Saturday, July 28: goodbye, Alaska
Since the RV had to be returned by 11, we woke up bright and early at 6:30 am to pack up, clean, and hit the road. After we got off the bumpy gravel road and back onto the main highway, we took care of filling the propane and visiting one last dump station. Kurt drove while I napped a little, and we had our two final wildlife sightings near Girdwood–a grazing moose and two large buffalo or oxen.
After we returned the RV, we had 7 hours to kill before we needed to go to the airport, so we had the rental place drop us off at Dimond Mall. We chowed down at a Mexican restaurant (there’s nothing less authentically Alaskan than a chimichanga) and walked around the mall for a bit. It was a gargantuan building with a bowling alley and ice skating rink on the lower level.
We went to see Dark Knight Rises to kill some time. Somebody brought their dog into the theater, which was interesting. After the movie, we took a taxi to the airport and stocked up on magazines and snacks for the flight home to Chicago (once again, by way of Dallas-Ft. Worth).
I’ve really enjoyed reliving the trip through these recaps, and it’s bittersweet to find myself on the last entry. It’s like saying goodbye to Alaska all over again. It was truly one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had. While we were there, we couldn’t help but start planning the next trip in our heads. I’d love to go back to Denali and do some backcountry camping, visit Kodiak Island, try an overnight kayak trip, see the cat mayor of Talkeetna, dip into the hot springs in Chena, and so much more.
Here’s a few more of my favorite pictures from a truly incredible 9 days.