Red rock landscapes covered with glittering masses of snow. Ice crystal encrusted junipers and sagebrush on salt marshes. Inversion fog banks. Tiny little towns with wonderful little houses. Smelling the change in the air as I hit a more humid climate. Trees getting bigger and bigger, denser and greener. Marshes and white egrets. Falcons and hawks watchful on fence posts. Winding, slightly hidden trails in strange cities. Having my favorite meal from 10 years ago at the same place and finding it hasn't changed a bit. Connecting with old friends for an hour, an overnight, a glimpse here and there. Lovely glimpses of the ocean. Foggy walks on the beach and small cafes. The cold rest area where a lady was offering cookies and coffee.
I love road trips, especially by myself. My sister, on the other hand, hates them. I am enjoying this transition time - the time to decompress from one life and prepare for the a different life. The Disreputables have safely made it to Anchorage. They're anxious, as to be expected, but in good hands. I am waiting near the docks where I will catch my ferry and take the Alaska Marine Highway for several days. I'm looking forward to watching the expanse of coastline, to reading books and perhaps catching up on my correspondence. It's very foggy out right now. The coast is just down the block from the bookstore cafe I'm perched in and I can't see it. I can smell it and hear it though and tonight I'll be on it - my first night on a ship since Russia. I can't help but think it will compare favorably. When I land the US will be ready for inauguration - and I will be in Canada and likely remote enough not to have a radio signal. A bit ironic that but that's okay, I'm sure I can catch up on the whole thing on the blogosphere.