First and foremost, we have arrived in Anchorage, Alaska and we have arrived in one piece. Second, I am going to do what I can to keep everyone posted when I can, but I will not be able to vouch for the clarity or consistency of any of this. I like to be up front about the situation. I am feeling a bit delirious and slightly out of sorts. Our flight left at 7:00 am, which required an airport arrival at 5:30 am. There was really no true sleep the few hours before I had to wake up; there were easily at least 5 million things on my brain. My parents accompanied me to the airport. They reassured me a few more times as we waited for Thomas. As soon as Thomas glided into the airport with big headphones, one large suitcase and another much larger and seriously sinister looking Pelican hard case, it was officially on. This was happening. There was no turning back.
The day ahead of us was expected to be long. At check in, the Pelican case was greeted with a lot of enthusiastic interest as well as our final destination. There were three legs to get to Anchorage: Baltimore to Cincinnati, Cincinnati to Seattle and Seattle to Anchorage. For the most part our flights were uneventful. Except for my brain still whirling a mile a minute while it could in its travel haze, things were quiet. All of the flights were full and the layover times were nonexistent. Once we got to Anchorage, we hopped in a taxi and went to pick up the RV from Cruise America. Even though I felt a little more resolved that this trip was indeed happening, I was constantly thinking, “what am I doing?”
Cruise America is not a foreign name to me. A very long time ago, before my parents purchased their trailer and when we still had a purposefully planned family vacation, our family spent half of our vacation in Arizona in an RV rented at Cruise America. It was our own National Lampoon’s Vacation, minus some of the random acts of hilarity. That trip will always be one of my favorites and partly due to the experience in the trailer. Anyways, “Steve” (I have no idea what his name was), our Cruise America contact was totally awesome. So awesome, I can’t believe that I didn’t ask or remember what his name was. Yesterday, I was a travel zombie. “Steve” you were the best! He was so kind and helpful and gave you all the confidence in the world that you could take this RV right out of here with no problem.
Well, so we did. I decided that to drive it right on out. I drove it right on out and was honked and yelled out probably within the first 5 minutes of driving. It shook my confidence a bit, but Thomas didn’t seem to be worried. For the record, the issue was a matter of a last minute choice to take the exit for the right. Homeboy was driving way too fast and didn’t care for my hesitancy. Alaska may be the last frontier, but there are still jerk drivers, especially in a bustling city like Anchorage. Since we were both in a state of worn down, we decided to eat. We stopped at Olive Garden and our waitress Rebecca was the epitome of great service. Her interaction with everyone was spot on and she took care of us weary travelers.
Next stop, the old Wal-Mart. There is a Wal-Mart in Anchorage. Darn, there is just about everything in Anchorage. Groceries and RV necessities were purchased and we packed it all in. I think by this point, the food and the travel had us down. We lingered in the parking lot for a while -a long while. In the interest of not mentally killing ourselves we found a place nearby for the evening, Creekwood Inn. Thomas had some work to finish and I think neither one us could have come up with anything else. FRIED. The gentleman at the desk, Sanjai, was very kind. He noticed my license and informed me that he lived in Baltimore and DC. He has been in Alaska for 10 years. What an extreme. He left the busy rat race for a quieter existence and seems very happy with it. Although he seems to have less friends and family that are anxious to visit like he did when living in DC.
Ok, I am getting off this thing so I can be ready for check out. Last note. If you are not familiar, Alaska is one of the places known as the land of the “midnight sun.” Translation: the sun rises around 4:00 am and it sets around midnight. “Setting” is a term that is used loosely because it never gets dark at that point. It is more like an hour or so before dusk look. There will be no stargazing in Alaska. Try making yourself go to sleep at 11:00 pm and it is still light like 3:00 pm in the afternoon. This is the only time I approve of black out curtains.
Signing off! Next stop Denali (?)