This is the third article I've written during our summer of 2010 Alaska trip, and writing this many articles was something I wasn't expecting to do. Funny how things turn out, back when we first "took off", we expected to spend the summer of 2007 in Alaska. Didn't turn out that way. Not because of unforeseen problems, but rather because we really didn't know what we wanted to do at the time.
Now that we are in Alaska, Linda contends that we weren't really ready to come to the far north back in those days. Not that we couldn't have made the trip. Not that we wouldn't have enjoyed being here. No, we weren't ready in the same sense that someone who has done something a number of times seems to learn more the longer they do it.
Now one could say based on that premise, that one is never ready for anything, and they might be correct, at least from that person's point of view. But "new" is exciting, it's what drives us to explore beyond our boundaries, whatever they are. It's the desire to look over the edge of the precipice and peer down into the canyon, or struggle to climb to the top of the mountain and enjoy the view, though Linda sometimes doesn't see the point in the struggle on the way up.
All along our journey north we have been discovering unexpected realities. The wonderful people of Canada with their way of adding "eh' anywhere in a sentence. The unexpected kindnesses and more than fair treatment we have received when faced with minor mechanical inconveniences. And of course, the scenery that is mind boggling in its grandeur.
As we approach the midway point of our time in the north, we have come to realize that the unexpected is the norm up here. That in our venturing out, new realities are constantly being presented to us. We've been places in the lower 48 where they advertise 'Y'all come back, ya hear." Up here that's not necessary, for up here we find ourselves leaving a place thinking about what we'll do when we come back, no advertising slogans needed.
That is something we never expected, when in mid May we were nervously waiting in line at Sumas getting ready to cross the border into Canada and begin our journey north. Our attitudes haven't changed. We optimistically look forward to each new day. We still don't know everything we are going to do on a given day. We don't have any reservations at RV parks lined up, no schedule to meet. We don't know all the towns we are going visit, much less enjoy.
But what we do know is that we will constantly be discovering the unexpected along the way, making one wonder: Are the realities of the Far North what we see, or are they within me?
We rejoice in the fact we are not the type of people who stop for the night complaining about the roads, the gravel, the mud, the delays, the rain, and on and on, but rather that we are people who look at our mud encrusted RV, remembering the miles of gravel, potholes or frost heaves, then smiling, think, what a ride! We can't wait to do it again.