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We’re home again! The trip went very well and we wound up coming home three days early! The road was in good shape for driving so we made the 525 mile trip up in one day. That took us 12 hours. Had I been driving, we’d have taken the two days up and spent a night in a motel. However, my husband was driving, the roads were clear and Fairbanks was the goal. There was a fairly full moon, clear skies and the aurora was active so visibility continued to be good. We were able to see Mt. McKinley fairly close-up, and the mountains on each side of the highway we illuminated by the moon. Driving through Denali National Park (where Mt. McKinley sits) our thermostat registered -23 degrees. Cold, crisp and beautiful.
During the day on Thursday, we visited with my brother-in-law and we all went to see the ice sculptures. People from around the world come to participate in sculpting the ice blocks into something beautiful. Although it was cold and breezy, the beauty of those sculptures made it very worthwhile to be trudging the distance. The park in which the sculptures are displayed is quite large and it took quite a while to see all those in display.
Thursday night we went to a potlatch. Those are always special. There were 300- 400 people there. Most of the elders sat at tables. The rest of us sat on chairs positioned in eight long rows and several smaller rows. Two lines of white cabinet paper were unrolled between the rows of chairs. That is the ‘table’ upon which the food will be served or used plates deposited after use. On each chair was a plastic grocery bag filled with a paper plate, 2 bowls, a cup, napkin, plastic silverware, and a couple pieces of Indian fry bread. It took two men to carry the pots of moose soup down the isles to fill the bowls. Sweetened tea was served from a recycled, large, metal coffee canister. The men then served the pasta salad, potato salads, pilot bread and rolls. Next they came carrying the huge pots filled with boiled moose meat and another filled with salmon. It must have taken at least a couple moose and many salmon to feed everybody. Cake and cookies were brought to us for dessert.
Friday we attended the shareholders convention which lasted until 7 p.m. They had a nice lunch for everybody to enjoy during the meeting. Again, there was pasta or potato salad, deli meats with a choice of bread, cake, cookies, coffee, tea or water.
We decided not to stay for the dog races as most of what we had wanted to do was accomplished early on, so we headed home on Saturday morning as the weather forecast was for storms coming in on Sunday. Our first stop was in the village where my husband grew up. He visited with some friends there and they reminisced about people and things they had done. Lunch was at Cantwell and then we drove on to Wasilla where we stopped at the high school to watch our grandson participate in a wrestling match. They had gotten up and left for Wasilla about 2 am to get there by 7 am for the weigh-in. Zack had already wrestled four times and was to wrestle for second place (which he won) shortly after we got there. Next was our usual Walmart stop in Anchorage. We drove the rest of the way home through a storm south of Anchorage throughout the peninsula and got here at 10:30 p.m. where snow drifts obscured our driveway. My daughter and her family left later after Zack got his medal and didn’t get home until 12:30 a.m. That was a long day for all of us and the ice and blowing snow just didn’t help us a bit.
Now that we are at home, I can once again eat relatively wheat-free and mostly sugar-free, too. We are having leftover buffalo meat spaghetti tonight and the noodles are spelt and kamut!
Till next time…