Alaska Adventure Day 7: The Trek Home

On the final day in Alaska, I finally feel like I’m sleeping soundly. I’m ready to sleep all morning, but get up at 7:30 to take Jayson to a sight-seeing tour with Copper Valley Air (their above-the-tree-line hiking tour sounds fantastic, by the way.) I head back to the camp site, stir Kevin and Dan, and start packing for the last time. It tales us a long time to pack because we have to pack for the commercial flight home; it’s amazing how much less stuff we have when packing efficiently.

Mount Drum taken from GlenallenWe stop by the side of the road and snap on last picture of Mount Drum before heading west. I drop Kevin and Dan at the Caribou and then pick-up Jayson. My meal was waiting at the sit-down counter when I return and it’s served with enthusiasm and sass. Coffee was $0.25. Highly recommended.

We drive three hours back to Anchorage but it seems even longer longer. I’m occasionally getting sleepy but Jayson starts a conversation that lasts the rest of the drive. I stop to add an extra 3 gallons to the tank and take a quick baby wipe bath in the gas station bathroom. It feels amazing to be clean. I put on the last clean shirt I have, a white undershirt. I use deodorant. I’m definitely back in civilization.

We head to the Snow Goose Restaurant, which contains the Sleeping Lady Brewery. We sit on the deck on a perfectly clear afternoon and watch F16s performing maneuvers over the Cook Inlet. This a a very relaxing cap after several days of non-stop action.

The rest of the day in Anchorage was a blur. We walk around the touristy downtown area, drop Dan at the airport for his earlier flight, search unsuccessfully for a replacement gun case for Jayson at Wal-Mart, find one at a local sporting goods store, have freezer-burned ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, head to the airport, clean-out the car, and back-packed to the terminal.

At the terminal, Kevin finds that he is accidentally scheduled on the flight for tomorrow. After a few minutes of confusion, the lady behind the counter takes care everything and he’s on our flight. We hang-out at TGI Friday and wait for the flight. Wait a second, that’s Dan wandering around the terminal! Isn’t he supposed to be on a plane right now? Turns out, he was upgraded to a direct flight home.

Kevin and I end up in the exit row with an empty seat in between us. This is the first time he and I really spent talking one-on-one and we take full advantage. We talk the entire flight. I’m amazed by his spiritual growth and his vision for the church. His sacrifice of status and prestige for a pure vision for Cool River Church is inspiring. We talk about Vietnam, Haiti, people we knew, and ourselves.

I say a quick good bye and rush off to my flight to Indy. I sleep about 20 minutes but can’t find a comfortable position after that, so I watch an couple of episodes of Battlestar Gallactica on my Treo to pass the time. A quick baggage claim and I’m outside waiting for my father-in-law to pick me up. What a great surprise when my smiling wife shows up instead! Have have a happy little reunion and head home, where I doze in and out of nap state for the rest of the day, in front of the TV. At night, I finally get to experience darkness again, and I sleep very soundly.

Written by in: Events & Travel | Last updated on: 2014-May-27 |

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