Oh The People We Have Met

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One of the many bears we saw along the Red Canyon Road in Waterton National Park

Oh the people we have met. So many stories. Here is one to start. Cody, just nineteen, was camping with his mom in Waterton National Park when he saw a help wanted sign. He kept the tent, a few dollars, and a couple of other things while mom drove home to Manitoba. Cody worked his first shift the night we rolled in and in the morning we talked politics. Mostly he wanted to know exactly which states legalized pot. And how the electoral college works. So it went like this: “Nebraska has three electoral votes because they have one representative and two senators.” “Can you buy pot there?” “I don’t know.” He also asked Corey if her hair is highlighted. It is. He then took off his cap and asked if it looked like his hair was also colored. He thought maybe someone had played a prank on him. I think they did. Later Cody traded me one Pabst Blue Ribbon for a ride into town so that he could move into his new digs. The restaurant he works at offers good food and lodging for $300 a month. It is a good deal but all the beds are taken so he plans on sleeping on an air mattress under the stairs Harry Potter style.

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Bears Hump as viewed from our campground

We also made quite a few friends. On the ferry to Juneau we met Grace and her mom Tracy. We ended up camping next to them and their friendly dog Mac. From Tracy we learned how special living in the Southeast can be. Things her and her family have done in the past few years include digging up whale bones, kayaking to remote islands, and witnessing epic displays of the Northern Lights. And Grace taught Henna how to make a wicked torch from moss draped sticks. Tracy also has written a series of children books detailing some of these adventures. They are very creative and will make you want to move to the Inside Passage. Take a look.

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Our campground as viewed from on top Bears Hump (relatively easy, but steep 1.6 KM hike from visitor center)

The sun was high but it was late in Seward and we were ready to go to bed. The city campground was cheap but poorly organized and right off the main road into town. It was also overbooked and we shared our site with another group (polite kids, they were taking a small break from working at Denali). At the moment I was putting out the fire a beat up Subaru pulled up next to us and honked the horn. The front door opened and I recognized the smiling face. The first thought that popped in my mind was that Eric had stolen a car.

He had not. Each night in Juneau we stayed up late with Grace, Tracy, Mac, Eric and Mara. Eric and Mara were backpacking from Holland. Both have a good sense of humor and endeared themselves to Henna by treating her like an adult. After Juneau they had a series of adventures that included impulsively flying to Homer in order to rent a crappy car at a ridiculous price in Homer. Now in Seward they had nowhere to camp. Luckily we had done a favor for another European couple and they had no problem with Eric and Mara camping on their site. So it was in Seward we had the chance to hang out with friends for a few days more.

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Waterton Lake (taken from on top Bears Hump)

We have more stories. And pictures. Over the next few weeks we will catch you up. But right now it is morning in Waterton and the ladies are beginning to stir. The sky is blue and the soft grass is wet with dew. It is so sunny that I have to use our tent’s shadow in order to make out what I write. Been on the road now for almost two months and it is about time to go home. But right now I feel like I already am.   

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