Keith and Jackie Campbell were interviewed on August 6, 2010 by Rachel Mason and Karen Brewster at their home in Seward, Alaska. In this interview, the Campbells talk about life in Seward and how it has changed, Keith's work at the hospital, and their outdoors lifestyle and hunting in the Seward area. They talk about snowmachining, hunting, cross-country skiing, camping, and hiking in the Exit Glacier area, changes in the glacier and wildlife, construction of the road to the glacier, the snowmachine tour operation, and their thoughts about establishment of Kenai Fjords National Park.
Digital Asset Information
Project: Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park
Date of Interview: Aug 6, 2010
Narrator(s): Keith Campbell, Jackie Campbell
Interviewer(s): Rachel Mason, Karen Brewster
Transcriber: Carol McCue
After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.
Coming to Seward
Early years of moose hunting
Ptarmigan, sheep, bear, and caribou hunting and marking hunting areas on map
Crossing the Resurrection River in the summer with a canoe
First footbridge across the Resurrection River for access to Exit Glacier
Being stalked by a black bear
Picnics and camping at Exit Glacier, and first Park Service employees
Effects of establishment of Kenai Fjords National Park
Changes in Seward
The dangers of snowmachining on glaciers
Learning to be careful and learning the country
Zimmerman's snowmachine operation on Exit Glacier
Hiking and backpacking in the area
Seward school system
Changes in Exit Glacier
Changes in local animal populations
Changes in number of people using the Exit Glacier area
Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.
After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.
RACHEL MASON: We're in the home of Keith and Jackie Campbell in Seward. It's August 6th, 2010.
My name's Rachel Mason, and Karen Brewster is also here. And we're here to talk about the Exit -- Exit Glacier project for the Kenai Fjords National Park.
And just to fill you in, Keith and Jackie, the project has to do with the traditional activities around Exit Glacier,
and we're interested not only in finding out about what -- what recreation or hunting or any kind of activities you had around that glacier,
but we also want a more general idea about your early life in Seward and the character of the community and different things that went on in the time that you've been here.
So I wonder if you could start out by telling us a little bit about your -- what brought you to Seward, and your early days here.
KAREN BREWSTER: Ok, wait -- answer the question?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, we came here -- I came here as the hospital administrator for Seward General Hospital in June of 1971, and stayed all these years, even after our retirement in 1990.
So we have had a long and happy life here in the community, and raised -- finished raising our family here.
We have three sons, and they -- two of them are in the state, and one is with -- in our sister city of Obihiro, Japan.
And we have many grandchildren in the state -- well, several out of the state now. And, whew, how many great grands?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: 16.
KEITH CAMPBELL: 16 great grandchildren, and most of them in the state. So we're single handedly populating the place.
RACHEL MASON: Where did you move here from? KEITH CAMPBELL: From Iowa.
RACHEL MASON: From Iowa. How did you hear about the job here?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, just magazine articles, and things like that. And we had looked for a couple of years before we came up here looking for an ideal job,
and where to come for three or four years, do hunting and fishing, and go back and get ambitious, but we never found a more spectacular place to live, so here we are.
RACHEL MASON: And did you -- did you like it when you got here or what?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, we pretty much knew we'd like it because we'd been here a couple of times on vacation and before that,
and so we knew beforehand that we would like it.
We knew the kids would like it, and three sons, they enjoy and enjoyed the -- you know, the life style here.
And so they've adapted and we adapted, and we're home free.
RACHEL MASON: How old were your kids when you got here? KEITH CAMPBELL: 10.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Our oldest son was 16, and the youngest one was 10.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. So -- and they did -- you know, the school system was good, and we enjoyed it and they enjoyed it, so we've never --
and we've been many places in the world and never found anything more attractive, so we intend to stay.
RACHEL MASON: Did you start hunting right away when you -- ?
KEITH CAMPBELL: In the early years, we hunted, yeah, and, of course, fished, but we don't hunt much anymore,
but just strictly because what would you do with the meat, and things like that.
And that's what we did with a lot of the stuff we -- in the early years, the moose and the caribou,
but we still do lots of fishing and consume those, but we don't have any use for it.
KAREN BREWSTER: Are you from Iowa originally? Is that where you were born? KEITH CAMPBELL: Yes. Both of us. KAREN BREWSTER: Both of you? KEITH CAMPBELL: Right. Both Midwesterners.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: We were outdoor people before we came here, so it made it easy to adjust.
I mean -- you know, we camped and did all the things in Iowa. Snow machines, and -- So it really wasn't new, just lots more of it.
RACHEL MASON: Well, how about, how did you get started with moose hunting? Did -- Was that --
KEITH CAMPBELL: Very badly. There's a certain amount of tuition you have to pay for all these kinds of things and experience, and gain it, and so --
Yeah, it's just a lot of -- a lot of tramping around sometimes and sitting on hillsides and -- with not much to show for it,
but a hobby, you learn after a time and pick people's brains, and after awhile you do pretty well.
RACHEL MASON: Did you get a moose the first year you were here?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, no. No, no. No, it was the second -- yeah, maybe even the third year, I don't remember now, but uh --
No. It was -- you had to just pay your tuition and learn.
KAREN BREWSTER: Were there some older hunters in town who kind of mentored you?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Not -- well, there were a lot older hunters, but those guys are pretty secretive, in those years particularly.
They didn't let you in on their -- their favorite hillside to sit and that sort of thing.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Elizabeth -- or uh Vic Mahan really explained how to cut them, cut up -- wasn't it a moose that he showed how to, you know, and he'd been here, an old timer that had been in Seward forever.
And he knew all the secrets of --.
RACHEL MASON: Oh, that's good. Did he take you up --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: He didn't hunt, but he just showed us how to cut the moose up.
KEITH CAMPBELL: After we got the critter, yeah. So we didn't ruin it.
RACHEL MASON: Did you go hunting on all those hunts?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I -- I went walking along. I didn't do any hunting, I just looked.
RACHEL MASON: Oh. But you probably had to cut them up or --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Well, yeah, you get extremely involved, everybody gets involved in the processing.
And it's too much work anymore, it isn't worth it.
RACHEL MASON: Yeah. But what other kind of hunting did you do in the early years?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Everything. Ptarmigan. KEITH CAMPBELL: Ptarmigan. JACKIE CAMPBELL: Spruce hens.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Goats.
JACKIE CAMPELL: Sheep. KEITH CAMPBELL: Never -- never was much of a sheep hunter.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Never shot a bear.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Could have shot one day before yesterday right in the backyard.
RACHEL MASON: Did you see one out there?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, right there.
KEITH CAMPBELL: In fact, our bear proof garbage can was knocked over this morning. So --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: He's still around.
KEITH CAMPBELL: -- there's some critter in the area somewhere here, so...
KAREN BREWSTER: You mentioned caribou. Did you do caribou hunting?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. I was lucky enough to get a permit one time up on the little herd that's over, overlooking the Kenai and the Cook Inlet on that side, above Indian Valley,
you come in from -- on horseback, over on the pipeline roads, and that sort of thing, on the other side of the Peninsula.
