Saturday, March 5, 2011

Anchorage...the beginning of the journey




Greetings!

After barely making my connection to Anchorage on Thursday night, I stepped off the plane and was instantly hit with a blast of cold Arctic air. Ahhh...how refreshing! Fighting off the overwhelming urge to run as fast as I could to the gate where Nan anxiously awaited my arrival, I merely sped walk at Olympic pace instead. Seeing my sister's gorgeous smile and enthusiastic zest for life is one of my favorite things to see and after such a tedious journey it was the perfect remedy.

Day 1:

Wakey wakey, eggs and bac(k)y! One of the best kept secrets in Anchorage is the Middleway Cafe. Before I return to MT, I must make a mental note to stock up on (non-vegan) banana bread. It is the best!!!! I could eat this morning, noon and night. I had the great pleasure of meeting some of Nan's closest friends, Deela and Shannon for breakfast yesterday morning. These girls, as well as the handful of other wonderfully funny and animated characters, remind me of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood X 100. They make me not want to leave. Well, them and the banana bread, but I digress...

Nan and I proceeded to spend the rest of the day checking in at the Iditarod headquarters, meeting what seemed like a million pilots, vets and volunteers. At first, I tried feverishly to keep everyone's name straight but by the millionth person I gave up. Nan told me I must've said about a hundred times, "I've heard so much about you. It's finally nice to meet you!" Mental note...come up with a new line.

We also bought out most of Sportman's Wharehouse in supplies, warm clothes and anything else we could possibly justify for the cold weather. I'm fairly certain the cashier checking us out thought we were insane, but I long ago gave up the notion that we're not crazy so I didn't mind. Plus, how often do you get to experience something like this?! Justification...a woman's best friend. Eric (Evhoo), Nan's boyfriend, made us moose burgers last night (yum!) and we managed to pass away the hours talking about everything under the sun.

Day 2

We had a delicious breakfast and headed for the ceremonial start. I think this was a good test for me before I head someplace with truly busy streets and sidewalks, because I was like a little kid in a candy store looking at all the mushers, dogs and interesting looking people that I was in the way quite a bit. By the end of the day, I had mastered the art of standing off the beaten path staring at people, which is slightly less creepy but not by much.

Nan leaves tomorrow for McGrath and Eric's roommate, Zach, is kind enough to cart me up to Willow for the official start of the Iditarod. I can't wait! I head out Monday with a 20+ lb Maine Coon cat and a bag of warm clothes. Tiger, the "mangy" coon cat is moving to McGrath thru at least September with his mother. I hope I take good care of him until they're reunited on Monday. We have duct taped his carrier so hopefully it holds him. Over and out 10-4!
Side note: Many people, including myself, thought you could drive to McGrath. Alas, there are no roads. The only year-round transportation is once daily air service on a little plane. During the summer, there is barge service that travels 400 miles up the Kuskokwim River from Bethel.

1 comment:

Jill said...

You two have a blast!