Is it over? It happened so fast. The mileage on the dash says 7502, so I must have gone somewhere. And yet here I am back with familiar sights and familiar sounds, and all that’s left of the trip is a car full of stuff and a head full of music, a camera full of pictures. A bracing, grinding halt.
Today I’ve been facing a curious teetering between two states, exhaustion and complete boredom. I’m lugging my body around the house like one of the undead while my mind is still racing for things to do and places to go. But it’s a fatigue deeper than coffee can go, despite the millions of things I have to do between now and Friday, when I hope to start the two day drive to Colorado. Today I feel like one of those skits in a comedy show where one person hides behind another and puts their arms out in front to do simple things like brushing teeth (and shoving the toothbrush in their eye) or eating a sandwich (and spilling it all down their shirt.) That is an accurate depiction of my efficiency rating at present.
Despite that, I’m starting to tick off a few minor chores. I've been washing my sleeping bag in the bath tub, not an easy task. It takes some muscle, sort of like washing a dead Saint Bernard. It turned the water into a lovely deep brown “sleeping bag tea.” Which is funny, because I wasn’t expecting it to be that dirty, but I guess the last time I can definitively remember cleaning it was back in 1999. I’m also slowly extracting items from the inner rubble of Bosco, an explosion which resulted from quickly sundering all of TSO’s belongings from the rest of the stuff in a rush to make his ferry, a bit akin to yanking a tablecloth out from under a full setting of china, but with fewer pointy shards. Before this we had to leave Bosco parked unattended in Tacoma for 24 hours, so I left it a little chaotic as a theft deterrant. But I have to admit, my side of the car has more or less been in a state of explosion since the Yukon, so right now it is really just more exploded. When the option is to spend time organizing or make a “that’ll-do” and hit the road, I hit the road.
The 7502 miles is from my driveway to my driveway, but it isn’t a perfectly accurate measure of our trip because it includes a lot of backtracking (like zigzagging around Washington State this last week) and noodling around in the cities. We logged 35 miles in Ketchikan, for example, and I don’t think Ketchikan even has 35 miles of road. So the actual distance may have been closer to 6000 miles, seven weeks travelling, six weeks solid tent camping, access to one oven, two instances of watching television (not counting the ones inside interpretive centers), seven cans of propane, six crossings through international customs, five ferries, zero flat tires, and four boxes of Jujubees. Plus we got eaten by a bear.
So I’ve missed blogging about pretty much everything between Juneau and the civilized world, but I will get around to catching up, I promise. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and after my family’s reunion, which is going to be two weeks worth of my clawing up the hiking trails behind everybody else gasping some excuse about how I’ve been locked in a car the past seven weeks and have no muscle mass left.
Ah… Alaska, the Yukon, the north. When will I go back?