Leaving Alaska

 

Spur and Redoubt volcanoes

September 11, 2017  Sixty-two days ago today we left the mountains of North Carolina on an adventure that not one of our group of four could anticipate. Being exceedingly nice to each other lasted through the first week. We said “please” and “thank you” and kept the car reasonably clean and neat. Somewhere along the line we settled into a “nesting pattern” in the car. Debbie and Fred were in in charge of navigation…Debbie in the front seat and Fred in the back seat. Pat and I rotated driving and sometimes I drove from the backseat which wasn’t too popular with Pat! Otherwise I nested in the backseat doing my little research projects and knitting. I knitted 2 washcloths, 1 hat and part of a sweater during the trip. Researching where to stay was a task we all took on from time to time. We made reservations and sent Fred in to close the deal. Fred is extremely good at getting deals!

 

We could not have made this trip without the support of the Life Savers Company. We went through 2 big bags of Life Savers (like you buy at Walmart) and some individual rolls. Our other passion was Mambas and Dollar Store has the best deal on them! Your life will not be changed by Mambas but if you are ever on a long trip, they may keep you from getting grumpy.  At one point we had probably no less than 2 dozen packages of Mambas in the car. Each package of Mambas has 24 individually wrapped pieces in it.  Between the little cellophane wrappers that Life Savers come in and the little papers that each Mamba is wrapped in, “please” and “thank you” had a better chance than “neat and clean”.

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Aida, the saloon waitress! Papa coming down the steps 

In case you and yours are contemplating a two month trip with 3 of your closest friends, here is some advice and some reality: Contemplate flexibility and prepare for difficult moments; learn how to take deep breaths and let go of some expectations. But by all means GO, because the surprises of God’s grace, and the beauty of being in the moment will outweigh those moments when you just wish you’d stayed home. Lovely moments when you can’t imagine being anywhere else will abound.

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Kenai Airport

September 12, 2017 Leaving Alaska today has been hard. Alaska and its wild beauty are part of that; leaving Jill, Jeremy and Aida adds considerable pain, and of course this is the end of our adventure. I do look forward to being home and seeing Bella and Pumpkin, and at the same time I will miss the adventure of traveling. After 2 months of getting up each morning and wondering what new sights will meet me, it may be hard to adjust. This trip has taught me some new skills in observing the beauty around me – using not just my eyes, but all my senses to appreciate my surroundings.

 

I am so grateful to my traveling companions for teaching me so much and putting up with my quirks. Yes, dear friends we all have quirks…sometime I will write a blog about that! I will continue to write at this blog spot. After all what is life but a journey. We can give that journey the space it needs to be appreciated or we can just live in a kind of unaware way. I hope to be as conscious about the rest of this life’s journey as I have been this journey. I’ll share that with you.

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Back where we started 66 days before! Tired but happy.

September 14, 2017 Home now with some sleep to help me think better. Blair and Inza brought Bella to the house and they are staying a few days to help me get settled. There would not have been a trip without Blair and Inza taking care of Bella and my local cat sitter, Kathy Harrer, taking care of Pumpkin. Both Bella and Pumpkin are well and slept as close as they could get to me last night, Bella on the floor beside the bed and Pumpkin under my arm, purring away. Pat and Fred are home and resting, Debbie is back with her beloved, Betty, who picked us up yesterday at the airport.

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Mt. Spur in the evening light

Lots of changes in my life while I was gone, but those can wait for another blog on another day.


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