Sunday, August 13, 2006

And Finally, An Inconvenient Truth

When we get together, whether in person or on the phone, Kathie brings me up to speed on current events as she understands them. This is always a good thing because I don’t read newspapers; therefore the only “news” I get is from the Charleston TV stations and the Today Show. This visit, when she wasn’t gushing over her latest boyfriend, Anderson Cooper on CNN, Kathie was filling me in on Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth”. On Friday morning we got an up close and personal view of the Hubbard Glacier, and at last I understood what she’d been going on about.

At the entrance to Yukatat Bay, we picked up a pilot as well as a Tlingit storyteller, the storyteller’s daughter, and his niece. As the ship cruised into the bay, the locals provided details and anecdotes over the speaker system about the area. At least, I think they did. Being partially deaf, I couldn’t tell you what they talked about. Besides, I was too busy being overwhelmed by the magnitude (six miles wide with a face that rises the length of a football field above the water) and cold blue beauty of the approaching glacier…and jostling with the other passengers for a good photo-snapping spot.

And snap photos we did. Every time we heard what sounded like thunder, real quick we whipped around to catch a shot of the ice calving off the cliff and tumbling into the water below. The crowd oohed and ahhed. Click, click, click went all the cameras. This was an amazing sight that everyone should see. Or should we? Was this much calving normal? Or was it, as we suspected, the result of global warming? I promised Kathie I would see Gore’s movie when I got back to Charleston.

We lounged around the rest of the day and I updated one of Kathie’s necklaces. Seeing the new version on her, you would never guess that necklace was thirty years old! After pasta bar for dinner (what can I say? I love pasta!), we enjoyed the clear sunny night while we walked seventeen laps around the top deck. The goal was twenty, but I whined so much that Kathie had to give in to save her hearing.

Next morning, we sadly said good-bye to our cabin and crew, disembarked in Seward, and boarded a coach for Anchorage. Our driver chatted and pointed out wildlife along the highway through the Kenai Peninsula. At the Alaska Conservation Center, we saw bison, mooses (meese?),

porcupines, and bears. Rescued along a roadside, baby moose Honeymoon was only a few weeks old and looked very sweet as she lay curled up against the fence, sleeping contentedly. Across the drive, however, the caribou (we know them here as Santa’s sleigh pullers) were having a little difficulty sleeping on their curlers.

As we pulled into Anchorage where we would board a flight back to Vancouver, we could see Denali in the distance. I think that’s one mountain Kathie won’t be climbing.

After spending the night in Vancouver, Kathie and I bid each other a tearful adieu the next morning and went off our separate ways into the wild blue yonder…back to reality where we would cross off yet another dreamy destination from our “to do” list. Thanks for a g-r-e-a-t time, Kath!

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Such great writing! It feels like I'm right beside you on the trip.

Time spent with sisters is precious time. You're both fortunate to have these great memories together.