He was a newly licensed and inexperienced commercial pilot. She was a physician fresh out of medical school. Living under the Californian sunshine, they never thought life would bring them to one of the most remote corners of the United States. Based on true events, Alaska! Up North and to the Left is an epic tale, a story of discoveries among the Yupik Eskimo culture in Bethel, an isolated roadless town in Southwest Alaska. A young couple, Steven, a newly licensed commercial pilot eager to build up flight time, and Lydia, a physician looking to practice in an underserved area, decide to leave sunny Southern California for the rigors of the Alaskan wild. Yes, they knew it would be hard, but they would be able to handle it. Or will they? Together, they will learn to cope with culture shock, the relentless cold, pipes freezing, rural medicine, and flying small planes in subarctic weather. How will they handle the change? What challenges will they encounter? Embark on a true adventure away from the postcards, and dare to discover the other Alaska.
Steven Swaks is a licensed airline pilot and flight instructor. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife, daughter, son, and bratty canine.