a real-life adventure
Read Part XXIV here.
Now available in ebook format!
I pre-rented an SUV in Anchorage, and I scheduled an extra week to return to Denver on the flip-flop. I studied trail maps and Alaskan history. We checked out books about Denali and read them to each other. We took another practice trip to Moab and fantasized about what four-wheeling in a real four-wheeler would be like. Both of the kids saved every dime of their allowance, not even going to Water World or Elitches in June, even though they had many invites and the pool in our neighborhood was closed for repairs.
We were going to Alaska!
The magical day arrived with a wonderful send-off party thrown by my co-workers. The kids took the bus to my work and arrived just in time for the festivities.
I'd arranged to leave for Seattle directly from my office a few hours before closing time, but work had been extraordinarily busy. My co-workers, well aware of my highway apprehension and cold feet, shooed me on my way by taking over my responsibilities for me.
"Go on! Get out of here!" they'd teased. My kids took their cue and pretended to drag me from the building, much to the amusement of all my co-workers and bosses.
We were off. First stop, Jackson Hole, by nightfall if possible. I could see the skyline of the jagged peaks as we neared Moran Junction. I'd survived the first leg of the adventure primarily by singing with the kids and ignoring every skid mark on the highway, every scuff mark on jersey barriers and every crunched guardrail, mile marker and signpost along the way, of which there were many. Numerous. Abundant. Plentiful. Profuse. Plethora.
I'd never really paid much attention to such roadway scars prior to my accident, even though I spent eight years as a police reporter, documenting the occurrence of such sometimes on a daily basis. In the last few months, other people's nightmares and flashbacks attempted to feed mine and keep them fresh and ready to spring at a moment's notice. Or without notice at all.
The plan was to spend a day in Yellowstone before heading to Seattle. I thought breaking the drive into two days would relieve some of the apprehension while making the trip 100 percent safer. Plus, I'd always been a sucker for interesting, educational and photogenic side trips. Particularly if I could burn up a few rolls of film in the process. We checked into our hotel room and slept well after three hours of Discovery Channel, a real treat to my television-starved children.
Read Part XXVI here.
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Copyright 2013 by Deborah and Brett Atkinson