At the visitor center, a lady asked who could join the Arctic Brotherhood.
She was told “Stampeders.”
She then asked “Why could horses join? Did they stampede down the street?”
At the M&M tour shack by the Railroad Dock, a woman came in with her husband and two children and asked about the train trip.
The tour broker showed her the route on a map all the way up past the White Pass summit and the international boundary.
The lady then asked, “Is that Russia?
The tour broker looked her straight in the eye and stated, “No ma’am, it’s Canada?”
But they were still confused.
Another person at the same shack later in the week asked, “How far is Russia from here?”
When told by the tour seller that it was about 2,500 miles, the visitor responded, “Then I guess we can’t see it from here.”
This drew a very grim reaction from the tour shack attendants.
The visitor, sensing the obvious, stated, “I didn’t want to bring up Sarah Palin, but…”
“It’s better that you didn’t.”

Speaking of Sarah, where is she? Her reality TV show never came to Skagway-Dyea to hike the Chilkoot Trail a couple summers ago, and we felt dissed. It will soon be prime time on the trail, where the wind also blows up on occasion. Maybe we’ll find her there since election season is upon us, and there are all kinds of metaphors you can use around the themes gold rush and stampede for Facebook updates. Perfect for the twist and shout. The windy one can’t wait. In the meantime, while we wait for Sarah’s return to her original Alaska home, you can send us wind in the usual manner. Dress it up in red, white and blue and drop it off at the News Depot, where we are always feeling independent and free.