So that was -- and that was a moose hunt, too, but --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And that was on horseback.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Horseback. That was the way to do that.
RACHEL MASON: Could you mark with the red pen the places where you went hunting, or the general areas.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, my. JACKIE CAMPBELL: Just everywhere.
RACHEL MASON: Just everywhere? Or maybe, I guess this one is more finer, but if you could show us where the moose hunting.
KAREN BREWSTER: I'd say use this one. RACHEL MASON: Oh, use that one? KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. RACHEL MASON: Just to mark the general areas.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Well, Warren probably marked the same one on Nash Road because -- Keith shot it, but they both --
KEITH CAMPBELL: All right. Nash Road. What have we got here. Nash Road. Right in -- oh, is this the old -- this is new Nash Road. Yeah, it was right in here.
RACHEL MASON: Oh, okay. Put a "M" on it for moose, if that's the -- where the --
KEITH CAMPBELL: Okay. And, oh, out the road, everywhere.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Just where you hunted, not necessarily where you --
RACHEL MASON: Yeah, where you got one. KEITH CAMPBELL: Just moose hunting area. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.
RACHEL MASON: Where you looked for them.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. No, and there's places around here.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Skilak Lake Road.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, that's way over, that's off the -- KAREN BREWSTER: That's off the map. KEITH CAMPBELL: That's off the map.
KAREN BREWSTER: We don't have those maps.
KEITH CAMPBELL: But Upper Russian. Yeah. In these areas. In here. Let's see.
I don't want to mislead you too far. Russian Lakes Trail. Yeah, it was in this Upper Russian Lake.
RACHEL MASON: Oh yeah, here's the Russian Lakes Trail.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Right. Yeah. No. It'd be in here.
And over here at Primrose, and along the railroad here. Where's the railroad? Ooh, doesn't show.
RACHEL MASON: You know, one of these maps is real old, but --
KEITH CAMPBELL: This is old, but it should still -- well, Snow River, this is -- this whole drainage here is moose.
And then the railroad. This is Lakeview.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Is this -- no, that isn't the railroad.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Ptarmigan Lake. No. But this whole area along the railroad.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Is this the railroad? But that's out of the -- ? KEITH CAMPBELL: No, that's not. KAREN BREWSTER: Does the railroad go -- KEITH CAMPBELL: This is Vagt Lake there.
KAREN BREWSTER: Does the railroad go along the road there? Is that -- is it sort of the same corridor?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, it's the same basic corridor, yeah, and so this is -- well, you can hunt, you know, these hillsides up on the lower here are -- are good.
But this -- this whole -- this whole flat in here where the railroad -- here's the railroad right in here.
And the railroad bridge, you know, there's lots of hunting on these flats over here.
RACHEL MASON: And how would you access? KEITH CAMPBELL: It's a long walk.
RACHEL MASON: How would -- you'd -- where would you walk from?
KEITH CAMPBELL: You'd park here, and then you could walk it.
And if you wanted to leave another vehicle here, you could do that, but -- but basically, you just walk in and walk out.
RACHEL MASON: Oh. And then pack out the meat when you --
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. This is a calving area, and the bear -- in the spring, there's lots of moose and bear down in here.
But in the fall, then, of course, the bear are pretty scarce.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And I think frequently we would see moose, but we knew they were much too far to pack. KEITH CAMPBELL: Too far away to do anything.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And so we would forego shooting them.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, a lot of work; after you plug one, you've got to pack it. RACHEL MASON: Yeah.
KEITH CAMPBELL: But those are -- and then there's some other -- other stuff.
There isn't much -- we never hunted much -- this is a long hike back up in here.
RACHEL MASON: You'd walk back here?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, you'd have to walk from upper, well, over at Cooper Landing and come in that way.
KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, you came in the Cooper Landing way?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, come up through the other way.
RACHEL MASON: Gee, that's a long walk.
KEITH CAMPBELL: It's just a hunt. You wouldn't want to -- or unless you had a horse, or you could call an airplane and it would come in and pick up the meat if you get something there.
KAREN BREWSTER: They could land on Upper Russian Lake, then?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, uh hum.
RACHEL MASON: Did you ever do any horseback hunting?
KEITH CAMPBELL: No, they were always -- we always went on the other side of the Peninsula for that. RACHEL MASON: Oh, okay.
KAREN BREWSTER: What about up the -- KEITH CAMPBELL: The other side of Cooper Landing.
KAREN BREWSTER: -- Resurrection Valley and Exit Glacier, did you do any hunting up there?
KEITH CAMPBELL: No. The only thing we ever did there was -- late '70s.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: What about ptarmigan and stuff along the road? KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, birds in the wintertime.
KAREN BREWSTER: That counts. KEITH CAMPBELL: But not big game. KAREN BREWSTER: That counts.
RACHEL MASON: Yeah. Where did you get those ptarmigan?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Anywhere you happened to be snow machining, we always carried a little shotgun and your snowshoes.
And then from up at Johnson Lake, it probably doesn't show on here, it was nice, and up at Crescent Lake.
RACHEL MASON: Oh, here's Crescent Lake.
KEITH CAMPBELL: There's lots of ptarmigan and stuff up in here.
RACHEL MASON: Oh, can you mark that?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. All these hillsides here.
And along this Carter Lake, all this whole area is ptarmigan. PT. Do you want -- or do you want to put chicken on there?
RACHEL MASON: PT is good. KEITH CAMPBELL: Okay. And so...
RACHEL MASON: Where did you used to go snow machining? KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Everywhere.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Where didn't we go? JACKIE CAMPBELL: Snow River.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, everywhere. Everywhere.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Russian, we've been up to the cabins up at Upper Russian.
KEITH CAMPBELL: All this around here, all these trails here.
But most often we could just leave the house, go up to Exit Glacier, just boom. It's only 7 miles.
RACHEL MASON: Could you mark that.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Because we lived in Forest Acres, so we could go right from our garage. KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah.
KAREN BREWSTER: That's nice. RACHEL MASON: Yeah.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Just -- you know, just right up here. What do you want to do, make a --
KAREN BREWSTER: Make a line.
RACHEL MASON: Just make a line, and then maybe somehow indicate that it's snow machines. KAREN BREWSTER: That you could write with the small pen. RACHEL MASON: Yeah, I could do that. KAREN BREWSTER: Rachel, along the line, the snow machine path.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Up here. And I'll go like this, just along up the river valley.
And up here and right on up.
RACHEL MASON: Okay. Yeah. It connects somehow. KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah.
KAREN BREWSTER: How would you get up to the glacier?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Snow machine. KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, just
KAREN BREWSTER: No, I mean up Paradise or up the -- KEITH CAMPBELL: You can go both.
KAREN BREWSTER: Or right up the face of the glacier?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Sure. You can go right up to it, sure.
And this valley was great, you know, 8, 10, 15 feet of snow in there, and covers all the rocks.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And the buildings. We went up there and the outhouses and everything were covered with snow.
