** Last late Alaskan post. Expect Greek bear magic after this one!**
After the Denali highway we took a few days in Anchorage to wash our clothes and regroup. Bert and I were on our own now, all the bear-people had returned back to their respective countries, so we were trying to figure out what to do. Meanwhile, our hosts, Wil and Chuck, kept the flow of couchsurfers alive and well! We met some really lovely people, had some delicious food from all corners of the world and chatted and chattedsm more… We also met the ugly side of couchsurfing. There is nothing like waking up in the morning to find someone has kindly donated a few tuft of hair to your bar of soap, or come to the conclusion that your toothbrush was borrowed. And that milk you save last night for your breakfast cereal – that\’s in someone else\’s cereal now. Dreams for a great day crashed, jut like that! Turns out that good and bad often balance out until you get to host people that want to share and understand how amazing it is for someone to just trust you into their space and invite you into their lives. How amazing is that!?
We made some friends for life in that house. Chuck, Wil, Sabine, Travis, Kali.. (and the list goes on). I will never forget the endless talk on education and community living we had with Wil. Or the introduction to responsible hunting Chuck gave me. The smile on Travis\’ face when he drove home with his new car. Sabine\’s inner and outer journey to finding the right travel partner. Kali\’s generous lessons on the art of trampolining! And the beautiful times we all sat together to stick labels on Chuck\’s homemade vapour juice while Wil was preparing the new home-brewed beer. A real home away from home. I am so happy to have met them and so grateful for it all.
Whenever Chuck had a day off work, him Bert and I (and occasionally additional members of our new family) did road trips to the outdoors surrounding Anchorage (and beyond). We got to see more the wilderness, cook more unforgettable pot noodle meals on the side of the road, see some more moose and, more importantly, love this land and the people we met even more. All making it very hard to leave.
Our last adventure took us back to the Kenai Peninsula in a campervan. Many of my dreams put together. This trip was much less organised than any of the other ones and more the kind where you get in the car and take turns when they look interesting enough. For parts of the trip, this didn\’t prove quite the wisest move. Bumpy roads, deadends, or the worst: roads that led us to inhabited areas – unacceptable really… But in my opinion, when you are in Alaska, very few places are not worth your while.
There was one thought I entertained may times: what would happen if I just didn\’t catch that plane back? How can you leave a land that makes you feel so absolutely at home? Not at peace – my kind of home is not always peaceful. But wild. A place where the beasts walk free and where the sense that we are the rulers of this planet vanishes into thin air the very second you stare at the vast wilderness. Alaska really showed me what awe really feels like. A mixture of fear and bravery, fighting eachother before the immense, purest wild beauty and ending up in a fiery balance deep inside your chest. Or something…
Too deep? Here\’s one to end with: on our last day in Anchorage, a squirrel tried to show us off its patch of land with a very akward, wiggly tail-wag war dance. Pretty terrifying. Alright, I\’ll return home this time, squirrel.
But I will be back one day, when I am brave enough to challenge you to a dual. And once I\’m done with you, I\’ll go see the northern lights.
Thank you, beautiful land and wonderful people.