My family is in the ﬁnal stages of relocating to Arizona from Alaska. We will be in sunny Arizona 10 months of the year, and enjoying Alaska’s cool summers two months of the year. We frequently use air travel into and out of Alaska . This time I wanted to experience a longer journey out, maybe even savor the experience of leaving Alaska. Entering or exiting the 49th state has two unique options during the summer months. We can drive the Alaska highway system into Canada and then into the lower 48 states, or use the ferry system. Both are about 4 or 5 days of continues travel.
A friend graciously accompanied me on the ferry. We drove my car, that was packed full of photographs and other treasures, onto the ferry just before midnight on Monday. Both of us had sleeping bags, food and Dramamine. Our sleeping arrangements included chaise lounges, minus the cushions and sleeping bags. We felt lucky to score two of the lounges. It took us a short amount of time to ﬁnd where we wanted to camp for 4 and a half days.
We decided on a protected deck area. Thru windows we could see the open water, sometimes land, occasional whales and usually the sun. Other travelers occasionally passed thru our site, the deck was open to all. There was a lone traveler that stayed near us. His presence added an extra spark to the journey. Each morning and night he would spend time on his knees, with his hands reaching for the sky, in a state of prayer. He shared with us an experience of Mother Mary visiting him years ago.
The rest of the decks were full of travelers, ours only had the three of us. There is no coincidence that we shared a space with someone that had studied the similarities of Buddha and Christ, and received a healing from Mother Mary.
We arrived in Bellingham, Washington early Saturday morning. We happily drove the car oﬀ the ferry seeking food and coﬀee. The trip had included ports where we could walk, but both of us were ready for solid ground. My friend decided to stay and explore Washington and Oregon. My daughter who lives in Bellingham was interested in driving to Phoenix. It was decided in the smoothie section of Whole Foods who would keep me company.
As Chloe and I began our drive. I said a prayer for our safety, and one for my friend. I wanted her to ﬁnd inspiration on her solo exploration. And so an adventure of driving, conversation, and recorded yogi insights began. We drove about nine hours a day through part of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Arizona. When we ﬁnally drove past SaltLake City, Utah the land scape was amazing. Snow covered mountains, red rocks and green plants lit up the view. We passed many little roads that led to hiking trails I once enjoyed.
Monday morning we hiked up a trail over looking Moab, Utah. My husband and I had also hiked up the trail years ago. The rocks and view remain the same, but the town is much busier. About thirty years ago I rode my bike into Utah. At that time I wanted to ﬁnd work and explore everything that is oﬀered there, river rafting, hiking, and biking.
On this trip my daughter also fell in love with the energy and opportunities for adventure that Moab oﬀers. Next summer she plans on securing a summer job as a river guide in Utah. After our hike we slowly drove away on a two lane road. I noticed the the curves, uphills and downhills remembering I had been on this road before.
I was in my early 20’s leaving Moab to seek employment at a ski resort, I hitchhiked into Salt Lake City. Actually I got a ride most of the way. I worked part time for a small vineyard and the owner lived outside of SaltLake. I had gone on a multi day backpacking trip just before leaving Moab for the ski resort. The desert silence and the peace of being in the middle of no where, had left all my senses wide open. I clearly remember years ago, when my ride ended outside of Salt lake it was dark. I was shocked by the bright lights, fast cars and noice. It would seem an uneventful moment, but I will never forget the experience of system overload on my senses. I had to shut them down if I was going to survive in a loud, fast paced world.
Driving with Chloe next to me I thought about how I’m ending a journey that began over thirty years ago. My ability to experience a slow exit from Alaska and see the vastness, is a memory I will treasure. The opportunity to experience Moab thru my daughter’s eyes reminded me of myself years ago. The gratitude that I have for my life that once again oﬀers me the peace I experience in the desert is no small thing. I feel like I have come full circle. Oddly it was recognizing that I am now driving one of the fast cars that helped me realize that in this juncture of my life, I have been graced with the ability to sift thru the last 30 years. I am easily taking what I love and letting go what no longer serves me. I have acquired a family, friends, kept my appreciation for nature, deepened my spirituality and found my voice.
In closing; words can not express my gratitude for everyone in Alaska that has trusted and supported me as I built my business. Each one of you has contributed to my dream. I am also thankful for all the people that live out of Alaska that I have worked with. I was shown the ability to connect with others regardless of geographical location. I hope my Alaska friends stay in touch as I welcome new friends and experiences into my life.
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