KEITH CAMPBELL: We had to drill down 10 feet into the -- to get into the outhouse. And go around to Paradise.
KAREN BREWSTER: So when you came from Forest Acres, you stayed on this side of the riverbed. KEITH CAMPBELL: Just up the riverbed. JACKIE CAMPBELL: The riverbed. KEITH CAMPBELL: The river valley. Yeah, uh hum.
KAREN BREWSTER: You stayed on this side of the river so you didn't have to cross.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Well, and you could -- it was froze over.
KEITH CAMPBELL: And the river, the water levels were way down when it freezes up in the spring, or in the wintertime, there's just a trickle.
You can -- if it is open water, you just go right across it.
RACHEL MASON: Did your whole family go up on snow machine?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Well, we had three snow machines, and so the kids would -- maybe one kid would go, or the kids would go and we wouldn't.
KEITH CAMPBELL: The two older ones were pretty much independent and they would go by themselves.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: The little guy, he went -- he's not little anymore -- he went with us a lot because he was -- and we had three machines. So he went a lot.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. So. No, it was kind of a family -- family thing, but the older -- the two older ones were old enough to have some feathers on their wings and fly, you know, so --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: They wanted to go with their friends. KEITH CAMPBELL: Their friends.
RACHEL MASON: When did you start snow machining?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, in 1969, '70, I guess.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: In Iowa. We brought machines with us.
RACHEL MASON: You brought machines with you? What kind of machines did you have? JACKIE CAMPBELL: Ski Doos.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, llittle ones, the little Ski Doos. Well, that was about what they had in those years.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: They weren't too powerful.
KAREN BREWSTER: Do you remember what year you bought your first snow machine?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: '69. KEITH CAMPBELL: '69, I think it was.
KAREN BREWSTER: Do you remember how much it cost?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Sure. $800. You remember things like that.
KAREN BREWSTER: That's right.
RACHEL MASON: Well, so how does the snow machining here compare with Iowa?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Iowa is flat. KEITH CAMPBELL: A lot more work here. RACHEL MASON: Yeah, I bet.
KEITH CAMPBELL: A lot more work if you get stuck.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And not as much snow either, really. KEITH CAMPBELL: No, Iowa doesn't.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Enough, but not as much.
KAREN BREWSTER: So did you have problems getting stuck on that route you just drew?
KEITH CAMPBELL: At times, yeah, you bet. And all these places, you know, you'd get --
if you get up on the Lost Lake Trail, whoa, I mean there's snow.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: More in those days because the machines weren't as powerful, so it was much easier to get stuck.
Nowadays, you know, they're so powerful.
KEITH CAMPBELL: See, the winter of '71, '72, Phil Gumm, who was the local ranger at that time, wanted to re-mark this trail all the way through to -- to -- from here over to Primrose, so he asked me to go along.
And we were up there and we had -- he had made and painted diamonds, in orang -- and painted them orange, and we went along up here and along the trail, snow machine trail.
KAREN BREWSTER: That's the Lost Lake Trail.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Up the Lost Lake Trail, and we stood on the snow machine trails, and -- JACKIE CAMPBELL: On the seats. Snowmachine seats.
KEITH CAMPBELL: -- and reach as high as we could and hammered, hammered these painted diamonds on trees that were up there.
We walked up there the next summer, and they were 20 some feet in the air.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Because the snow was gone. KEITH CAMPBELL: The snow was gone.
RACHEL MASON: Wow. KAREN BREWSTER: There'd been that much snow?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, just a tremendous amount of snow.
KAREN BREWSTER: Is that normal that you get that much snow? Or was that -- ?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Up there. Up elevation. KEITH CAMPBELL: Up high you get -- there's still snow, I suspect, over up on the -- up in these trails in here somewhere.
In fact, there was two or -- three weeks, four weeks ago, three weeks ago where some people hiked this, and there was still snow down in these elevations here.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Well, we hiked it in -- KEITH CAMPBELL: June.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: -- late June with my parents. And -- on the Lost Lake Trail, and we had to quit and come back because the snow was too deep.
KAREN BREWSTER: That was this year?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: No, years ago. KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, years ago. But this year there's still snow up there, so -- or was three weeks ago.
RACHEL MASON: Did you ever try snowshoeing or skiing in any of these areas?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, yeah, sure, we always carry snow machine -- or snowshoes on the snow machine. Particularly when you're hunting.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: But we never skied up there, we always ski on the flat ground.
KAREN BREWSTER: So, you ski up Exit Glacier area?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Cross country. JACKIE CAMPBELL: Cross country, yeah.
KAREN BREWSTER: On the road or did you ski up the river?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Both. JACKIE CAMPBELL: I think we started out on the road, and then ended up on the --
KEITH CAMPBELL: -- but then you just ski -- there's lots of great snow, so there's no impediment, so you just go.
KAREN BREWSTER: And that river isn't dangerous in terms of open water spots?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Not normally, no. If you got -- if you got a -- if you get a decent amount of -- the water flow goes way down.
I mean, it just basically dries up after the first frost and things like that, it quits -- quits melting.
So these streams just go almost to nothing. So that's not a great problem.
Now, this time of year, you couldn't go anywhere on the water.
KAREN BREWSTER: Well, Warren Huss was talking to us about these bridges that they used to make over the open spots. Were you ever with him --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: In the winter, you mean, or in the summer?
KAREN BREWSTER: For snow machining.
KEITH CAMPBELL: No, I never did that. We just went -- we just went on -- just ford the river, just speed up and go.
Go across it. No, in the summer, no. In the summertime to go across the stream, we would take a -- before the bridges we would take --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: We had a canoe.
KEITH CAMPBELL: -- a canoe, and we would go off and then hike up to the glacier.
There was a Cat trail up there. And, in fact, you couldn't get any past the border.
They had a -- the road, as is such, just ended up there on the other side of the river here.
RACHEL MASON: What was it a border of?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, they just had quit between the borough land and the BLM land and the federal land up there. I guess it wasn't much BLM, but just borough land.
So the road was on that, and they just when it came to federal land, they stopped, but there was a Cat trail up there.
KAREN BREWSTER: So this was before the road got finished?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, yes, years before it got finished.
KAREN BREWSTER: So like what years?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: We probably started going up there shortly after we moved here, I would guess.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, we did, yeah. And -- but I don't remember what year that was. I know that we -- when the kids were --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Probably in about -- was it about 1980 when we went up there with Bob?
Would that have been '80?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. A friend of ours had flown that, and he saw a black bear and a skull laying on a -- at a head -- at the foot of a slide, up --
oh, it would have been up in -- well, this is kind of tough. But --
RACHEL MASON: Can you mark approximately where it was?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, sure. This is what this is -- I don't know what that is.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: It wouldn't have been -- KEITH CAMPBELL: I'm trying to -- I'm trying to see where this -- these things -- KAREN BREWSTER: Where they connect?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Where they connect. Because this stuff is -- doesn't show this thing.
KAREN BREWSTER: You can fold it over.
RACHEL MASON: Okay. Let's see. This is 10 degrees. KEITH CAMPBELL: Here's 10 right here.
