I am in Wrangell, in a bar. Because, of course I am. It has been a long day, and there are still about 8 hours of daylight left to go here in the shimmering green and gold of southeast Alaska. In these latitudes, some drink simply to bring on the twilight.
Today has gone according to schedule, at least as much as there was a schedule to go by. From Seattle to Ketchikan to Wrangell, at 38,000 feet. From one world to another in less than four hours. I hopped on a convenient pickup truck at the airport, my mass of baggage and me, and within minutes I was back in the hostel, on the second floor of the Presbyterian church, same bunk as last year.
Other than the initial FUBAR of the ferry cancellation, the other major change is in personnel: because of other obligations, Marc has determined that he won’t be able to make the trip. It’s last-minute, but that is how life is patched together, for all of us. It’s a blow, for a number of reasons, but most of all I will miss having a skilled and dependable paddling partner. I haven’t given it due thought yet, but my kayaking route will almost certainly change as a result of him not being there. The surveys and cleanup will go all right without him, perhaps, but he’s a strong hand and a hard worker and he will be missed there as well.
I said it before: Alaska eats plans. And it’s funny, but I’m okay with that. There is a different rhythm here and part of the price of traveling on the edge is that some things fall off from time to time. Not to sound too pessimistic, not at all, but I am looking forward to seeing what falls apart tomorrow.