Last night I had a few hours to myself and (among other things) I took a drive down the coast a bit. There are 100 forest fires currently feeding on the land in Alaska, at least one of which is obvious in the scent of the air here in the city. This is a small one, seen across the Inlet.
This land is not forgiving, but it is generous. Want to do a little free-wheeling rock climbing? Pull over.
I can be more than a little predictable when I’m home, my first outings are always the same…Flat Top, Beluga, McHugh, Potter’s Marsh, Girdwood, Portage and Jewel Lake. Last night it rained and I sat under a tin roofed shelter for a few minutes listening to the plinking of the drops before I became overly fascinated with the signage around me.
8am came far too early and found Kev and I rolling out to the Valley to Mat Valley Meats. Our mission: collect the quarter of the buffalo Todd killed for the reception. Todd is a friend of Kev’s and has 700+ (?) acres that crawl up the side of Sleepy Mountain. On that land there’s a home he built with his own hands and his own trees, a hay farm that supplies the Alaska State Zoo, his herd of buffalo, a few caribou and countless other exciting and rustic bits that make it magic. Todd and Roxanne recently welcomed a new addition to Pitch Fork Ranch, a little girl named…crap. I forget. I’ll meet her Saturday and I’m sure I’ll never loose the name again. Either way, my most sincere congrats to the two of them – they’re some of the most genuine and wonderful people you could ever hope to meet. With any luck I can pop out to the ranch before I head south again to snap a few pictures and catch up.
The whirl of pre-wedding planning and events are coming to a peak, this morning I created the program for the ceremony and tonight is girls/guys night out – I don’t know what they’re up to, but we’re taking salsa dancing lessons. WOOT! Tomorrow is the rehearsal / rehearsal dinner and what promises to be a great night of laughs and a shameless, continual outpouring of love and appreciation with the full family. Uncle Danny, Auntie Kay, Auntie MuraAnne and Uncle Paddy are already here, Kev’s boyhood friends are all accounted for and Auntie Moie arrives tomorrow.
As apprehensive as I was about being “home” again, the days so far have been nothing but spectacular and filled with life affirming encounters / conversations / sights.