An Unexpected Trip
This week did not begin with any plans for travel. I have the week off, and intended to spend it at home, writing, blogging, mushing with Henry and doing house projects. It happens that the state wrestling finals are being held near Anchorage this coming weekend, and Joan’s son Michael is competing as the number two ranked wrestler in the state in his weight division. Joan is unable to go over for the event, but Henry was planning to attend, as he is going over for a medical appointment on Friday (more on that in a later post, if he agrees). Betty had planned to go with him, but at the last moment her work schedule intervened, so he asked me to go with him. It was serendipitous good fortune that I am off work and able to go.
The wrestling tournament will go on all day Friday and Saturday. Michael is expected to do well; he is strong and confident at this point. I have known him since he was eight years old, as both friend and health care provider, and I have been proud to watch him grow into a fit athlete and a fine young man. I am glad that Henry and I will be there to root for him, especially since his mother will have to miss it.
It has been eight months since my last trip out of Bethel to “civilization”. Leaving is kind of a big deal. We are fairly isolated here, and traveling out is expensive; a round trip ticket to Anchorage costs about $500, so folks don't generally dash over on a whim. There are four daily planes to Anchorage, but weather can quickly move in and shut down service; you can be stuck here, or stuck trying to get here. Anchorage is not a really big city (population about a quarter million), but it feels big compared to Bethel. Bright lights, traffic, concentrated human energy.
Henry and I will fly over on the afternoon jet tomorrow. Our agenda includes shopping (Costco…a real bookstore…a bike shop…a health food store…oh, joy!), eating in some nice restaurants (you know, the kind with carpet on the floor and cloth napkins?), seeing some new movies (Bethel has no movie theatre), maybe even stopping at a bar and having a real adult beverage (no alcohol is sold in Bethel). Ah, the lures of civilization!
We will return Sunday evening (weather permitting, of course). I plan to take my laptop, as the hotel has wireless internet, but don’t know how much time and energy I’ll have for blogging. I’ll definitely post an update on our return.
Photo: Michael is the lighter-skinned, blond headed wrestler. This was taken by a friend of his at last week's regional competition in Akiachak. Dutch and I did not make it up there for the meet; snowmachine travel was still a bit edgey due to our recent warm spell (fortunately now over). I love this photo of him.
Labels: Tundra Life