If Jack London's "Call of the Wild" touches your heart, if the sight of an eagle soaring or the thunder of a glacier calving awes you, if breathing crisp mountain air, watching a sunrise over emerald green forests and blue glaciers or seeing a salmon negotiate a sparkling brook fills you with joy, if Robert Serivce's "The Cremation of Sam McGee" is a favorite on your bookshelf, you won't want to miss the University Travel Club's full-length color documentary film, "Frontier Alaska", to be presented in Kingsbury Hall on the University of Utah campus Monday, March 4, at 8 p.m. Dennis Burkhart, the film's producer, will be on hand to narrate his film.
Although Alaska is said to have been inhabited for nearly 30,000 years, she was first sighted by Russian explorers led by the Dane Vitus Bering in 1741. Russian fur traders soon colonized Kodiak, fortified Wrangell and founded Sitka as their capital. In 1867, Czar Alexander II sold Alaska to the U.S. for a mere $7.2 million. A short 13 years later gold was discovered by Joe Juneau (no wonder the new capital was named after him) and the fun began. It was during the gold rush that countless mining towns sprang to life and Alaska began to create its colorful frontier image that has merged with native races, their folklore, traditions and cultures to form the magnificent history we have come to know.Mr. Burkhart will escort his viewers on a kayak through Glacier Bay. From Skagway his films follows in the footsteps of the "sourdoughs" over Chilkook Pass. Viewers will see the massive beauty of the brooks Mountain Range; raft, armchair-style, the Yukon to the gold town of Circle; visit Fairbanks, Mt. McKinley, Anchorage, Kanai National Monument and the Kanai Peninsula.
Today Alaska is the last state where a man can travel 600 miles in a straight line and never cross a barbed wire fence; or pitch a tent by a trout-filled lake or stream and be the first ever to cast a line on its virgin waters.
Her attractions are as diverse as the land itself: shimmering blue-green glaciers, countless fish-filled lakes, rivers and streams, steaming volcanoes, tall mountains and broad valleys populated by moose and bear. Film patrons will join Burkhart as he visits museums, Indian dancers, totems, salmon derbies, sled dog races, honky tonk saloon stages shows, pageants, parades, Eskimo craftwork and whaling festivals. See it all through the experienced camera lens of Dennis Burkhart.
Burkhart was born in San Luis Obispo, Calif. While still a high school student, he crossed the Pacific by cruise ship to live in Australia for a year. During this first travel adventure, Dennis developed an interest in photography which began with award-winning photos in scholastic publications, expanded into studio photography and eventually led to publication in National Geographic Magazine.
He is a graduate of Oregon's Linfield College where he majored in political science. After college he joined the U.S. Peace Corps as an agricultural officer in Kenya. While there, he also worked as a professional mountain guide. As a naturalist ranger for the National Park Services he acquired precious experience in the wilderness.
General admission tickets will be on sale in Kingsbury Hall 210 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and again on Monday beginning 90 minutes before showtime. A free shuttlebus will begin service in Rice Stadium parking lot about 7:10 p.m.