Alaska is huge. No joke, we called bears “moving rocks” for a reason (they are so tiny, you have no idea it’s actually a bear until you notice that its moved) and you can drive and drive and drive and not see another car for an hour, in peak tourist season. And I thought New Zealand was crazy like that! Alaska is even more nuts. But you have never met nicer people, seriously. Half of my tour group, this was their first time to the United States (and they came to Alaska?!) and they couldn’t get over how nice everyone was. Just wait until they “get punched in the face by the Lower-48”. Oy!!
Anyway, besides the hugeness and the niceness, in 2+ weeks of constant moving, all 14 of us (I’m including the guide in this one) didn’t loose a single thing (that I am aware of). On the first night in the tent, I accidentally slept with my ponytail holders, which always fall out in the middle of the night and a few days later, TM found them in her stuff. One of the girls couldn’t find her wallet and while we had to unpack the entire trailer to get to her bag, it was there. I was so unbelievably relaxed about this trip, that I (smartly? stupidly? didn’t even matter) left my passport in the outside pocket of my large duffel and didn’t touch it at all while we traveling around Alaska. I never lost or had it stolen, despite all of us leaving our bags in our unlocked tents during the day. I was so lazy, that I accidentally left my camera in my duffel in the trailer one day, thanking god it wasn’t my wallet, only to swap them the next day, which only had me slightly worried. Thankfully, I didn’t need money that day (well, I borrowed $5 from someone to get candy to use the bathroom, but not having it actually stopped me from buying something I totally DID NOT NEED (just a random pair of sandals in a shop, they had nothing to do with Alaska)) and my wallet was with my passport in my duffel, so crisis averted. I wasn’t too worried. When we were in Denali, our guide left his book on the bus and when we came back the next day, he went to the Lost and Found and there it was, no worries.
Though I have one of my new favorite greatest stories about loosing things (this one is up there about me loosing my credit card at Staples Center and it being returned to me before I even knew it was missing, GREAT story there!) that took place on this tour.
So, at the softball game in McCarthy on Friday night, I didn’t really talk to many people outside our group, but when a couple came over with dogs, we talked about the dogs for a while and that was it. The next day, when I was hiking down to the glacier caves, I noticed two familiar dogs out of the corner of my eye and I called them and then saw their owners, the people I was talking to, right behind them, but they didn’t see me. No worries, just such a small town that of course I am going to run into the same people over and over again. When my group crawled up the hill after the caves, one of my tour mates was in the group ahead of us and the first thing she said is “did you find my sunglasses?” I jokingly said, I didn’t get the message and I didn’t see them anyway, so that was the end of that.
Later that night when I first arrived back at the Golden Saloon and hightailed it to the bathroom, who should get behind me in line, but the girl with the dogs! I said I was right in front of her earlier that day when we hiked down to the glacier caves and that I saw the dogs and then you. I asked her how she liked them and she said, I quote you not, “Ohmigod, they were fantastic. By the way, did you loose a pair of sunglasses”.
I nearly fell over. I was in shock. I was like, “Ohmigod, I didn’t, but I know who did.” She was like, we brought them tonight, for the town lost and found. I was like, fantastic, I’ll find you later. And when we were done with the toilet, I found her and her boyfriend and got the sunnies for my tour mate. When I told my tour mate that story and then presented her with the glasses, she nearly died too. Seriously, how crazy is that?! Just goes to show, talk to everyone and get lucky! You never know where it might lead you.
Despite the hugeness of the state, thanks to chatting with randoms, no one lost a single item in two weeks. Crazy.