This completes State # 13, Day 19 of the road trip. Only 37 States more to go!
Coming into Anchorage last night I had noticed the "Welcome to Anchorage" sign but it was too dark to take a picture, so I am returning this morning. I quickly realize that I am going to compete with the "rush hour" traffic. There is not much room between the guard rail and the shoulder stripe, I take a quick picture and head back to town. Traffic is moving well.
I had looked up in the yellow pages a self car wash. I remember going by the street coming into town last night. Its 7:20 am and I figure a quick 5 minute wash is in order. The car is filthy. It has a graysih/silver tint to it. The residue feels extremely gritty. I am careful to wet the car and GENTLY wash of the car. A quick rise, and I'm on the way to the Port.
I arrive at the security check and sign in and told I'm going to have to wait for 8 am. Its 7:55 am. the boys in shack are commenting on the car. "The Card" is once again handed out. These things are really coming in handy! Smiles, questions and answers about the trip, and I'm off to Tote.
Carla is elated to see me and asks how the drive went. Everything is ready, just need to complete the paper work. The car is immediately inspected and prepared for loading. I get the impression that they have been waiting for my return to complete the loading of the ship "Northern Lights" I am very grateful to Carla, Connie and Tote for making the special arrangements.
At the loading dock, I hand out "The Card" I get more responses and questions. The worker who drove my car onto the whale deck comments that he is "honored" by the task.
Off to the airport and back to Seattle. The Alaska clerk in Seattle on Saturday had made arrangements for me to fly first class on my return. I am seated next to Jeff, he is an oil field service man. He has just completed his normal shift of 12 hours, 7 days for 3 weeks, and is returning home to the Seattle area. Jeff is interested in my trip and I am showing him pictures on the laptop.
Seeing the Stewardess, Katie, while presenting "The Card" I ask what the air mileage is from Anchorage to Seattle for my records. Katie returns in a couple of minutes with "the Card" in hand. She has a grin on her face. "It's 1265.3 miles, do you work?" She made a point about the .3
I explain to Katie and Jeff that I have taken 3 months off and a loan on my house to pay for this adventure.
Jeff, reaches in his back pack and pulls out a bracelet like he is wearing. Its "The Power Band" with six colored beads. Each bead represents a meaning. His wife makes them and wants me to take one with me for my well being and good fortune. I graciously accept the gift.
Upon returning to Seattle, I take the public bus from the airport to Olympia where my sister Carol is going to pick me up. I have to give credit to the locals, they run an efficient, well used bus system. I am sitting at the bus station and looking for my sister, its 7 PM and she is not here. I try several times to call her on my cell phone and no answer, so I leave a message. Carol figured as long as she had to come to town she might as well go dress shopping for Tyler's graduation. It's 7:20 PM when I finally am able to get hold of Carol. She wants to know were I'm at. She has been around the block several times. I explain that I am on the grass area at the corner of Washington and State. "What are you doing there?"
She had picked me up at the Greyhound Bus Station prior, and thought I would arrive at the same location. There are two bus terminals, fortunately, they are only a few blocks apart.
We have dinner, EAT, stop by to pick up the dress she found for family approval and head home to Montesano.