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From Cold to Warm

Tuesday, 24 January 2023, Seward AK

Time to move on from dog sledding!

6:45 a.m. Up early to give myself extra time to reach Fairbanks for my flight. Step out to verify the car would still start in these sub-zero temps, and discover another inch of snow on the car. Brush it off, then retreat inside to finish packing.

8:20. Breakfast down, teeth brushed, ready to go. But when Ann asks more questions about the book, I dive into the conversation. At the end, Ann made me promise to email her when I got to Seward, so they'd know I arrived safely. Nice to know they care.

8:40. On the road. At this early hour, no hint of sunlight. The world passes as a grayscape, ghostly figures with no details by the roadside. In half an hour, light begins arriving. Have to slow down every time a big truck passes me heading south; their wake always stirs up a cloud of the new snow, sending visibility to 0.

10:45. Make it to Fairbanks with enough time to pick up roses for the flight.

11:15. Do you worry every time you travel that you're going to lose something? I always do. At the airport, I turn in my car keys and hand each of the ladies a rose. Then over to bag drop, where I hand out three more. Now it's upstairs to TSA. As I put my carryon on the belt, I pat my pockets. My gloves. Where are my gloves? Back to bag drop - not there. Back to the rental car counter - Ahh, there they are, on the counter where I left them.

1:50 p.m. As we land at Anchorage, I notice wet runways and slush at the gates. Not a good sign. The pilot announces a temperature of 38°. ABOVE zero.

2:15. With all my luggage in hand, I find a place to settle in and work on typing up my blog notes. The shuttle to Seward runs only once a day, pickup at 9 p.m., but it saves me money vs. renting a car. Besides, all the driving on my park trips has grown old. Now I can be productive.

mid-afternoon. Flurry of phone calls to re-align my adventures. A call to Adventure60 reveals that my Thursday snowcat tour is out - his machine is locked in ice, and even if he could get it running, ice on the trails would chew up his treads. He says there is one company that runs boat tours during the winter, so I call them (Seward Ocean Excursions), and Bixler told me I would need to buy two seats on Thursday for them to take a boat out. "We have a solo going out tomorrow, if you can do that then you both would only need to purchase one seat." Quick call to Kenai Backcountry Adventures, confirmed that my Wednesday snowmobile/snowshoe combo is still on. Plan on buying two seats for a Thursday boat ride.

early evening. The mind eventually emerges from its post-sledding fog. Call back to KBA: yes, they could switch my reservation to Thursday, no problem. Leave message for Bixler, will buy one seat on Wednesday's boat ride. Whew! Got that settled.

7:00. Time for dinner. Only two more hours!

9:00. Hop on the shuttle, only to hear that a late arrival forced another two hour wait. So much for checking in at the Hotel Seward at 11:30.

2:20 a.m. Wednesday. Finally get to the hotel. Keep telling myself, "The next two days of adventures will make this long day worthwhile!"

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