KAREN BREWSTER: You can fold that map over.
KEITH CAMPBELL: But -- yeah, well, it really -- this is not shown, I don't think.
I'm trying to see where it comes in from the -- from the glacier river, Resurrection River. Resurrection River.
RACHEL MASON: Oh, yeah. Okay. There's the river. So this -- the glacier must be -- the --
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, the glacier's up in here. RACHEL MASON: Here's the road.
KEITH CAMPBELL: So it would be on this hillside up in here, that's where the slides come down.
And the -- anyway, we and a friend of ours, we took a canoe and his two kids and his wife and we walked up there and went up the side of the hill trying to find that bear skull.
And that was in June sometime.
KAREN BREWSTER: Of 1980? KEITH CAMPBELL: Probably '80, yeah.
KAREN BREWSTER: So was the bridge there? Not yet?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I think we took the canoe across. KEITH CAMPBELL: As I recall, we took the canoe across there. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay.
KEITH CAMPBELL: And, let's see, they didn't put the bridge in until, what, '81 or '82?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I remember when -- KEITH CAMPBELL: The first foot bridge.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: The foot bridge was first, and then the big bridge. The foot bridge was there for two or three years, wasn't it?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, many years, before they put the big bridge in.
It was wide enough to could get an ambulance across it. But that's it.
RACHEL MASON: And did you ever need to get an ambulance across there before that?
KEITH CAMPBELL: They did once when a California lady got hit by a collapsing ice bridge under the -- right at the -- in the glacier. RACHEL MASON: Wow.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Killed her. And so -- but they -- they took the barrier down and, you know, they had a poster, too, in front of the bridge, and then got her out of there, but I don't remember what year that was, either.
But the -- but anyway, we were up on the hillside. We bushwhacked up to look for that skull because we knew approximately where it was, and there was several slides along there. And --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: We never found it.
KEITH CAMPBELL: We never found it. But a friend of mine, we were traversing along the hillside here looking -- you know, going from slide to slide,
and when we came down, we finally gave up and came down, the mosquitos were awful, and they said that they -- we kept --
we kept seeing them wave their hands when they would look down there, and they were trying to get our attention, the wives were, because there was a black bear stalking us.
RACHEL MASON: A live one.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: We were watching him with binoculars, but they would wave back.
KEITH CAMPBELL: No walkie talkies.
KAREN BREWSTER: No cell phones. JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, no cell phones.
KEITH CAMPBELL: But no, nothing like that. But we had -- and then, you know, and we picnicked and that sort of thing on --
what was it, on Memorial Days, we would just take off, the kids were working by that time every summer, and we would go up.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: The house was full of kids, so we went to get away from them.
KEITH CAMPBELL: College kids. JACKIE CAMPBELL: -- so we'd go to get away from them.
KEITH CAMPBELL: We would just go and we would go up and camp out right at the foot of the glacier, just the two of us, on Memorial Day weekend. There was nobody out there.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And you left your pocket knife, because he -- we were chipping glacier ice to put in our cooler, and he broke the blade off of his knife and it's still up there, I guess.
KAREN BREWSTER: Was that before -- when you camped at the foot of the glacier, was that before there was an established campground range?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Exactly.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yep. And the first year there was not a soul there. The second year they had the -- the Park Service had its first employee here, and --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: A young girl.
KEITH CAMPBELL: I forget her name. She was a young woman.
And she came up there and she had a spotting scope with her, and I guess she had a vehicle down at the end of that -- I think the bridge was there by that time.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Was she tent camping or did she stay out there overnight? I can't remember.
KEITH CAMPBELL: I don't remember. But anyway, she had a vehicle somewhere down here on the road, or close to it.
Brought a -- brought a spotting scope up, and there was several goats on the mountainside here.
And she came over and said, "I'm to give a campfire talk." There were only the three of us there.
And she said, "Would you mind giving me a campfire talk?" Because she had been in the state less than six weeks, probably.
And so we had just a nice evening, had a nice campfire, we talked to her.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Told her what we knew about the park.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. And we heard a noise. And we turned around, and on the face of the -- it would be the west buttress there, there was a goat, and just a horrible cloud of dust.
He'd fallen down there, but he finally caught his footing and got over, you know, just see him scrambling.
And he finally got into a little copse of trees there and then disappeared. But I don't know how far he had fallen, but there was a huge cloud of dust on this shale face.
And she blinked her eyes, and we did, too, because we had never seen anything like that before.
But and lo and behold, the next morning her spotting scope was gone. We never -- we never heard a soul during the night.
And I don't know where she camped, but she had left it set up just like the camera, spotted up there. And so somebody had snuck in and came up -- coming up the road during the night. RACHEL MASON: Wow.
KEITH CAMPBELL: And it was gone. I wondered how she explained that to the hierarchy.
RACHEL MASON: She was the first employee of Park Service up here?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Stationed out there. RACHEL MASON: Oh, I see.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. They had -- they had a short term interim director the first time just for the first summer, and then Dave Moore came that fall. RACHEL MASON: Yeah.
KEITH CAMPBELL: And then was here for many years and got it off -- off the ground. But that was -- that was --
RACHEL MASON: Yeah. Well, I'd like to hear a little more about the establishment of the Park Service here.
Did that interfere with your hunting or use of the area at all?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I don't think so, do you?
KEITH CAMPBELL: I don't think in that degree.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I think probably the most distressing part was we knew it was going to bring more people, and we kind of liked our own private park.
KEITH CAMPBELL: But they didn't, of course, have the little campground out there for tents or anything of that year so we just camped JACKIE CAMPBELL: They had nothing.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, actually, we camped right where they diverted the stream and where the little kiosk is. Right in that area, most of the time. But the glacier was much closer then, too.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, much closer.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Much, much closer.
RACHEL MASON: Well, after they built the road, did that impact your -- your use of it any?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: You mean out to the bridge or --
RACHEL MASON: Yeah, well, even out to the bridge first, and then --
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, it made getting there easier.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: We never camped out there after they put the road up to the glacier.
KEITH CAMPBELL: No. No. It just -- it just kind of ruined that ambiance. But we had -- there's lots of other places to camp in Alaska, quite frankly. But there was always much traffic.
And, of course, with the daylight and the tourists coming, they're there all the time, hours of the day and night, so --
But we still go up there half a dozen times a summer.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: We haven't went up there this summer yet.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Just -- well, we've been up -- I was up with some other visitors once, I had to show them, but you weren't along.
But normally when we have lots of company, that's the first place you go.
KAREN BREWSTER: Do you go up there just by yourselves now and hike or --
KEITH CAMPBELL: Occasionally. We don't hike around too much anymore up there.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Up there just because we're so familiar with it as a rule, you know.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. But we do -- we do hiking.
KAREN BREWSTER: When you first -- when you first came in '71, was it a park?
KEITH CAMPBELL: No. Oh, no, no, no. Not until '80. And then it took them a year or so to get organized.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I don't think it got popular until they put the road in. KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, no. Until --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I mean, until they put the bridge in.
