Friday, July 25, 2008

Alaskan Adventures

Several summers ago, I took a trip to Alaska. My great aunts and uncles used to live in Fairbanks. When my great aunt and uncle were in their 50s, they decided to leave the life they'd known and travel to the greatest state in the north to join their brother and sister-in-law in the wild life of the frontier.

I can't even imagine doing anything so life-changing at 50. I'll get back to you when I'm 50 and tell you how boring my life is then.

I flew up to Fairbanks the day of the summer solstice. I got up at something like 4:00 a.m. Denver time and arrived in Fairbanks, via layovers in Seattle and Anchorage, around 3:45 p.m. Just in time for a midnight golf tournament. Seriously, we had a 9:00 p.m. tee time and in my bleary-eyed state, I drove the golf cart with a box of wine beside me until 3:00 a.m. when our scramble was over.

What? What day is it? What TIME is it?

It never got dark that night, or any of the nights I was visiting. It was weird, because we were staying in a house that was being rennovated and I was the only one sleeping in it. The rest of the folks had their own motorhomes. So the windows of the house were covered in black plastic trash bags to keep the light out in the middle of the night.

There was a beautiful twilight sun-dip every night. There were huge flowers and vegetables which just loved all the sunlight. People started their gardens in greenhouses to take advantage of the growing daylight hours in the springtime. Lots of mosquitoes and other chirruping bugs.

Seeing as how I was used to sleeping, you know, in the dark, I had some troubles adjusting to light nightimes. So I would get up and go carouse the neighborhood. Sometimes the dogs would bark, and I would shush them. I encountered no other animals in my ventures.

In fact, I saw no moose or bear the entire trip. I thought all the advertisements were misleading!

My great uncle and great aunt built a "cabin up the river" which we attempted to visit that summer. For me, the term "cabin" evokes an image of logs and cozy nights around a pot-bellied stove and getting real friendly with your cabin-mates. From the pictures I've seen, this cabin could house a sorority. It looks fantastic and spacious and perfect for the true getaway.

Unfortunately, due to river water levels, we didn't make it to the cabin that summer.

With the health of my great-uncle failing, I doubt I'll ever see the cabin now. That makes me sad.

The entire trip was blissfully relaxing and stunningly beautiful. I loved it so much that when Handsome and I decided to get married, we honeymooned on a cruise around the Inside Passage.

However, that is a post for another day, as cruising the Inside Passage is nothing at all like driving around a Fairbanks golf course at 2:30 a.m. with a box of wine by your side.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I have always wanted to go to Alaska. Some people I knew went on a cruise and it was breathtaking.

Then I saw this show about Alaska. Um. That wasn't in the brochure.