The End (But Not Really).

We hugged Bob and Bebe goodbye and came back into the house. I filled the tub with hot water and rested motionless in a bath for some time, only my eyes and nose above water, my hair floating around my head, ears full of a deep, muffled nothingness, while something like this (see video) passed through my mind. After a good sob and an even better scrubbing, I hopped out onto the dense bleached-white rug with bare feet, wrapped myself in a thick, oversized towel, and sighed. Walking out of the bathroom, my hand grazed the wall-plate (with its three oddly arranged switches) to turn off the light in the natural way that only the master of a house would know. And in that humbled manner with which the cradle of the heart has a way of responding, the truth of the moment was tangible: We were, finally, home.



After over 10,000 miles of travel all within the state of Alaska over the last six months, we're back in Charleston. Jim starts a 4-year oral surgery residency in just four days. Our wonderful parents picked us up at the airport and welcomed us to our home which they had cleaned and stocked full of food. The contents of the fridge were almost too much to bear: real milk (we've only had shelf-stable since last December), eggs, chips and hot sauce, Sarah's favorite pickles, Publix sandwich meat and cheese, cokes, fresh fruits and vegetables, slice-and-bake cookies. It felt like the final scene in Miracle on 34th Street, when the little girl has wished for a house and she gets it, table set for Christmas dinner and gifts under the tree. And you know what the best part is? When it runs out, we'll go to the store and get more. We couldn't have asked for a better homecoming, and we're so thankful.

Our Two Favorite Grills (4,521 miles apart)

We checked our bags in Anchorage and took a cab to Bear Tooth Grill for one last plate of nachos before an all night flight to the east coast.

Bob and Bebe picked us up at the airport and took us to Hominy Grill in downtown Charleston for breakfast, 9 hours later.

A Five Minute Walk

Anchorage. Transporting our stuff from South to North terminal (Alaska Airlines to Delta). "Nah, we don't need to take the shuttle. The guy said it was only a five minute walk." This was after we asked a homeless man for directions, trudged through a construction site, and dumped the whole cart of luggage in the middle of a crosswalk.


We got to ride on the 95 foot-long Hovercraft from King Cove to Cold Bay, where a short flight took us to Sand Point. The Suna-x cost $8.8 million to build and has a primary purpose of medevac-ing people to Cold Bay for a flight to Anchorage. It hovers about 5 feet above the surface of the water and can reach speeds of 75 mph.

We saw seven bears on the 30 minute ride from King Cove to Cold Bay.

"In The Loop" Article

Laughing Gas

Jim did some dental work on me this weekend (replaced amalgams with composite, filled a new cavity, buffed the leftover orthodontics glue from my teeth [we left Naples in a hurry]), and I have such a problem with sensitivity, he had to numb the whole mouth just to clean my teeth. All said and done, there were 11 lidocaine injections, leaving me with the feeling that I had a huge clown face drawn on (see video). Incidentally, there was no laughing gas involved.

Shower Curtain Hugs

The situation has become severe. Shower curtain hugs (sneaking up on showering person and enveloping them in the shower curtain for a hug) are greatly to be feared. Signage was necessary.

Grizzly Bear

Salmon season just started, but they aren't really running yet. Bears know it's time, though.

That's right, they don't see you. Pure stealth.

Morning cup of coffee, newspaper, and a quick stop to see a man about a dog.


We're hoping this is a Husky-Greyhound mix, and not just some poor, starving creature.

Night Light

We're getting a little out of whack with all this light. It's 11 pm in this shot, and we're trying to go to sleep (of course it's a bit darker with curtains closed, but still). Circadian rhythm? What's that?

Jim Halibut Fishing

Afterwards, we had a great big fish fry. Nothing like it.

King Cove

Back in King Cove, everything has started to turn green. There are tender boats anchored everywhere in the cove (these are boats that anchor at the mouth of the cove, so they can take the fish from fishing boats into the Peter Pan fishery, so fishing boats don't have to come all the way into the cove).

Some People Are Hurtful

Apparently, Sarah has extraordinarily small ears, as her family has enjoyed a laugh or two in this department at her expense for years now (staring at her ears, perplexed, then speaking towards one side with cupped hands "CAN YOU HEEEEAR ME?", asking if she had some sort of accident with acid as a child, also calling them "squirrel ears," to name a few). And she never can seem to get the Pen-Air foam earplugs to stay in for the ride (they're supposed to fit snugly in one's ear canal). Some people found it amusing to mock. Some people are hurtful.

Back To King Cove

This trip from Anchorage to King Cove, we had to stop in King Salmon and refuel. We also stopped in Sand Point and Cold Bay before finally landing in the Cove.


Bob Rich Is The Man

Remember the post Water Tower Restoration? Well, the man at left (Bob Rich) has stumbled upon it and informs us he owned the cabin for some time in the 1970s! He has stories about and pictures of it at this link. And yes, Bob, since we totally ripped the navy photo off your page, you definitely have permission to use any of our pictures you'd like. Thanks for the story.


Goodbye Denali

Parting Jurassic Park-style shot of Denali

Talkeetna Again

The Alaska Range

Denali in full glory, on an uncommonly clear day
Lake Revisited: Above: January; Below: June

All Fun & Games...

Just to show you how quickly something that, by all appearances, is a good thing--can go bad.

Daytrip To Denali

We took off on Sunday for Denali National Park, with a detour back to Talkeetna. We lived on cold Coca-Cola and Crunch bars until dinner at Mountain High Pizza Pie, enjoying the finest weather we've had in Alaska (accompanied by an almost empty highway, Jerry Jeff Walker, Old Crow Medicine Show, and a live ten-minute version of "Rain King" on repeat) for eight truly glorious hours of driving.