As we started out today, I knew that when I went to sleep tonight, I would be back in the lower 48 states and truly going home. The whole day was perfect. The roads were great (curvy, steep sides, but great). The sun was bright and only a few puffy clouds hung in the blue skies.
Suddenly, (uh oh, one of my favorite authors, Elmore Leonard, in his list of helpful things writers should know, said never use the word suddenly, but since I can’t think of another word to use, I’ll stick with it). Suddenly, I was struck with a case of melancholy. Yes, I missed my kids, my grandkids, my friends, my house, being able to dial a phone without having to spin around in a circle three times, spit through a V in my fingers, and then climb to the rooftop of the bus to get to hear someone on the other end of the phone say Wher . . . you . . . home . . . while I chanted the familiar saying “Can you hear me now?”
Yes, I am ready to go home, but it was kind of sad leaving behind the Last Frontier. Alaska is a special place. Its beauty takes my breath away. The down-to-earth, back-to-nature lifestyle Alaskan’s live amazes me. One of their mottos is The Land That God Forgot, but I don’t think he forgot it. I think he just got it perfect the first time. (Forgive me if I’ve already said that in a previous blog.)
I feel so fortunate to have been able to spend almost 4 months in the Northwestern part of North America. The neatest part is that as we went into the area, the last snowfall had only been about 2 weeks before we arrived. The rivers and streams were swollen with rushing water from the winter thaw. The sun didn’t sleep much during the first couple of months.
Along the roadways and up the mountainsides nature put on a beautiful show. They were alive with wild roses, yarrow, and the fireweed had started blooming at the bottom of its stalk. I was in Alaska long enough to watch the blooms climb the stalks, becoming more beautiful every day until it reached the top. With the signal that summer was over, it was time for us to leave.
All the way out of the interior of our 49th state, I felt like I was leaving home and had to do a check list.
Rivers and streams empty of rushing water except for thin rivulets flowing through the rocky beds and dead trees that at one time had been totally covered by the water. CHECK!
Fireweed and yarrow dead and brown. CHECK!
Nights no longer dusky, but truly dark for anywhere from 8-10 hours. CHECK!
Bears feeding on salmon had come to a complete stop. They are full and ready for a long winter’s nap. CHECK!
Call Bob at Motel 8 and ask him to leave the light on just in case we are fortunate enough to go back someday. CHECK!
I’m not sure how well my pictures have shown you the beauty of this area, but as we got closer to the border to come into Washington State, it dawned on me that the lower section of British Columbia and Washington are no slouch in the amazing scenery department. Here are a few of the pictures I took from the side bus window at about 60 mph or about 90 km hanging on a mountainside on a winding road. Hope it give you at least some idea of what it looks like.
|River bed with rocks and dead trees which were|
totally covered with water at the beginning of
|British Columbia, Canada|
|British Columbia, Canada|
|Train that followed the river and went in and out of small|
tunnels for many miles.
Until next time,