Establishing an all-time record for through auto stage transportation from Valdez to Fairbanks, George Edgecumbe rolled into Fairbanks Saturday evening from Valdez in a bus of the Alaska Motor Stages, just a day and a half from the Coast.
Mr. Edgecumbe, operator of the stage line, was enthusiastic over the trip. declaring the highway to be in as good shape as is usual for two months later in the season.
Among the passengers who made the trip were Mrs. Edgecumbe, Mrs. Sue Revell, operator of the roadhouse at Rapids, Jim Rudy, driver for the stage line, and several others.
At only one point on the entire trip, Mr. Edgecumbe said, did the bus run into anything that even looked like trouble. One snowdrift was encountered, but the bus easily pulled around it. All the rest of the distance the trail was smooth; even dusty for much of the way.
At McCarty, the bus that brought the party from Valdez was abandoned for one that was taken out from Fairbanks to that point. All passengers and driver were transferred across the Tanana river in a power boat of Bert Hansen.
Mr. Edgecumbe, before leaving for the return trip to the Coast Mon., said that he will start regular service Thursday, with a bus leaving here to connect with the SS Alaska at Valdez. Weekly and twice-weekly trips will be made from that time throughout the season.
May Use Six Buses
The Alaska Motor Stages has six buses that may be put into operation as the traffic demands the service. A big year in tourism and general travel is expected, with several large tour parties booked.
All along the highway, Edgecumbe reported, the roadhouses are prepared for a big season. Improvements and enlargements to the stopover facilities were noted at most of the popular lodges.
At McCarthy, Bert and Mary Hansen are operating their roadhouse, with another lodge under the direction of Rika Wilson on the other side of the river. Sue Revell is again ready for business at Rapids, Russell Keith has made improvements at Paxson's, Mrs. Griffiths at Gulkana is expecting a busy season, Mrs. Barnes at Copper Center is already enjoying a good business and "Woody" at Tonsina is all set for the summer.