Alaska 2023

Day 20

July 27

  Today day is my last day of easing along as we arrive in Bellingham tomorrow. Then it will be back on the road and I reckon I'll see how that goes. It's beautiful clear day and I hope it is a preview of what tomorrow will be.  
  I go back to my usual breakfast table with the wonderful view and my usual breakfast. I run into Eric on the way in and he joins me. We have an interesting discussion about the upcoming presidential election and what we both think may happen. In a little while Teri comes in to sit with us.  
  It's pretty amazing to be able to sit here and enjoy a really good breakfast while enjoying a really good view.  
  After breakfast, I run into Glenn, the feller that came to my rescue when I was trying to get up the steps with my bag. Again I thank him for helping me out of a very difficult spot.  
  As I walk around, I meet a couple who currently live in Massachusetts. He is originally from Ecuador and she is from Puerto Rico. We talk about riding and traveling and I give them some advice on how you manage it from a financial point of view without getting in trouble.  
  I go back to the stern again where the wind is not blowing so hard and enjoy the view with others that have the same idea.  

One of the most interesting fellers I meet is wearing an Army Veterans hat. He sees my USMC hat, so we strike up a conversation. He introduces himself -

"My name is Hollis."

He was in Vietnam during the 1968 Tet offensive which was when some really bad stuff was happening over there. He says something that really sticks in my head -

"You know, you had to get the point in your mind that if was your day to go, it was your day. You couldn't go around trying to hid behind bushes and rocks all the time. You would just go crazy doing that."

I found that to be a pretty interesting bit of information from a man who had been in the thick of it and faced death on a daily basis. He told me that he also did a bit of drag racing in his day in the super gas division. It turns out he was an NHRA and IHRA Super Gas champion in his day. He also built a drag racer to look like a Lamborghini Countach that he said he shipped all over the world to various car shows because it was so unusual. I used to be a bit of 'wrench' in my day so we have some interesting conversations. Unfortunately, he now suffers from his days in Vietnam and his contact with Agent Orange and is a disabled veteran. It is a real pleasure and an honor to get to spend time with him.

  It's really nice to be able to just wander around the ferry and go from one lovely view on one deck ...  
  to another lovely view on another deck. And you never get tired of the scenery because it is always changing as we move along.  
  Sometimes it gets a little choppy but you really don't feel it much on the ship deck.  
  Then it will smooth back out into a beautiful blue sea.  
  I notice off to the left is an interesting vessel then I realize that it is a garbage barge being moved to some unfortunate area for disposal.  
  Its been a pleasant day and I try to soak up as much as I can as we will be in Bellingham in the morning.  
  As the day is coming to an end, I know this is my last day of 'ease' before I am back on the road.  
  Once again I enjoy and exception supper and in keeping with my tradition ...  
  there ain't much left when I finish.  
  But there's always room for a little bit of sweetening - especially if it is of the chocolate sort.  
  After I finish up, I go back outside to watch the sun go down from the deck one more time.  
  I head back to the cabin as I need to get things packed up and really to disembark in the morning. I think my physical condition has improved enough that getting me and my bag down the steps should not be a problem. With a full stomach and a full heart, it does not take me long to find that blessed place of nighttime rest.