So I’ll have something to help me light up the dark winter to come.
As I relax outside my RV on this glorious August day, listening to waves lap rhythmically against the shore, I can’t help but ponder the coming winter and beyond.
I try not to do this too often – but in my heart I realize that at least part of my drive (no pun intended) to travel and camp during the short, sweet months of summer is so I can look back on the memories and the feelings these pictures evoke in me.
Next winter is going to be long and unavoidably isolating … much more so than winters past – and winter in Alaska is always a bit on the isolationist side even in a good year. THIS is not a good year.
So, what do I do when the walls start closing in and I’m feeling depressed? If you follow my blog, you already know – I hit the road in “Roada”, my Winnebago.
She is my “out”, my escape vehicle, my summer cottage on wheels and my place of peace. She brings me back to sanity in a world gone awry.
With “Roada”, and one or two dachshunds as navigators, I’m pretty much free to ramble across this vast state, stopping when and where I want, with no pre-set agenda.
This past weekend, we started out attending a 4-day K9 Nose Work Trial in Sterling. Since I was already down on the Kenai peninsula in my RV, it seemed a waste to not continue south.
I left Sterling on a rainy Monday afternoon, trusting the weather forecast would be correct for once. A couple of hours later, I turned “Roada” towards the ocean and down a steep, winding road leading towards what looked like a muddy boat ramp parking lot.
Several bumpy, pot-hole strewn minutes later, I’d passed the public boat ramp (lots of fishermen out on the water that day!) and located the entrance to Deep Creek State Recreation Area.
The mountains and volcanos across the inlet winked into and out of view as the storm clouds broiled. I sat, transfixed, well into the evening as the tide came in and the clouds rolled on.
Dark, brooding clouds seemed to almost rest upon the bluffs to either side of the beach as I closed up the RV for the night.
A white-painted lighthouse stood out clearly from the gray backdrop. Storm clouds not withstanding, it was still too light outside to call it night, but at 9:00 pm, the dogs and I called it a day.
Day two dawned bright and breezy. Since the light gusts carried the warmth of August and had served to scurry yesterday’s dark clouds away, leaving a gorgeous sun-kissed vista of Cook Inlet for me to enjoy, I had no complaints.
Baxter, Rhonda and I spent the day investigating the beach at low tide and again at high tide, watching fishing boats launch and head out into the inlet and bald eagles soaring loftily on the fresh summer breeze.
At age ten, Baxter no longer has the energy of his 2-year-old younger sister, so we kept his outings shorter and returned him to “Roada” for some much-deserved quiet time while Ronni and I continued to explore.
Rhonda desperately wanted to chase the many sea gulls swooping up and down the beach, but the near-constant presence of bald eagles hovering hopefully overhead limited her (and Baxter) to scant six-foot leashes.
I can see that this story is rambling on longer than any one blog should, so I’ll leave you with one last, glorious sunset and a promise of “the rest of the story” coming soon …