Letters from Happy Valley


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Fifty years after leaving the family homestead in Happy Valley, Alaska, Dan Walker unexpectedly received a shoebox full of letters penned in 1958 by his parents as they traveled north from Sugar Tree Ridge, Ohio, to build a new life on the Last Frontier. The letters ignited Walker's memory and he remembered how, as a small boy, he watched with wonder as his family built a home, harvested moose, and learned the ways of the north country. A quiet thread of melancholy weaves through Walker's story as he remembers how his father's untimely death forced their large family to leave behind the life he loved. As much as the book is a quest to recall Walker's early years on the homestead, it is a search for the father he hardly knew.

Dan L. Walker is a homesteaders' son who grew up to become a teacher and a writer. He was named Teacher of the Year for Alaska in 1999. Dan shares life on a lake near Seward, Alaska, with his college sweetheart and muse, Madelyn.