A quick foreword about our pilgrimage to the last (and arguably—the greatest) frontier:
I grew up in Anchorage– originally raised by wolves, but adopted my current family after I couldn’t acquire a taste for raw moose and my parents offered it fresh off the BBQ; medium-rare and lightly seared with a hint of lemon juice. I left the north immediately after reaching the wonderful age of 18—when kids know everything and are completely invincible—and moved to California for a dose of reality which came with a suddenness that would have made being hit over the head with a 2×4 seem subtle. My last visit to Alaska was in ’95 for a week in Anchorage. Prior to that was a visit in ’90 which included a jaunt to Kenai, Wasilla and surrounding areas. It has been even longer since I have been to Denali (which was actually named McKinley the last time I was there!) or Valdez (which was still named Valdez). I am sure it will be interesting to see how the area has changed over the last 20+ years. Damn, I can [almost] remember when reminiscing involved recounting months and years—now it is measured in decades!
My wife Kat has endured my exaggerations about Alaska for the last decade (damn, there it is again!) and after about 3 years of threatening we finally got our act together to make the pilgrimage. I am looking forward to sharing with her where I grew up (and where my mom grew up too—which is now a Taco Bell), where I went to school (next to the Taco Bell), and areas like Kenai Peninsula (where I went to get away from the Taco Bell). Our trip will start in Anchorage and include a whirl-wind tour of the Kenai Peninsula followed by a ferry ride to Valdez so Kat can see glimpse of Prince William Sound through the rain. We will follow the pipeline up to Paxton before cutting over to Denali for a couple of days. The trip will conclude with a visit to my extended family in Wasilla before reluctantly returning to civilization (i.e. Seattle traffic jams, a pile of bills, and the job).
Being that I am making the single biggest faux-pas of the social-media-saturated age by actually announcing publicly that we will be out of town to any mischievous hoodlums, we have made another upgrade to the Fort Kraz security system as well as notified the neighbors and house sitter that any uninvited snoops should be hog-tied and left in the garage for our return. But not to worry, there is plenty cat food and water in the garage. Besides, the cat would probably like the company too…