What follows the best day so far on the tour? The worst, at least up until this point. We all got up early, to make the tunnel and then the ferry and it was pouring rain as predicted. No one was in any mood to do anything and I was in no mood to trek to the bathroom or make lunch, so I just packed up my stuff as well as I could and grabbed some granola bars and crackers and hoped for the best. We just threw everything in the trailer, in the worst order imaginable and it barely fit, but we got it closed and got on the road. As we were backtracking towards Anchorage, the guide got a call on his phone that the ferry was canceled. Apparently, this like never happens and of course, it happened to us. Most of us were really looking forward to it, it’s why we didn’t go on the nature cruise or in my case, just an excuse to not be in the van. When the guide got the call, we backtracked AGAIN to a tiny town, so he could get better cell reception and reroute our plans, since we didn’t need to make the tunnel or the ferry.

The road back to Anchorage

I bought a candy bar so I could use the bathroom, which is normally against my religion, but since I didn’t go in the morning, I sucked it up and paid. Whatever, I got some candy out of it too! We piled back in the van and headed back towards Anchorage. Our next stop, was the old and faithful Fred Meyer (with chimes from the peanut gallery, “Haven’t we been here before?”) to stock up on more food. We were finally getting into the habit of what we all liked to eat and what meals were coming up (fish that evening, so a fellow tour mate and I stocked up on chicken) and we knew where everything was in the supermarket, so we were in and out pretty fast. We unloaded the entire van and repacked way better because the rain had stopped and we had more room on the cement of the parking lot to deal with everything. They didn’t have the lunch bag that I bought the previous time, so I and then the rest of the group followed me over to Wendy’s, as they don’t really have them overseas for lunch.

After the morning of backtracking, it was on to some new road! We drove quickly through Wasilla and Palmer, home of the state fair, which we were all enamored with earlier in the week. You would be too, if you had seem some of the events taking place! And there really isn’t anything more American then a state fair. Just based on the crap that is for sale and the food you can eat, it’s everything you picture about America and more, all in one place. But after a week of meeting people and seeing some of the state, we were kind of over it, which was a good thing. We did stop at the Musk Ox Farm, which was super touristy, but I still paid the $11 for the 30 minute tour. I am definitely interested in weird animals! We got the feed them, but unfortunately, they weren’t super active when we were there, but their whole reason for being is really interesting, so it wasn’t a total waste. We then hit some just fantastic scenery and not a car in sight for miles and miles, which was amazing before our stop in Sutton at the Sheep Mountain Lodge for the night.

Musk Ox

Musk Ox at the farm, Palmer, Alaska

Cute Musk Ox, eating at the farm, Palmer, Alaska

Me and the Musk Ox, Palmer, Alaska

Since we had such a terrible night sleeping in the rain, we all voted to cough up $20 each and sleep in the bunk house at Sheep Mountain Lodge, though we did all throw up our tents to air them out of the rain for a while on the lawn. The place was pretty cute. Bathhouse with a sauna for a couple of bucks and a shower for $5 (I think we all skipped that night) and two rooms of bunks, which we split into snores and non-snorers, which sucked for me because I snore, but am a light sleepers, so I had a pretty miserable sleep. Though the non-snorers had it worse, because something was lost in translation and the Russian girl ended up in the non-snore room and apparently she was the worse snorer of them all! The guide thought it was hilarious that we all wanted tents for the rest of the trip, even though we had one more night in a bunk house in a few days, we were all, can we do tents instead? Too funny that we all preferred tents over sleeping indoors. The lodge also had a full service restaurant, with my favorite coffee which of course I got in the morning. They also had a really cool green house with a dead moose inside. The green house was really really warm (of course) and since I was having such a miserable night, I was tempted beyond belief to pull my sleeping bag and sleep there, but the ground was covered in rocks and I didn’t have a blow up mattress. AGH! Hindsight. But the green house was really awesome.

Me and the moose in the green house. The closest I got to a moose in Alaska. Sutton, Alaska

The guide made a fish stew for dinner but I ate chicken and it was delicious! We ate outside with no fire and while it was a bit cold, but ohmigod, so freakin’ beautiful! After dinner, I gossiped with some of my tour mates (it was getting to be that time in the tour were we all talk about each other behind our backs, so elementary school, I know) before the rest of the group crawled into bed and I went into the green house to write for a while before slipping into my bunk and took out my dvd plaver for the first time to watch some tv shows. I got into such a habit this night, that I ended up doing it the rest of the trip. My boss had loaned me a portable dvd player for the trip and the battery life on this this was out of the world, it only died on me once, on the last day. Perfect timing! I am sure I looked a little shady to my tentmate, no porn, I swear!