This just in from Alaska: me!

Yes, I just flew in this morning, after spending 4 days in Alaska. I went to visit Skippy, who has been living there since the end of March.

I woke up at 5:30am EST, packed up one of our cats, and went to the airport for my 11am EST flight to Dallas. I had outfitted the cat with Soft Paws and given him a sedative, which turned out to be a good idea. He only flipped out a couple times, and otherwise spent most of the trip dozing in his carrier.

I arrived in Anchorage at 8pm Alaska time (midnight EST), where Skippy picked me up. I’ve shaved my beard since she last saw me, and she almost overlooked me in the crowd.

We commenced driving back to Homer, 5 hours away. After a few stops for gas, food, and potty breaks, we finally made it back to our cabin at 3am Alaska time. That’s 7am EST, and 25.5 hours after I started my day. Poor Skippy also had to drive to Anchorage to get me, so she spent roughly 11 hours driving that day.

It was snowing when we arrived at the cabin.

We slept in, and then attended to the sled dogs. For 4 days, I learned the care and feeding of Libby Riddles’ sled dogs. I prepped food, I fed, I scooped poop, I spread straw, I adjusted collars, I moved dog houses, I brushed fur, and I loved on 37 dogs. I worked in temperatures ranging from 35 to 50 degrees F, in sun, wind, and rain. I stepped in poop, I kneeled in mud, I chopped up whole frozen salmon with an axe, I lifted dozens of 5 gallon buckets full of water, and my clothes were covered in fur, daily. In short, it was awesome!

It was also difficult and time consuming, even with both Skippy and I working. I’m not sure how she manages to do it all by herself the rest of the time, other than her being a total badass. Which she is.

Picture time!

Our cabin by the dog yard:

A view from the dog yard/cabin area:

Later that afternoon, we drove into Homer to have lunch and visit the Spit, a long, low piece of land that juts out into Kachemak Bay:

My partner:

A drift-tree on the beach:

One of the dogs, Tiger:

Another dog, Hunky:

The sun set around 10:45 each night, on its way to hardly disappearing at all during the summer.

The cabin does not have indoor plumbing, with the exception of a gravity-fed spigot in the kitchen sink. The water has to be carried in and pumped into the cistern.

More mountains during sunset. It’ll be tough, living with that view. ;-) I’ll have to take a picture out my front door here in Bloomington and do a side-by-side comparison.

Speaking of no indoor plumbing, here’s our toilet and its view:

We have a fuel oil heater that does an excellent job at heating the cabin. Here’s the exterior drum:

Saturday, we ate a huge and delicious meal at Wasabi’s, then went back down to the Spit to walk off the meal.

There is no sand on this beach, just lots of rocks. Most are grey or black, but a few are different:

Including some granite, probably pulled off the mountains by a glacier and dropped in the bay on the other side of the ice:

Sunset on the beach:

Plants survive in the weirdest places:

Sunday we ate pizza at Fat Olive’s (another amazingly good restaurant) and I had coconut mousse cake for dessert. Then we watched Prince Caspian at the Homer Theater, and made a grocery run to Safeway. Monday morning was spent in the dog yard, repairing winter damage, rearranging some of the dogs to account for loose posts and females in heat, and organizing some of the tools. We made blueberry pancakes for brunch, and then I packed up the small amount of stuff I needed to bring back to Indiana, and flew home.

Now we have to wait until August.

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