Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Alaskan Road Trip

In a couple days, we, Marcia and I, will board the ferry, the Alaskan Marine Highway, as it is known in tourist brochures, and head over to the mainland for a week - long road trip. It is one of those unique Alaskan vacations. From Kodiak, there are not many long road trips you can take that last very long. So, you have to get off the island. We are going to do a loop from Homer to Anchorage to Denali, to Fairbanks to Tok and back to Anchorage and Homer. That loop is about a thousand miles. Which qualifies as a long road trip. We have some favorite places to revisit. We don't have a schedule or an itinerary. Just wandering. We have not driven the Tok to Anchorage leg since we moved here ten years ago and that was in the winter. We stopped in the Troopers office in Tok for a road condition report and they cautioned us about a big storm heading our way. Fortunately, we never ran into it and it was sunny all the way. As we approached Anchorage I was looking for the exit ramp that would lead us into Anchorage. What a surprise to discover the freeway just ended at the city limits. We were there! It was only the first of many interesting surprises in the days ahead as we learned about our new home state. Alaska is like one big town. You run into people you know from all over the state whenever you are traveling. You can shop at Safeway and bank at Alaska USA just like you do in Kodiak. You are a long way from home but everything seems familiar somehow. We will pick up some Kaladi Brothers coffee, sample the bread at Great Harvest, stay at the cabins overlooking Denali, watch some Alaskan baseball at Growden Field in Fairbanks and walk the Homer spit before we board the Kennicott for home. Oh yes, and there might be a stop at a bookstore or two or ..... and, of course, oatmeal at Snow City.

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