If you’re just tuning in to our Alaska adventures, here are the links to Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX, Part X Part XI, Part XII and Part XIII. Where did we leave off last? After two canceled bear expeditions, we said goodbye to Homer, Alaska and set sail for Seward. We didn’t see the sun. We didn’t see otters. We were booked on a 4-5 hour glacier cruise that I was having doubts about, after hearing that half of the previous day’s ship had lost their lunch.
Boy, sometimes I don’t scare easily. Like snakes and snails and puppy dog tails. Bull moose breathing near my neck, and closed bear paths. Then I hear about half of a boat barfing on themselves or overboard and I think, “No.” The thought was.. terrible. Even the chanciest chance of a lifetime can be spoiled by multiple barfers. Heck, I can be ruined by one barfer. Adult barfers are the worst. Being on boats gives me claustrophobia more than small planes and elevators. I may never go on a cruise. That’s ok. I DID go on a five hour boat ride in California, seeing whales, dolphins, and one shark, and no one lost their lunch. I did get the worst sunburn of my life, though. Mixed with windburn, I had to take steroid pills. Why are we talking about barf and steroids?? Let’s go back to the beginning.. of Day Six in Seward, Alaska. We woke up and it was gloomy.
I’m gloomy that I’m using photos from previous posts because there was a 2-3 day period in Alaska in which I didn’t reach for my camera at all. I’m even checking my phone for photos I may have missed uploading. What the what? So lonely.
I’m so gloomy and lonely that I’m using YouTube videos where pictures would be if I had, I don’t know, TAKEN them. I’m telling you I have regrets, my friend. I even (SPOILER) planned my last Alaska post to be called, “I Wish” or “I Wanna Go Back.” The “I Wish” is the darker version of what I wished I had done differently, instead of self-loathing. The “I Wanna Go Back” will be just about the wonder of Alaska and how I think about it daily and told Cassidy’s boss on Friday night that I’m going back. It’s true. I am. Enough about barfing, steroids, and spoilers, though. Don’t you want to know what happened?
I lost over $300. I couldn’t go on the boat. I just couldn’t. It was so dark and overcast. Visibility would be bad. Barfers would be worse. I whiffed it and I thought Cassidy hated me for it and I self-loathed and we didn’t talk for an entire day or two. I think about rainbows and magic and bean soup and serendipity and we had had it a day or three before this. Was the spell broken? Was the trip over. A little & NO. There was magic left yet. We checked out of Alaskan Wish Lodging & Art Studio.
We asked Carol for a breakfast recommendation and were told to try Le Barn Appétit Inn & Creperie. This definitely begs to answer the question, “What on earth is this place? And how on earth to explain it?” Yvon and Janet were sitting there waiting for us, even though they had no idea we were coming. Yvon was behind the stove. He’s Belgian, slightly hard of hearing, over 80 (or 800) years-old, and astonishingly awesome. He frowned when I wanted pork sausage instead of reindeer (can’t do it, Rudolph!) but he smiled again when I wanted mustard with my cheese and sausage and whatever else was in there. Magic. Janet is from New Mexico, and we bonded over losing parents in front of us as children, delayed/instant reactions to grief, and seeing things with spirituality. Cassidy and I got our own savory crepes (he wanted reindeer), and then split a dessert one.
I urge you to go there. There’s nothing I can do to explain the smells and tastes and vibes. Some things can only be experienced. I can write my heart out, and sometimes even effectively, but you just have to go there. It might have been the most magic I’d see in Alaska. It’s a contender. Sometimes it’s not northern lights or flying above clouds. Sometimes it’s the grand love between two aging, affectionate, and bickering creperie owners. You can quote me on that one. Print it up!
After that special kind of earth magic, we got out of Dodge. I really don’t remember much of the way back. We were aimless and barely talking. We were cold inside and outside. I know we were thinking about the Denali area/scenery, but we wound up back in Anchorage for a few hours. We headed to Kincaid Park and to a special trail. I was looking for moose. I ALWAYS am.
Eventually we mustered up enough conversation to decide to head to Talkeetna. Would we see Denali? We had no idea about anything, weather or mood-wise. Talkeetna was maybe two hours from Anchorage. We said goodbye to Anchorage again.
Driving into Talkeetna was enough to brighten anyone’s spirits. It was festive and fun – full of restaurants and shops. We found a room for one night at Swiss Alaska Inn – the manager there was AWESOME – and then went to dinner. Maybe dinner was first. I don’t know. All I know is.. Talkeetna! What a cool place! I’m going back for the northern lights and the Mexican.
For dinner we had planned to go to Wildflower Cafe, but ran into people heading out as we were heading in – and the guy said, “If you have a choice, don’t go there.” We did have a choice. We don’t like bad service. So, we made another decision:
Next up – We still have a little magic left. What am I talking about? We have a LOT of magic left yet. Wild adventures await. My whole trip goal was to get out of my comfort zone/footsteps at least one more time. Guess what? I DID! I do!