KEITH CAMPBELL: The big bridge, and then it got really popular. Because people just wouldn't make the effort.
You had to walk that three quarters of a mile each way, and -- or whatever.
KAREN BREWSTER: Even for local people, or --
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, you just never saw much traffic up there.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I bet you'd be surprised, there's probably people in town that's never been up there. RACHEL MASON: Really?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I mean, I don't know that, but it wouldn't surprise me.
RACHEL MASON: When they were first building the road, was there support for getting more access to that glacier?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I don't think local people knew the road was even going in, do you?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, I think that people, by that time, had just said, well, what's going to happen is going to happen, and we'll see what happens.
And -- but it's been -- you know, the big change in town is it's just -- it's a tourist town now.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And it wasn't then.
KEITH CAMPBELL: It wasn't then. It revolved around the fisheries and the, you know, sport fisheries and the commercial fisheries and the railroad, and that's it.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Don't you think Exit Glacier becoming a park is what started bringing the tourists to town?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, sure. And the people -- Aldos who started the Kenai Fjords , they started basically by --
they were in the business before that, but in charter fishing and charters, but then they got in the tourist business by taking the park hierarchy out to see what was there,
and just doing an assessment of what was in the park.
From that, the viable businesses were grown of just transporting people. And so that was a big change.
We've had, you know, a complete metamorphose of the town. RACHEL MASON: Really? KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
RACHEL MASON: Can you talk a little bit about some of the changes you've seen in the town.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, we used to have 30 percent un-employment in the wintertime because the fisheries weren't working, the commercial guys were -- the boats were up onshore and were out of business, and so you just had this huge unemployment thing.
And now, you know, we have unemployment, but not -- not that way because the restaurant people close and they go South, or whatever happens, and so it doesn't impinge on the community like that.
So we've had just a complete change in the economy.
RACHEL MASON: Yeah. There's still a seasonal difference, though, right?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, yes. I mean, things dry up here. You know, like the 15th of September, it's just -- it winds down and it becomes a quiet little town.
Right now, it takes you 5 minutes to get on the highway, you know, with the traffic.
KAREN BREWSTER: Running the hospital in those years you did, what was that like?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Very tough. You know, we didn't -- lots of people didn't have insurance, and they -- those kind of roles, and it was tough to keep doctors.
They would come for a year or two and --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: They didn't transfer people to Anchorage then, either. I mean --
KEITH CAMPBELL: No, not nearly as much.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I mean, you did a lot of things, delivered babies.
KEITH CAMPBELL: But we were a much smaller town, you know. The town -- I think when we got here was only about 18 or 1900 people. We had none of these subdivisions outside of town.
The town now is only about 27 or 800 in town, but you've got 3500, 3600 out of town.
So -- to make up the whole community. So -- and it's grown a lot.
And that helps the critical mass of keeping your -- your public institutions more vilable.
KAREN BREWSTER: And there were enough patients to keep a hospital going, and lots of --
KEITH CAMPBELL: No, but where else -- how else are you going to do it?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: They kept them longer.
KEITH CAMPBELL: We kept them -- well, yeah, medicine's totally changed in that regard. You know, an OB would deliver a baby and they stayed five days, that sort of thing.
RACHEL MASON: Yeah, those were the days.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Now they're lucky to go 24 hours.
And in those years, they didn't take care of the highway nearly as well. Sometimes you'd have from 2 to 18 or 19 avalanches in those big, heavy snow years.
And so, you know, if you -- you couldn't go, you had to be able to take care of people. And so it's a totally changed community in that respect.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And for a while there was only one doctor in town.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. One time. Yeah. But we never had more than three, and now they've got four or five, and midlevel practitioners, and so no, it's --
medicine's changed and just the way everything else has changed. RACHEL MASON: Yeah.
KAREN BREWSTER: And the hospital here, it was a private hospital? It wasn't a public.
KEITH CAMPBELL: The city always owned it, but they had -- they had a nonprofit corporation operate it for them, just like they have Providence operate it for them right now.
The city owns the hospital and the nursing home.
So -- but they have an outside contractor operate it for them.
They have the health powers, but they have somebody else do it for them. So...
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I think the grocery stores, you know, they were small. And the grocery truck only came on Thursday,
so if you wanted, for example, bananas or something, you needed to get down there because by the following, maybe, Monday, the store wouldn't have bananas anymore because they would all be gone.
And so, you know, you kind of knew when -- when to go to the grocery store, depending on what you wanted.
And you just kind of -- you know, I think people when they could get to Anchorage, maybe they did shop more in Anchorage because there was a lot that wasn't available.
But in the winter, we didn't just trot to Anchorage all the time because the roads weren't taken care of as well.
RACHEL MASON: That's right.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And so we would stock up sometimes just to, you know, make sure we had some of the things we needed. But --
RACHEL MASON: Was there more sharing with other families, or --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Well, I think we did more things together. I don't know about sharing groceries or anything.
But, yeah, we definitely, because socially, there was -- the Elks was there and, you know, you'd do that sometimes, but you did most things in the home.
And there was an active movie theatre just like there is now, and a bowling alley.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Which is long gone. JACKIE CAMPBELL: Long gone.
RACHEL MASON: Was the prison there? JACKIE CAMPBELL: Oh, no, no.
RACHEL MASON: When did that come in?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Let's see. They paid off the bonds, the state now owns it, and that was a 15 year thing, I think. So it's been about 17 or 18, 19 years, probably.
RACHEL MASON: That must have brought at least a little employment to --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah. Yeah.
KEITH CAMPBELL: 300 good jobs. That's -- Seward was the only community that wanted it.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, we lobbied for it.
KEITH CAMPBELL: So we lobbied Bill Sheffield really, really hard to get that. Then people woke up and they wanted it, then we had to play defense from somebody taking it away. You know, so --
But it was a $50 million building project. And that took a couple of years, plus the -- the full time jobs.
And then the commensurate families that come with those jobs. And, you know, not all the employees live here because they work a week on, a week off, or two weeks on, two weeks off, so --
but we still got quite a lot of people. And so...
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I think in the later years, we've seen people that have retired from other areas of the state buying up these small houses and fixing them up and kind of turning them into summer cottages, if you will.
KEITH CAMPBELL: That's just a recent phenomena. JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, that's quite recent, moving to Seward, maybe, during the summer from Anchorage.
Or, we've seen a few people retire and move here from other areas of the state.
RACHEL MASON: Yeah. Did you -- and you were mentioning groceries were hard to get. Did you depend heavily on your hunting for meat in the early years?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, if we had it, yeah, for sure.
And, of course, we always had a big garden and did lots of berries and mushrooms and all of that stuff. So...
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, the freezers were a big part of our life.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, we had two for a while, kept them pretty well full.
RACHEL MASON: Are people still hunting as much as they used to here?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, I think -- yeah, I'm still pretty --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, I think the younger people still -- You know, it's --
KEITH CAMPBELL: Sure. We hear people, so and so got his moose, and this and that. So yeah, they still are out stumbling around.
