Monday, July 2, 2012

Fat Albert - abandoned military surplus 6x6 truck along Rex Trail

I an convinced that Alaska would not be nearly so developed had it not been for "government surplus." At least in the Railbelt and Southcentral, military surplus vehicles and other equipment helped Alaskans survive. I see a fair number of old ex-military rigs when I'm out wandering the hills.

 Here is an old government surplus vehicle I discovered just off the Rex Trail Road. Rex Trail takes off from the Parks Highway about 50 miles south of Nenana.

Rex used to be a stop on the Alaska Railroad. I think it used to be a railroad construction camp back in the 1920s. There is no settlement now, just several rural subdivisions, and the area is popular for moose hunting. The road is half-ways decent in dry weather, but a little rain can turn it into a quagmire. I'm sure the 6x6 truck was a necessity for some rural property owner.

Government surplus didn't start with World War II. I just finished reading a book about cultural resources along the Fortymile River up by Eagle.  It said that after the Army closed the Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System relay stations in the area in about 1910, miners and other residents salvaged the metal roofing for their cabins. This is one reason why so many cabins in the area are still standing--metal roofing is much more durable than sod roofs.

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