Friday, October 19, 2012

Almost Ferry Time!

Wow! Less than 24 hours left in the lower 48! I'm in Bend, Oregon tonight, and tomorrow I drive to Bellingham, Washington to catch the ferry to Juneau. If you'd like- you can track my ship- the M/V Columbia here: Alaska Marine Highway System Map. Look for my vessel in the southeastern part of the state between now and Monday. I'm pretty sure they won't have WiFi on the ferry so besides a couple of small posts tomorrow, I probably won't have another substantive post until Monday when I arrive in Juneau... and I'll probably have a TON of pictures and stories to share then.

I still have a significant leg to go tomorrow, but with the bulk of my cross-country trip finished, I'm feeling very grateful for the last week. I got to see America in every wonderful way. I saw the people, culture and scenery at its best. People held doors open for me, the cottonwoods were glowing yellow in the sun, and political billboards adorned every highway... mostly advertising opinions different than my own, but again, that's America at its best. I was particularly taken aback by the foliage this week. The 3rd week of October was BY FAR the best week of the entire year to travel. I hate to say this, New England, but the mid section of the country has you beat for foliage. It's true. I think that the concentration of non-deciduous conifers is so much lower in the rest of the country so that there is far less green among the other brilliant colors.

I have decided that I'm actually allergic to Kameko. I've had terrible "allergies" this past week, and I'm starting to think it's not the pollen. I think it's the close quarters with Kameko. My nose has been constantly itchy around her, and I sneeze like crazy. Oh well. It's a cross I'll bear.

Speaking of Kameko, she's on drugs again tonight in Oregon, and she's doing great. She's been very chill with the two humans, two dogs and cat that are here. I think she also must be happy to be out of the car after more than two days straight in it. I've got to give her credit- she has really figured out how to be happy and comfortable in the car. She has a few different nesting spots- one very special one. However, this one she found at Bob and Alesha's tonight is an award winner:

Reminds me of that scene in ET...

I've had the wonderful opportunity of seeing old friends along the way... some planned, some not. The other night, as I entered Colorado, I posted a Facebook status update: which an old friend from Texas replied and we ended up getting an impromptu breakfast in Boulder the next morning. God love Facebook.

Impromptu Houston Reunion in Boulder, CO
Tonight, I am staying with an old friend who I haven't seen in 7 or 8 years. It's been great catching up with him and meeting his wife here in Bend. I wish I could stay longer. I've had that feeling with many people along the way. Bend is a very cool town, and I'd love to explore it some more with Bob and Alesha... I guess it will be here for another time.

Alesha, Bob and myself

Some footage from my drive across Oregon today:


I'm starting to feel the drawbacks of the time difference. I'm 3 hours behind most of my friends and family on the east coast, and I'll be 4 hours behind in Alaska. That's a pretty signifcant difference that I'll have to contend with. I'm used to posting things on Facebook at 11pm and having some immediate activity. That's not going to be the case going forward. Thankfully, most of my friends aren't up at 3am east coast time. I guess that's just another way I'll be disconnected from my old life.

Almost to Bellingham!

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