KAREN BREWSTER: I have a question back about your snow machining and, you know, getting up on the glacier.
Did you then snow machine up on the ice field?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, no. No, no, no. JACKIE CAMPBELL: No, just to the base of the glacier.
KEITH CAMPBELL: No, no, no. Let's see. We have a story. Snow River. South Fork.
These up here, there's a series of glaciers that you can go up here, and you look down towards that way, and you get up above there, and you look down on --
it's called Paradise, and it goes down, you can actually look down into Nellie Juan -- yeah, Port Nellie Juan, I think, from the glacier. RACHEL MASON: Oh, yeah. Uh huh. JACKIE CAMPBELL: And there's a cabin up there.
KEITH CAMPBELL: There's a cabin up there, Forest Service cabin up there.
RACHEL MASON: Yeah. Could you mark that, even if it's off the map.
KEITH CAMPBELL: And the first year we were here, first winter, we went up that glacier because it's a lot easier to get up than Exit.
Exit is always pretty steep. We went up there, and we looked -- not into Paradise that time.
RACHEL MASON: Can you write "snow machine" by that.
KEITH CAMPBELL: But then we -- but we could look over into Day Harbor in the other direction.
And coming back down that Sunday, bright, sunny day, Sunday, about 40 feet of our snow machine trail --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: We followed the same tracks coming back as we took.
KEITH CAMPBELL: -- dropped out of existence. And we thought, oh man.
RACHEL MASON: Did you see it happen?
KEITH CAMPBELL: No, no, no, we were up here.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: It was a snow bridge and, you know, it was fine, but after so much traffic, it caved in.
KEITH CAMPBELL: And so we had to find our way, and we've never gone on another glacier since. Not like that.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Because the crevasses, the little ones fill up in with snow.
KEITH CAMPBELL: This thing was really scary. And so we found our way down and just vowed never to do that again. Just luck.
RACHEL MASON: Where did you have to go to get down?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, we came just right back -- we just had to make a big, wide detour. JACKIE CAMPBELL: Along the crevasse.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Where we thought the crevasse was, and then get across it very fast. And vowed -- we never have, either. But...
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, I think that by the grace of God, we're still alive. RACHEL MASON: Yeah.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Because we did some what now we look at as rather foolish, immature, inexperienced things.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Just didn't know anything about the country.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: You know, we read about people, something happening, then we assume right away that they were doing just what we did, but we were more fortunate.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Pretty lucky.
KAREN BREWSTER: Do you have an example?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Well, this was one. And then we -- we had our kids with us and we -- somebody took us by boat out to Thumbs Cove, and we were going to hunt goat, wasn't that it? KEITH CAMPBELL: We were goat hunting.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And we were tent camping, and it was just the weather turned really, really bad.
We were sopping wet, drenched, and of course, we were dropped off, so we had no access.
And one of our friends, not the person that took us out there, but somebody else had been watching the weather, and he said, "I'm going out and get them, they have no business being out there."
He was more experienced, by far.
KEITH CAMPBELL: He was the skipper of the Tustumena at the time.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And so he came out and said, "Hey, you're going back to town, the weather's really getting bad."
So he brought us back, and that night there was a huge williwaw came through that cove and upset a boat or washed it up on the beach.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Upset a sailboat.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And a lady drowned. And, of course, our camp -- our tent was probably about where the boat washed ashore.
So had we -- heaven knows what would have happened had we still been out there.
KEITH CAMPBELL: But we were way up the stream that morning, and it was, like, ankle deep when we went up there.
By the time we turned around and came back, you know, three hours later, we were waist deep.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Well, one -- one of the boys stayed at the camp trying to keep the fire going. KEITH CAMPBELL: Trying to get things dried out.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And then the oldest boy and the littlest one went with us.
And myself and the little one, when we tried to wade across that stream, it was so swift, it just knocked us off our feet.
He was holding onto me and our oldest son was holding the little guy, and that's all that kept us from going downstream.
You know, we did a lot of dumb things.
KEITH CAMPBELL: We became a lot more careful.
RACHEL MASON: Just to clarify, it was by boat that they came to get you?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, because that was the only way.
RACHEL MASON: There was no plane that could have --
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, it was here, right out here. JACKIE CAMPBELL: Oh, no planes could possibly have --
RACHEL MASON: Make a mark there, too, an X or something to show.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, it was this stream right here, we were going up here. This was -- there were goats in here, you could see them.
KAREN BREWSTER: Go ahead and draw a circle? RACHEL MASON: Yeah, circle it and put "G" for goat. Yeah.
KEITH CAMPBELL: And here was -- and we would just hike up this trail -- or that stream, and we were camped right there.
And there were four or five boats in there, it's a good anchorage up in this corner, and boy, it really blew that one over, drowned that lady.
RACHEL MASON: What time of year was that? KEITH CAMPBELL: September. JACKIE CAMPBELL: Labor Day. RACHEL MASON: Oh.
KAREN BREWSTER: So do you know anything about the snow machine operation and the camp that was up on the -- the Zimmerman's -- ?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, we knew the people who had it, and we knew they got thrown off. They were not very happy about that.
But anyway, we heard -- we were at a Resurrection Bay Historical Society this spring, and that camp came out of -- it finally melted out.
And they flagged it again, and it had collapsed the building and things like that,
and I don't think they found the two snow machines that were supposed to be left there. JACKIE CAMPBELL: But it was totally covered for many years. Snow white. Totally covered.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, yeah, been -- been snow. And they said now it's also a big, heavy snow year, that was last year it came out, and then this winter it was all covered up again.
But they did flag it, got a GPS, so if it ever comes again, they'll know how much it's gravitated.
So -- but that was -- that was a thriving little business for a while.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: It was quite popular. KEITH CAMPBELL: Couple seasons. And yeah. The Zimmerman boys did that.
KAREN BREWSTER: Did you know -- you knew the dad who started the business? KEITH CAMPBELL: Arley. KAREN BREWSTER: Arley? KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. Uh hum. Sure.
KAREN BREWSTER: Why did he do that? Do you know what inspired him to do that?
KEITH CAMPBELL: He just thought, well -- JACKIE CAMPBELL: I think money.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Money, and he thought it was a great opportunity to take people up there on probably a hundred square miles of good going.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And it wasn't cheap. I can't remember how much. KEITH CAMPBELL: No. It was pretty pricey. JACKIE CAMPBELL: That's why we never went up there. It was too pricey.
KEITH CAMPBELL: But it was -- No, he just thought it would be a good thing. And he -- Arley -- how do I say this diplomatically.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: He walked on the edge of the law. RACHEL MASON: Oh.
KEITH CAMPBELL: No, he just didn't -- he just suffered bureaucracy very badly. Let's put it that way.
RACHEL MASON: Well, how come he got thrown off?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, there was no permitting system, and then suddenly there was a permitting system, and they didn't grandfather him. That's all.
RACHEL MASON: I see. KAREN BREWSTER: So when the park was formed, that was the end of it?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, I think actually it was before that. JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, I think it was before.
