We are home on Lummi. Alaska seems far away. I felt a twinge of regret as we left the little house alone, water drained from all the pipes, refrigerator off, windows shut and everything put away or stowed in the truck.
This trip we used the camper. I confess that it was not entirely wonderful. I think it is really a one person camper. The bed was comfortable enough, but it isn’t possible for me to get up in the night without making Jerry get out of bed — my side is against the wall. While I cook Jerry has to sit in one spot by the table or I can’t move around. The tiny sink has only cold water.
Nevertheless we enjoyed ourselves. The first 4 days on the road we were going slowly and sightseeing. (When I say going slowly I mean only about 300 miles a day). The first night we stayed in a pleasant campground beside the Chena River in Fairbanks. The water was turned off, so there were no showers, and at first the electricity didn’t work.
We made a flash visit to Denali. I could only get Jerry to stay long enough to use the bathroom in the visitors center and watch a 20 minute movie about the park. It had aerial shots of the tops of rugged mountains. I whispered to Jerry, “Did you ever fly over stuff like that?” He replied, “Oh, sure. I used to make drops to those crazy climbers.”
The next night we drove down to Talkeetna where we had water and showers and internet. We were getting set up when I noticed that we were beside a train station; next a helicopter rose up from almost directly behind the train station, and when we were taking our evening walk with the poodles we heard an airplane taking off nearby. I said, “Oh, that’s really loud, what could it be?” Jerry said, without hesitation, “It’s a Cessna 185 with wheel-skis. That’s the noise they make.”
Of course we had to walk to the airport to look at the planes.
In that campground there was a lady (of a certain age) traveling alone in a large camper with three Pomeranians and a Chihuahua. The Poms were mostly bald. She told me that they had a hereditary disease that made them lose their hair. That gave them a sort of rat-like look. She had a little fence thing that she set up next to her camper for them, and when she put them in it they all immediately pooped . Then she scooped the poop, put the pooches back in the camper and set out on her large tricycle for morning exercise. When she came back she said she hadn’t seen a single moose.
After that the camping places were minimal. Just electricity, no water. We had water in the camper though. Just about every camp ground was still shut for the winter, or only just getting started.
The last night we spent in the camper was the worst. We stopped at a place with a full page ad in the Milepost, claiming all sorts of good things — showers, internet, and open year round — but when I enquired the man in charge said, “The campground is closed. There’s one electric hookup left next to the restaurant. No water.” I asked about toilet and showers. “I told you, lady, the campground is closed.” I got the same response when I asked about internet, even though there was a signal he wouldn’t give me the password. It seems a poor way to run a business.
Once again, the high point of the trip was the Cassiar Highway. We counted 12 bears, and I got a lot of pictures. Here are some bears. They range from cute to “I’m glad I’m sitting in this nice enclosed truck.”
I called my house and cat watcher the last night of the trip to say that Jerry couldn’t find our house key, so leave the door open for us the next day. Next morning when we were within phone range I found a message on my phone from her that said, “I hate to tell you this, but I just locked us all out of the house. The key is on the dining room table. There may be a window open, but I’m not agile enough to climb in.”
Jerry is an agile old man, though, so he was inside in a matter of minutes.
So much has happened since we left. We drove into summer. There is a wall of green around our house. Some of our friends are getting divorced. Some of them are getting back together again and moving. A friend’s grandchild has leukemia; another friend has completely recovered from multiple myeloma.
Back in the blog world one friend’s father has died, one has painted a terrific portrait, one has redecorated her house, and another has had his prostate removed. How things can change in just 6 weeks.
I am glad to be home in this green and pleasant land. I hope nothing much happens to Jerry and me for a while.