Well we finally did it. We made it to Homer, Alaska. But you knew that already.
I had to spoil the surprise after our three week long hiatus to make sure that you all were aware that we had not perished on the Canadian tundra. Not that anyone called out any search parties or anything. I’m not even sure if more than 5 people actually read this blog… but you 5… I hope your fingers were on the buttons “911” at the moment my spoiler alert post popped into your email inbox. Crisis averted.
We planned to sleep at a rest stop right on the border and cross back into the US the next morning. Turns out, the rest stop was really just an extended shoulder along the side of the road that was literally about a half a mile from the border crossing. There were bright lights, and lots of trucks passing. It was also still a bright sunny day outside at 9 o’clock at night. So, after a week in Canada we decided to return to our home country with minimal ado or ceremony, and just made a run for the border. I was ready for regular American ketchup anyway.
Did you know that Locked Up Abroad is my favorite show? I watch it religiously. Not only have I seen every episode, I have seen every episode more than once. As a result of this, I have what I consider to be a healthy paranoia of what goes on when crossing the border. I feel like they are magically going to find 20 lbs of marijuana taped into our wheel wells or something. Like maybe it wouldn’t be completely out of the question. Thanks a lot National Geographic.
We pull up. Normal stuff, “may I see your passports?” “where are you two coming from?” “how long have you been in Canada?” Then, he asks “so where are you headed?” to which Justin replies,
Well, duh. I guess he got so used to telling everyone who asked that we were moving to Alaska that it just popped right out, but the border patrol agent (on the border of Canada and ALASKA) thought he was being a smart alec. He didn’t think it was very funny.
Our next offense: Orange smuggling. Yes, that’s right, we were unknowing citrus fruit-mules smuggling our contraband across the border. I passed the agent our 8 lb bag of oranges that we had bought the day before through the window, and he pitched them right in the trash like he was mad at them. As if orange bugs (or whatever it is they’re worried about) from one side of the border couldn’t just walk across to the other side of the border if they wanted to. What a shame, I miss those oranges.
But, for all the drama I created in my mind, it actually went pretty smoothly. We managed to avoid the horror stories of being pulled aside and having your entire vehicle’s contents tossed out on the side of the road, or being turned away for having a speeding ticket on your record, or something crazy like that. We drove and drove and drove, and it felt good to be back in America. It felt even better that we had finally made it to Alaska, our destination. I wonder if that’s how the pioneers felt when they finally reached Colorado (or wherever else they went). They were like “This is it, we’re here. I don’t know where we were headed in the first place but this is where we’re staying.”
We still had a long drive ahead of us to Anchorage, and then Homer, but it felt like we had reached the home stretch. And that was an accomplishment all on its own for us. After 6 months of decisions, planning, saving, moving, and “are you REALLY going to do its?”, we had actually made it to Alaska. It seems normal to be here now, but that first night was a feeling I will never forget. It was an “I did it” feeling.