Saturday, June 29, 2013

Skagway homecoming

Here we are, in Skagway. It felt so good to come down the valley, back to this place I once called home. We saw some old friends, who I last saw in 2004. We wandered around downtown and ate at the best restaurant in town (still quite good even though they changed names and owners last year). We stayed in the fancy hotel downtown since the others were full. I had never stepped foot in their doors before- a place reserved for tourists and employees, not us trailer trash locals! Now, as a visitor here, the Westmark seemed like a perfect basecamp.

All the while, I felt deeply into this place, this valley with its throngs of cruise ship tourists walking down the boardwalk sidewalks and taking photos of each other in front of the mountains and the Red Onion Saloon. I had some of the best summers of my life here. I had some hard times, too. I knew most of the people in town... I thought that I would move here someday. I wondered what a winter would be like. Then I fell in love and reigned in my nomad ways, settling into a different kind of lifestyle in Boulder, Colorado. 
Skagway remained in my heart and I knew I would return one day, although maybe not for a full season, and definitely not without Dave!

Now, nine years later, only 3 of my community are left, replaced by a new group of 20somethings- most of my friends having moved on to the real world of having families and homes and careers in the lower 48. Me, too. So much has changed, but the Skagway streets are still lined with most of the same shops, and the same cruise ships drop thousands of people off at the docks, just as they did before.

We head out tomorrow for a week long exploration of the Tormented Valley by the Skagway/Canada border- something I would never have had time to do while working here. I'm nervous, since I know no one who has ever been up into the valley on the route we are about to take.
I expect bears, mosquitoes, wind, rain, and unspeakable beauty. This may be our greatest adventure yet!

No comments:

Post a Comment