We’re home. Actually, we have been home about a week, but I have been completely reluctant to admit it by writing the words. We had a lovely, if far too short, visit with our girls and the darling grandchildren and headed down the final stretch of road to Sacramento. And we came back from good jacket and fleece vest weather to hot. Hot. HOT! Damn HOT! Which just annoyed me to an astounding degree. I think one thing that kept me from admitting we were home again was that it was cheaper to run the air conditioning in Cleo than to try and keep the whole house at a tolerable temperature so we’ve been sleeping out there instead of in the house, so I could think of this as being just another camping spot. But now we have shown our faces and our church family knows we’re here and all of a sudden we have calendars again. So, yes, we’re home.
People ask us if we would do this trip again.
Yes, absolutely! We had a great time. Each day was a wonderful adventure, even if the adventures were measured in small bites, like a grand view of a glacier or a mountain top, or a glimpse of a wild creature. Now I just have to try and find the small adventures here, which I will admit is going to require that I banish this “bah, humbug” attitude I’ve had for the last week.
I’ve been thinking about the lessons learned from this four month-long adventure.
1. Even in the wilds of the Yukon there are grocery stores, so don’t take along so much food.
2. When cleaning up after driving through construction in glacier country, acknowledge the fact that the dust is EVERYWHERE and just start by vacuuming the ceiling and work down.
3. Don’t take fancy clothes. They never leave the closet.
4. Those parkas with fleece liners were a god-send, so I’m glad our little spend-thrift daughter bought herself two of them and left them behind in the closet for me to find. They were little nuggets of gold.
5. Not having a schedule was the best thing we did on the trip. We got to have experiences we would have missed completely if we’d had reservations.
6. After talking to people who were doing this trip in a caravan, never go on a caravan. Ever. To anywhere. They were all lovely people, but see item 5. No Schedules.
7. Find out from the locals where the best-kept secrets are and then go there. We saw the bears on the Kenai River because I talked to the young girl who was had gone fishing with her dad; I met a wonderful artist I’ve admired for years; found a really neat quilt store out in the depths of the woods; had a private marine wildlife cruise while taking the water taxi from Homer to Seldovia and then met some delightful locals there who were proud to show off their town.
8. People are friendly and helpful everywhere, especially if you’re wearing a smile and say nice things about their homes.
9. Canadians and Alaskans love dogs.
10. Being some place where the sun shines all night long is interesting, and accommodating for it isn’t all that hard, but eventually, I missed the stars.
Going back and looking at my photos, some of my favorites were the ones taken out the front window. I’m already thinking about the next adventure. I find myself very much in sympathy with Captain Jack Sparrow when he said at the end of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie,
“Bring me that horizon.”