Wednesday, September 20, 2006

(34) October 5, 1989 ALCAN TRIP

1989: First Class Stamp $0.25 cents
Chinese students take over Beijing's Tiananmen Square
in rally for democracy
J.K. Rowling gets the idea for Harry Potter
while on a train ride from Manchester to London.
Exxon Valdez spills 11 million gallons of crude oil
into Alaska's Prince William Sound
Katherine Dunn gave us "Geek Love"
"Seinfield" Premeires
"BATMAN" by Tim Burton returns to theaters
"The Satanic Verses" by Salaman Rushdie
"Love Shack" and "Ring My Bell" got us dancing
Two years of protest by AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power
(ACT UP), led the drug company, Burroughs Wellcome
to lower the price of AZT.
27,408 AIDS Deaths in the USA
It was in Alaska I met one of the true loves of my life. J. was rather unusual, a wilderness guide and Lord help her she had her hands full, since we all know how I am (wilderness camping is a hotel without room service, right?) This was the year we decided to leave Alaska, travel and eventually set up home back in the lower 48. So several months were spent organizing and packing. J. prepared the pick up truck like an armored vehicle, as we planned to ship our household items by barge and drive the Al-Can Highway from Alaska to Seattle at first spring thaw.
The day we started it was a beautiful spring day, melting the ice and snow away. We drove for hours and hours with not a person or mark of civilization in sight. I cannot explain what this is like, driving down a highway and wilderness on both sides, but I will never forget it. The trip had to be planned in such a way as to find gasoline, as filling stations seemed to be about eight-ten hours away from each other. So we drove and drove, talking, playing taped music, and enjoying the truly majestic wilderness. J. had set up a bed in the back so sleep was possible, but the first day was too exciting to sleep. After hour upon hour we finally made a small town, and as J. went to find a motel room I stood outside the car in the dark and watched the most beautiful Northern Lights show I ever saw just above my head. Undulating curtains of blue and green color, waving like sheer fabric. It really did seem like I could touch them if I reached up far enough. I have never seen anything before or since as breathtakingly beautiful. I always think of it as Alaska saying good-bye.


Anonymous said...

Max in the back - you spoiled her rotten with hamburgers! And yes, the northern lights were beautiful. And what about that legendary sleeping bag - LOL! :)...

Love ya.

Laura Belle said...

Did I ever tell you I got all the souviner patches sewn on it finally? I still carry it in the van...just in case...