As Anchorage disappeared from my rearview mirror, so did most conveniences associated with modern civilization.  The Alaskan wilderness is both isolated and isolating.  The only other time I have experienced similar feelings of remoteness was when traveling through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

En route to the rural outpost of Tok, I was treated to the majestic scenery of the Chugach Range; towering peaks, gently flowing rivers and signs of autumn visible in the changing colors of the leaves.  The welcome sign that greets travelers to Tok – a “census-designated place” of 1,400  – did not disappoint.  The wood frame is solid and rustic; the welcome message is heartfelt and meaningful.  And the small flowers that decorate the edges reflect a softness that is not often apparent in an unforgiving environment.

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