Sequim to Alaska and Back


You’ve heard the saying, “You don’t know what you have until you lose it.”  Today I want to share something you don’t have to lose before you can appreciate it and something you can gain if you don’t already have it.

Sequim is a beautiful community, but not all communities around these United States are so beautiful.  I visited my childhood town, Tok, Alaska recently.  Now we all know that when you go back to visit your childhood town, everything seems to have shrunk, and things you remember as great are sometimes not so great seen through the eyes of maturity.  Alas, such was the case with Tok, Alaska.

The big blight on the town is a property that was owned by a family who loved junk, Ben and Helen Wadsworth.  Ben and Helen had one son, Bob, who would have inherited everything, but he died too soon.  Not long before his death, he married a woman, Norma, who was not from the U.S.  Fortunately for her, she legally inherited the real estate and everything on it.  Since truth is stranger than fiction, the story does not end there.  Norma married a man who loves junk more than any of the property’s previous owners of 60 years.


The property which was an eyesore for decades, had an unfortunate accident.  The gas station caught on fire and became a mass of burnt twisted metal and ugliness par excellence.  To this day, about a decade later, the buildings have not been rebuilt, nor has the mess been cleaned up.  The mortgage has long been in default, but the bank refuses to foreclose, because it would cost at least a million dollars to clean this environmental disaster up.

Since Tok, Alaska is the only highway entrance into Alaska, and since we are in the summer months when it never gets completely dark, no one passes this environmental nightmare without taking in its beauty.

Wait!  It gets better.  Not only are there fuel tanks, junk cars, and 55-gallon fuel barrels stacked in multiple layers at various creative angles, the current master of disaster has . . . get ready for this . . . pigs running around on this property.  Yes, he raises pigs within this chaos!  I told you truth is stranger than fiction!  Not only does the aroma of pre-bacon blissfully entertain the neighbors, but these disrespectful creatures break out of their stronghold on a periodic, if not regular, basis to tease area residents.


Where, you ask, is the code enforcement officer?   There is none.  Is there anyone from the State who will stop the infringement on the state right-of-ways?  Is there any government official who will do anything?  The answers to these two questions is no and no.

Tok, Alaska is not incorporated, nor is it in an organized borough (our county equivalent).  There is no goverment authority.  The local citizens have complained to the owner of the property but to no avail.  It is what it is.

While I enjoyed visiting family and friends in Alaska, am I grateful to be back in Sequim?  Yes and yes and yes.  Do you know how beautiful Sequim really is compared to so many communities around the U.S.?  We are blessed to the 10th degree.  Thank God for Sequim, Washington, one of the cleanest and most gorgeous little cities in the country.

Now you know how much you have to appreciate here, but then I think you already knew how cool Sequim is.

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