KEITH CAMPBELL: There was somehow -- somebody came in and they knew it was federal land, whether it was BLM or whoever, they just said you're out of here.
And so he did, he just walked away and left his machines and his shed and things like that.
KAREN BREWSTER: And they flew clients in by plane? That's how they got people in?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, by float -- or ski plane. Yeah.
I don't know who -- I don't remember how many guys did that for him. Maybe Joe Stanton, and --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: He was the only one flying. KEITH CAMPBELL: -- and Keith Knighten was.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Oh, Keith Knighten. Yeah.
KEITH CAMPBELL: So, those two probably. Were good friends of their's who lived in the same neighborhood, so...
RACHEL MASON: And they had a place to -- that the clients stayed up there? Or --
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, mostly just a day trip, basically, but they had a shed, a tin shed.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Shelter kind of. KEITH CAMPBELL: Shelter type thing.
KAREN BREWSTER: And people would go up there in the summer to do that or in -- KEITH CAMPBELL: Sure, hm mm.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, in the summer is when they did it.
KEITH CAMPBELL: You know, it barely -- it barely gets above freezing except on a sunshiny day on these mountains.
It's pretty chilly up there. So. Well, we had --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, that's one thing that the -- I think the state of Alaska has so many, many, many --
you know, you can live here forever and not do everything that is available or that a person would like to do, so... RACHEL MASON: Yeah.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: You know, we still look at things that, uh, you know, we still got to do something. You know.
And we went through being -- we were avid backpackers and, you know, we packed all over the place, and so there's just too many things to do.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Many trails to walk.
KAREN BREWSTER: Is there any backpacking up that Resurrection Valley? Or...
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, sure, there's a trail all the way through that hooks -- that goes over to -- oh, boy.
KAREN BREWSTER: You've backpacked it?
KEITH CAMPBELL: We've never all the way through here, we've just --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: We've done the Resurrection Trail system two or three times.
KEITH CAMPBELL: It goes up here, Resurrection, and comes up here.
There's a -- a divide where the water runs this way, and then it runs into Upper Russian, and then you come out --
you come out clear down by Cooper Landing, and then just walk across the road and go into the Resurrection Pass system.
RACHEL MASON: Oh. Is that this Russian Lakes Trail?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. Uh hum. And then it comes here. There's a -- there's a -- they've got a trail, Forest Service has got a trail, this is an old map, and --
but it basically follows the river up -- the trail was on the right hand side of the river.
Where it comes across the bridge here, that's where the trail --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Just before the bridge.
KEITH CAMPBELL: -- that's where this trail takes off right there. And goes all the way up. It goes all the way up and over this divide, and comes out at that part.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: But in a rainy summer like this a lot of it would be underwater probably. Because it was real low.
KEITH CAMPBELL: And it gets washed out quite often in here, but --
KAREN BREWSTER: How much of it have you hiked?
KEITH CAMPBELL: 7 miles, I think. Yeah.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: We've hiked in from the other side.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, we've hiked this and we've hiked that, up in here. JACKIE CAMPBELL: Both directions. RACHEL MASON: Yeah.
KEITH CAMPBELL: But we've never -- never done this. For some -- I don't know why, what the reason is.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Well, in from this side to that we started one time and it was -- there was so much water. And so we didn't --
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, the trail was all washed out. That's right. That's why we -- we quit at 7 miles.
RACHEL MASON: Should we have him mark it? Mark there and put hiking or something there.
KEITH CAMPBELL: It starts here.
KAREN BREWSTER: I'm not sure if that red line is the trail or not.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, I think it -- this one right here. And this isn't the trail. The other trail comes along here.
Oh, where's the cabin? They don't have the cabins. KAREN BREWSTER: Actually, you know, I have --
RACHEL MASON: Here's a cabin here.
KAREN BREWSTER: I have the other map. I have the park map.
KEITH CAMPBELL: But anyway, it -- it comes along here somewhere and hooks on, and you can go down.
Yeah, here's the trail here. So it comes in from -- oh, what is that trailhead out there?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: You mean on Skilak Lake? You mean that one?
KEITH CAMPBELL: No, up from -- from up here on this side of the lake. You go up.
KAREN BREWSTER: Here. Does that help? Here's Exit Glacier. Here's Upper Russian Lake. So they have --
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, this shows the trail. Sure. That's it right there. Yep.
RACHEL MASON: I wonder why it's not on this. Maybe the --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Probably too old. KEITH CAMPBELL: This is probably an old -- older map. Yeah. No, this is it right here.
RACHEL MASON: Okay. KEITH CAMPBELL: So...
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, this is nice because you can see all the --
RACHEL MASON: All the cabins.
KEITH CAMPBELL: This cabin here. This is a nice map.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Nice map.
KAREN BREWSTER: I got it from the Park Service.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, here's Carter Lake and Crescent Lake, you know.
KEITH CAMPBELL: But you can get over in here. RACHEL MASON: Oh, yeah, it has all the trails. KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. That's good.
RACHEL MASON: Did you ever stay in any of these cabins?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: All of them probably. Or most of them.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, most of all these. And you bet.
KAREN BREWSTER: But you've done -- you said you also have snow machined some of those trails?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, sure. Uh hum. Yeah.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Where's Trout Lake? Well, here's Vagt , I see that, we've hiked up there and tent camped.
KEITH CAMPBELL: That's fishing there, but --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Tent camped up there overnight.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, but this campground. Here, you start and then you walk along. But yeah, we've hiked in these.
RACHEL MASON: Oh, and this has Skilak Lake.
KEITH CAMPBELL: That's Skilak Lake loop, yeah. And camped in many of those over the years.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: But there's no cabins on there, is there? On Skilak Lake Road.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, just there's some tent things. I think there's one new cabin way down here now. JACKIE CAMPBELL: We tent camped all across there. KEITH CAMPBELL: But anyway.
RACHEL MASON: Yeah, I don't see any cabins there. There's one little cabin right here.
KEITH CAMPBELL: I think there's just basically tent sites.
RACHEL MASON: Yeah. So I guess we should go back to the other one now. KAREN BREWSTER: That was just for the trail reference. RACHEL MASON: Alright.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: That's a nice map. KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, it is. I'll have to look and see if I can get one of those.
RACHEL MASON: Yeah. So just back to on one question of the changes that you've seen, what about the schools? Was it hard for your kids to adjust to going to school here?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I don't think so. I think the one big disappointment, our oldest boy played football, and when we came, there was no football.
And the boys were all in music. And the music program at that time was atrocious, and that was a disappointment, too. RACHEL MASON: Oh it is.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: That, of course, improved, and then eventually there was football, but that was all way after our kids.
Well, the youngest one, by the time he was in high school, the music program had really improved, and he got in on some of that.
But we came from a town of, what, 7500, maybe, so it wasn't like -- RACHEL MASON: So it wasn't too different.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah. Yeah, it wasn't like a city. And so -- and, you know, they played sports, you know, that were available to them.
And I don't think that, you know, they -- they didn't have any problems making the switch.
