Adventuring in Alaska

My cousin, Deanne Driscoll, shared this article with me about my Great Uncle and Aunt Otto and Elizabeth Andra.

Otto and Elizabeth Andra family, August 1961

Otto and Elizabeth Andra family, August 1961

Adventuring in Alaska – for less than $120 a person

By Phyllis J Park Tribune correspondent

A three-and-a-half week tour through the rugged Canadian country …  spotting moose, lynx, mountain goats, there are and caribou along the highway …  Fishing, swimming and leisurely sightseeing their way to Alaska for less than $120 per person, proved to two Utah couples that vacation time can be “Adventure Time.”

Mr. and Mrs. Otto Andra, 4406 S. 3200 West street Granger, and Mr. and Mrs. Dan D. Lehman, 4425 Albright Dr., Holladay, were a bit apprehensive about tackling the Alaskan route and had been warned to be prepared for any emergency but, at the conclusion of their 7000 mile round trip with no flat tires, no car trouble, and good driving conditions, “We’re ready to go again next year, it was great!” they commented.

With a suitcase each, a grub-box with a small supply of food including dehydrated goods, a five gallon can a fresh water, and one spare tire, they started out.

They made camp by the roadside each night or at handy camp-grounds in the Yukon Territory, replenishing their food supply along the way and getting fresh water from nearby waterfalls and streams.  Meals were cooked over two one-burner gas stoves and they took the collapsible table and chairs for added comfort.

The Lehmans slept in sleeping bags on air-mattresses in a tent while the Andras “bedded down” in the back of their 1954 station wagon.

They took ten days to travel from Salt Lake City, to Alaska, going via Glacier National Park in Montana.

There were a few rough spots along the famed 1527 my all Alaska highway, built in 1942, connecting Dawson Creek, B.C.  With Fairbanks, but they found road repair crews constantly on the job and their only trouble came from dust and flying rocks from passing cars.

“Cautious driving was our secret to no car trouble!”  Mr. Andra stated “and we took our time, never going over 50 miles an hour, with frequent stops and lay-overs to enjoy the sights.”  At a service station half-way up to Alaska we heard a fellow in an expensive make car, bemoaning the fact he had already experienced 14 blowouts and when he “dug” away from us leaving a shower of gravel, we thought we knew the reason why.

“The milepost were what we liked,” they said.  It’s a simple yet thorough method of guiding travelers along the way by means of numbered milepost and a mileposts guide-book, describing conditions, accommodations, and services at each post.  There are also handy telephone boxes on poles along the roadside for emergency calls.

Six fun-packed days were spent in various cities in Alaska where they visit the huge gold dredges that strained out thousands of dollars worth of gold each day, splurged $25.00 for a fling at boating and fishing in the Valdez Harbor with the net result of 64 various, tasty fish, and they watched it become dark at 12:45 a.m. and begin to lighten up an hour later.

And what did the women wear on the trip?  “We packed lightly with pedal-pushers and blouses as the main items in our wardrobe,” said Mrs. Andra.  “We didn’t need our coats, it was hot in the daytime and sweaters were enough that night. We found we needed our two pairs of flat-heeled shoes and advise others to take plastic or rubber overshoes to use in the wet, muddy spots they may encounter.”

They said at the border it was necessary to show identification such as driver’s license or birth certificate and since Mr. Andra was born in Germany he had to show a passport.  And they had to assure customs officers that they have sufficient funds with them to cover their trip and possible emergencies.  Checking with your car insurance company concerning foreign coverage was suggested by these travelers, too.

The Salt Lake Tribune HOME Magazine, September 15, 1957, p 30.

Liz and Otto Andra

Liz and Otto Andra

Otto Carl Andra was born 15 May 1902 in Meissen, Germany.

Otto married 25 November 1925 in the Salt Lake Temple to Rebecca Amelia Christensen born 6 March 1904 in Mink Creek, Franklin, Idaho.  She died 16 December 1931 in Salt Lake City.

Otto and Rebecca had two children, Rebecca Ila Andra (1926-2006) and Otto Carl Andra (1929-1929).

Otto remarried 17 February 1932 in the Salt Lake Temple to Elizabeth Mauermann born 27 October 1911 in Salt Lake City.

Otto and Elizabeth had six children, Elizabeth, Iona, Carl Otto, Albert (1938-2009), Carol, and Virginia.

Otto died 20 June 1982 in West Valley City, Utah.

Elizabeth died 14 June 1998 in Salt Lake City.

Otto and both wives were buried in Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, Salt Lake City.

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