North to Alaska


I just keep saying it: I can’t believe I’m in Alaska.  I’ve been here for four days already, and I still can’t believe it.  It’s been a pretty cool trip, too.

I worked till noon on Wednesday.  Then, I rushed around and caught my plane at 4:00.  I flew to Dallas and visited with a fellow geek (more video game geek, though) along the way.  It was the first time I’d been to DFW.  It’s the size of my hometown.  So, I cruised around on the train until I found my flight.  I headed to Seattle (traveling back in time, even!), where I met up with a friend of mine that I’ve known for about six years but never met in person.  (Yes, mom and dad, I did go meet up with a strange man I met online.  Why do you ask?)  We partied hard.  Went to Deny’s and everything.  I finally left, fresh from three hours of sleep, at 6:00 the next morning.  I arrived at Juneau, ate some breakfast, meandered around, and caught a six-passenger plane to Skagway.  I arrived at 11:30 or so, and jumped into the waiting arms of my wife and son.  I tell you, nothing’s better than your son running up to you after a three-week absence, and saying “Welcome to Alaska!”

My first day, we explored the town, bought some shirts and trinkets in the shirt and trinket stores, and drove out to see a brown bear catch some salmon in a creek.  I also got to see a seagull and some seals.  Freakin’ nature, baby!

Day the second: Drove to Canada to go to a Wal-Mart.  Ok, so we actually drove to check out the beautiful countryside.  Mountains everywhere.  Waterfalls.  A huge black bear crossed right in front of us, even, and didn’t give a hoot.  In Canada, we also went to a museum to learn about Beringia (look it up!).

The third day, we went on a 7.5-mile hike.  My legs and feet are still wornout, but it was worth it.  We burned up, ran out of water, and starved to the point of near-death, but we made it to the end.  It was great.

Today, we hiked a lot smaller trail.  It was beautiful, smoother, and had some interesting landscaping to boot. 

I’m not sure what tomorrow holds, but I know that these past five days have been chock full of new and unusual adventures for this Arkansas kid who’s been drastically needing to get out more.

– Ray

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