Back in the 1980’s, the Alaska Tourism Office had an ad campaign that used the slogan, “Once you’ve been to Alaska, you never really leave.” (That may be slightly paraphrased, but it’s close and it’s as true a statement as ever came out of an ad agency.) In the years since I lived there, I’ve noticed that all I have to do is start talking about Alaska with someone and – especially if that person is on their way there – I am ready to pack my things and head back. The place gets under your skin like nowhere else and I am excited to be going back.
Steve and I will be having a meeting today, one of many that will be happening as D-day approaches. There are still a few supplies to be purchased, though not many, and there’s the filming aspects to go over. The survey gear is taken care of and there are just a few items left to get for the bird studies… it is all coming together, and fairly quickly.
There is a sense, way back in the planning stages of any big trip, that the actual journey itself will never happen. It’s so far away, there is so much to be done to get it all together, it hardly seems possible that it can ever really take place. I’ve had that feeling before, on other projects, and I certainly have felt that way at times over the past eight months or so. The thing is that by the time the departure date arrives, I always end up realizing that the trip really began months before, that my mind starts its wandering before my feet ever begin to move.