Filling the Freezer
Chapter 4: Oil vs. Food
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