Yesterday, after work, I headed to Los Anchorage in high anticipation to pick up Froghair (one of the few people here who knows me in real life) who is going be visiting through the end of this week. I am so delighted to see her again! The first time I ever met her she had a Alaskan auto license plate on her wall and expressed her wish to "live in Alaska in a tree-house, have a jeep and a goat". Well, at the time I was interested in backpacking in the state but had never given much thought to living there. So I used this as leverage to get her up to visit me as in "You've wanted to go to Alaska as long as I've known you and I've been here seven years....when are you coming to visit?" And she came!
I was a bit late in picking her up though because as I was driving along the gorgeous Turrnigan Arm I kept spotting flashes of white in the ocean. I knew what they were of course - Beluga Whales! And I absolutely HAD to stop and watch for awhile. White adult belugas swimming against the tide with smaller grayish and purplish baby belugas playfully slapping the water and turning gleeful circles the sun gleaming off of their backs. I have never seen them in such numbers. The belugas in Cook Inlet are supposedly genetically distinct from other populations and they are in trouble for reasons not clearly understood. I felt so awed, so privileged to see them there in the wild, happy and free. And every other worry and anxiety of the week and the day evaporated. And luckily, Froghair is the kind of person who totally understood that I had no choice but to stop.