We are off for Denali. It will be really strange to not be connected to the outside world.
Yep, that is right, another day at the Juneau Airport. Alaskan Airlines has to be one of the world’s most confusing airlines ever. If they need a plane in another area from where you are going, no problem; they just cancel your flight and put you on another- many hours later that may be cancelled as well. Oh, then, of course, you miss your connection. We did finally get to Anchorage twenty-four hours after our first attempt. Then we sat in the Anchorage airport for seven more hours and finally arrived in Fairbanks at 9:00 pm. It was so nice to be met by our tour guide for the Denali part of our trip. They had our dinners wrapped up for us in our rooms and a drink on the house. That was nice. The dinner was from the buffet and included reindeer meatloaf. It was very good.
On one flight, I sat next to a young lady who had lived in Juneau most of her life. Juneau is an island of sorts because it is surrounded by forest with only forty miles of road with a sign, END that is now shot full of holes. We have no idea what it is like to live a small isolated town. She had not left Juneau for two and a half years and the first thing she was going to do was eat at Taco Bell in the airport. For dinner she was going to eat at the Olive Garden. The only fast food restaurant in Juneau is McDonalds. They told us that the first day McDonalds opened they sold 17,000 hamburgers. People came by boat from far and wide to eat something other than fish. That 17,000 hamburgers is a world’s record for McDonalds. She was thrilled to finally have a Wal-Mart because they have no fresh fruit or vegetables so anything Wal-Mart brings in is a welcome treat. Any meat except for seal and reindeer meat has to be shipped in, so it is very expensive. At first when she was talking about Taco Bell, I thought she was kidding but she wasn’t, so you do get the idea of what a small isolated town can be. I don’t think it is for me.
When we were waiting for our luggage last night, there were more boxes and coolers of fish than suitcases. Alaska is definitely a different world.
I have not mentioned the weather in any of our emails, but the weather our first three days was beautiful and sunny with clear skies. They kept telling us that was unusual and I guess ever since we have been seeing the true Alaska weather, drizzle, damp and cold. It has not altered anything we have done but it is very different from weather we are used to. That is the weather for Southeast Alaska.
Now in Fairbanks, we are in the interior of Alaska and our guide told us that this area is into extremes. It can be ninety degrees in the summer and fifty degrees below zero in the winter.
Again, you will not be hearing from us for a few days. I will be thinking about each and every one of you. Last night we had 22 hours of daylight, that is why this area is called the land of the midnight sun.
“Life is uncharted territory; it reveals its story one moment at a time.” – Leo Buscaglia
More to follow,
Tom & Holly