Greetings from coastal Alaska, as far away from Maine as you can get in America, but strangely, the most like Maine of the states I have visited. I’ve heard this comparison before but it really is true. The mountains are bigger, but the trees are mostly the same, the plants oh so similar. Here on the coast its fishing and tourism, which feels really familiar.
Even the climate is the same, though we get hotter in the summer, and I think, more sunny. The ubiquitous nature of Italian coffee delights, advertised everywhere, even in fishing charter offices and post offices, clues me into the fact that perhaps it is not always so sunny as it has been so far on our visit. The bedrock, where you find it, is different, and Alaska is several thousand years behind Maine in terms of deglaciation, but both landscapes are sculpted by ice.
I’m here visiting family, the long lost uncle who went to Alaska in the early 70′s and never came back. You can call it vacation, but this is a family trip, and keeping both a 3 year old nephew and a physically disabled mother out of trouble leaves little time for ambitious personal agendas or sufficient sleep (my personal agenda is first and foremost to enjoy the time here with my family, but looking up and seeing mountains and glaciers, driving past trail heads, and watching boats leave the harbor each morning has me selfishly scheming to come back with my husband and no other responsibilities).
Everyday day has been fun. I’ve done some running, we’ve done some of the touristy stuff, we’ve hit some of the local thrills. Today is the Fourth of July and I’m curious about what Homer has to offer. The Fourth of July in New England is steeped in tradition, and I expect that time and distance and pure isolation has perhaps mutated Fourth of July festivities here, but we shall see. One thing is for sure, there won’t be fireworks (too light–if you wanted to do them, 2 am would be the time but even that is pretty light).
I had intended to write and post a lot from this great state, but life has gotten in the way. We’ve been hard charging the past couple of days (as hard as-5 people who’s ages range from 3 to 62, one of whom benefits from using a wheel chair for long excursions and another who tends to scream when he doesn’t get his way-can charge), so there may be some down time in the near future, recovery time from the vacation. My sister looked at me yesterday and said “I’m exhausted”. She isn’t the first person in history to need a vacation from their vacation.
I’m hoping for a few days of lattes and croissants, bike riding on the Homer spit, beer on the beach, a few more moose and maybe a trail run with a local. We’re leaving in 4 days. It feels too soon.