North! To Alaska

Editor Paul King prepares for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

A trip to Alaska has been on my bucket list for a number of years now. I have traveled to several of our nation’s wilderness areas during my life and marveled at the beauty and power of nature. I have found both adrenaline-pumping excitement and calming serenity within the borders of such places as Yosemite, Yellowstone and Shenandoah national parks. To me, Alaska represents a last frontier of sorts.

Well, I’ve finally gotten my wish. But it comes with a caveat. It will be in the middle of winter. I travel to the Aleutian Islands this week on a tour sponsored by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to witness the catching and processing of such seafood as pollock and crab. Think of it as FoodService Director visits "Deadliest Catch."

I will be in the company of four other trade press editors. The trip begins with a trip to the Redmond, Wash., headquarters of Unisea, a major processor of fish and seafood and our host for this expedition. Included will be a visit to Dutch Harbor, on the island of Unalaska, and a short voyage on a freighter to Akutan, where Trident Seafoods has a processing plant.

This is not the Alaska bucket list trip I had envisioned. On the other hand it is like that most special of Christmas presents, the one where someone gives you something you would never have purchased for yourself.

As an editor, I realize the educational value of trips such as this. But this is much more than a trip to a cattle, hog or chicken processing facility. This will be an adventure, and I am looking forward to it.

Through the magic of our website and our Facebook page, I’ll be able to share my experience with you, in the form of more blogs and photos. Stay tuned.

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