Buckwheat Donahue


Pronounced Skag-wee-jun
Slang term for resident of
Skagway, Alaska


Buckwheat, a self-proclaimed ‘bon vivant’ has been gallivanting and enjoying life across Alaska and the Yukon Territory for over 25 years. When he’s not cavorting about, you can find him performing the poetry of Robert service and telling stories about the north for the National Park Service. He also entertains school kids of all ages throughout the western United States, Alaska and the Yukon Territory. The four stories contained in this five CD set are among Buckwheat’s favorites.


Fortunately, Buckwheat hasn’t experienced the desperation expressed in these stories. However, he has numerous expeditions under his belt and has covered most of the same ground Jack London covered back in 1897 and 1898. He’s paddles and camped at Stewart Island (where To Build a Fire was conceived) on the Yukon River and has been seen tromping the isolated paths of the Chilkoot Trail. His adventures would easily fill a book. One of Buckwheat’s complaints about life is that it’s too short to do all the rivers in Alaska and the Yukon. If he had his way he’d do nothing but run the rivers of the North.


Buckwheat learned to love the great outdoors growing up in Colorado; hiking and fishing throughout the Rockies. He eventually made his way north and west to Skagway. Although not looking for a place to call home, he found it in Alaska. When asked if he would ever move away he replied: “Well, I don’t think so…I bought a grave up here. I plan on staying awhile.”


In 2003 he lived through three episodes of congestive heart failure and one heart attack. Not willing to move to Juneau where better medical facilities existed he decided to help raise money for Skagway’s clinic. His goal was to help in purchasing new heart monitoring equipment and any excess would go to help off set the costs on constructing a new medical facility in this town of 850 folks.


From October 1st 2005 through August 24th, 2006 He walked from Miami, Florida to Whitehorse in Canada’s, Yukon Territory. He also rode a bike through Saskatchewan. A distance close to 5,400 miles. Once he got near Whitehorse in the Yukon he switched gears and paddled the length of the Yukon River down to the Bering Sea and the walked from outside Council, Ak. to Nome, Alaska. Another 2,200 miles. The trip took ten months, 24 days, and 3 & ½ hours. But, who’s counting? You can find out more about Buckwheat and his epic journey at www.buckwheat.info.


Buckwheat is currently employed by the Municipality of Skagway as the town’s Tourism Director. After an encounter with Buckwheat expect these encouraging words. “Take care and keep on howling!” Why howling? “Because it’s good for you. Try it, you’ll find it invigorating and healthful.” Owoooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!!!