KAREN BREWSTER: Now, Jackie, did you have a job? Did you --?
JACKIE CAMPBELL: No. I was a homemaker.
KAREN BREWSTER: You raised the kids.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I raised the kids, canned, and made garden and, did all the things that --
KAREN BREWSTER: That's all a full time job.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yes, it was definitely a full time job, and was involved in lots of volunteer work.
RACHEL MASON: And over the years that you've been here, have you noticed any big changes in the glacier itself?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, it's receding. JACKIE CAMPBELL: A lot. A lot.
KEITH CAMPBELL: But it's still a spectacular -- a spectacular thing. JACKIE CAMPBELL: It really is. KEITH CAMPBELL: And so...
JACKIE CAMPBELL: One -- one winter we took friends on snow machines out to the glacier, and everybody lined up and we took pictures,
and then we got on our machines and was going to drive away, and whew, same thing happened, but we weren't under it.
You know, it calved off right where we'd been taking pictures.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Which is pretty unusual in the wintertime.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And now, of course, they have the rope or thing across that says do not go beyond this point.
We still see people doing that, and they're very foolish, like we were, but they hadn't warned us. So...
KAREN BREWSTER: Well, it's interesting you say it doesn't normally calve in the winter.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, just because of the -- it seemed to me, I don't know, I don't know anything about glaciers except that, you know, it's not melting as much, and the configuration doesn't change so they just --
it means to me that it isn't falling off and doing that sort of thing. And because it's not melting much in the wintertime.
RACHEL MASON: Have you noticed any changes in the populations of the animals, like the moose or the goats or --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: I don't know. We sure have them in our yard.
KEITH CAMPBELL: We have them in our yard all the time. Yet. Lots of them, you know. JACKIE CAMPBELL: We have trees that have been kind of halfway trashed.
KEITH CAMPBELL: No, we still see lots of critters here in town, which means they're somewhere out there, too.
Yeah, we -- it's a rare occasion we don't have a moose and her babies in the spring here. Like I say, the bear was right out there the night before last, and --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: We -- just was it last summer that a cow calved twins just right off of the edge of the yard?
And the babies came in and drank out of the sprinkler and played around.
KEITH CAMPBELL: So -- and you know, pictures of the bear here on the deck.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: We've got a picture of a bear with his nose right up against the glass.
KAREN BREWSTER: Did you go bear hunting?
KEITH CAMPBELL: No, I just never felt -- JACKIE CAMPBELL: Did you ever get a bear tag?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Never felt the urge to go.
KAREN BREWSTER: Did a bear ever hunt you?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Just that one on the mountainside. That I know of.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: And when we were hik -- when we were camped up at the first campsite up. Was it Grayling? And we had one of the kids with us, we were tent camping.
And then later somebody told us that they were up there that same day later on and that a brown bear had been in the area.
Remember, they said he had dug through our campsite after we left. But, of course, then, we thought he must have been there when we were there, but we didn't know it.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Now, we've always been pretty careful about bears. JACKIE CAMPBELL: With food especially. KEITH CAMPBELL: We -- you know. JACKIE CAMPBELL: We hang it in trees.
KEITH CAMPBELL: We hang it in the trees, and a long ways away from us at night. And we're very -- really careful when we were out there. JACKIE CAMPBELL: Tried to use mostly freeze dried because it doesn't have an odor.
RACHEL MASON: Are you still doing a lot of hunting?
KEITH CAMPBELL: No. No. If it's young and dumb and follows the pickup, I might shoot it, but I'm not -- it's not -- you know, as I say, we don't -- don't need the meat, and that's basically what --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: It's a lot of work. KEITH CAMPBELL: -- we hunted for before, so now somebody else can do that.
KAREN BREWSTER: So when you were snow machining up the valley, were there lots of other people doing that in the '70s?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. Quite a few. JACKIE CAMPBELL: Quite a few.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. Yeah. We had -- there was a solid core of people that you'd see out there from time to time. And --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: More in the winter, I think, than in the summer because we're lazy and people don't like to walk,
so they could get to those places in the winter, where in the summer they'd have had to walk, and so that --
KEITH CAMPBELL: But we did both, so --
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah, we did both, but it cut down on the numbers of people just because there was --
you know, back then nobody had four wheelers, and so it was walk or not go.
KAREN BREWSTER: Well, you could drive up the road, though, by the time you arrived?
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, after they got the thing established, yeah. JACKIE CAMPBELL: When it was finished. KEITH CAMPBELL: Then there was lots of people.
KAREN BREWSTER: Right. But, so when you first got here, that road wasn't really drivable? KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, no.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Well, and there was no bridge across it, and that's what Warren was talking about probably with the making a bridge.
KAREN BREWSTER: No, Warren was talking about snow machines.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Oh, he was talking about snow machines.
KEITH CAMPBELL: No, we never did that. We just always went across the streams.
KAREN BREWSTER: But so, that the -- I didn't realize the road wasn't drivable yet when you first arrived. JACKIE CAMPBELL: It wasn't even a road.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Oh, goodness, no. JACKIE CAMPBELL: We would camp as far as -- KEITH CAMPBELL: You could get right up to -- out here, right in this area, and then there was just -- there was just a -- there was just a trail.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Did we get across that river coming down into the -- wasn't there a stream or was -- I was thinking there was a --
KAREN BREWSTER: A crossing.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Well, you could ford it, JACKIE CAMPBELL: Where the road is now.
KEITH CAMPBELL: You could ford it is all. We took -- I mean, in the wintertime, yeah, you could go through the trail. KAREN BREWSTER: Summertime.
KEITH CAMPBELL: In the summer, the road just ended. And that's all there was to it. And -- but I don't know which milepost that would be. JACKIE CAMPBELL: We camped --
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah, at the end of it. But -- JACKIE CAMPBELL: We camped at the end of it and then hiked the rest of the way in.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Up here, and then you could take the canoe and go across and walk up.
RACHEL MASON: Okay. So you don't know exactly where the end was?
KEITH CAMPBELL: No, I'd have to -- wherever the boundary -- well, yeah, it would be right here where the Seward ranger, you know, where -- where the forest ended, it was right in here. RACHEL MASON: Okay.
KEITH CAMPBELL: That's where it ended, and now that's the Park Service boundary. So you've got the gate across it up there. RACHEL MASON: Oh, yeah.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Well, didn't Herman Leirer basically punch that road in as far as -- KEITH CAMPBELL: Yep. Uh hum.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Just on his own, he had equipment.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. Again, he didn't suffer bureaucracy very well.
RACHEL MASON: Well, he -- he was a pretty determined guy.
JACKIE CAMPBELL: Yeah. And I think he had a foresight. KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. He and Ted Stevens -- he and Ted were great buddies. So that's --
RACHEL MASON: That probably helped.
KEITH CAMPBELL: Yeah. And then Metco -- Herman would scramble up a few thousand dollars for fuel, and Frank would get on his Cat and they would extend things a little bit.
They started up this side of the river and got -- KAREN BREWSTER: Ok wait, I've got to change --