The days are long here in Alaska. The tiny town that I am residing in for the next two months is quaint and everyone is friendly, yet I feel a little out of place. It’s been hard to make any connection that lasts longer than simple pleasantries. Then one day, I was walking by the Ferry Terminal and I stumbled into someone unexpected.
It was a cloudy and cool day and as I was out having a walk near the ferry terminal. I wore my daypack, because honestly, I feel naked without it. As I walked I found myself caught in my own thoughts. A squawk from a soaring Bald Eagle flying above caught my attention and I found myself watching it fly above me. They are a common sight on this island, yet I can’t stop myself from watching in amazement. Then suddenly and unexpectedly, WHAM! I felt myself collide with another person, and the sound of a smart phone impacting on the ground in a loud thud rang in my ears.
“Sorry, I didn’t see you.” I exclaimed.
“No, it’s my fault, I should have been looking where I was going.” I heard a soft voice say.
I picked up the I Phone on the ground (thank god for Otter box). It was that moment I finally saw who I ran into, as I handed her phone to her. She was in her early twenties, sandy blond hair worn short, and striking blue eyes. I think my jaw dropped.
“Are you okay?” I finally said.
“Yeah, I was just trying to get a picture of the Eagle”
After laughing off our disastrous meeting, we started talking. She told me that she was traveling through to Juneau where she was going to be visiting the Ice Fields and other amazing things. I told her about my great Alaskan Adventure. It was great to have a fellow adventurer to talk to. We shared tips, and stories about traveling and exploring. She spoke with such passion and excitement, and she was even excited to hear my stories and plans. Things were going great, until I learned she is only on the Island for a day. She embarks for Juneau in the morning. I almost let that be the end of it, I was about to say something along the lines of enjoy Petersburg while your here, but instead, I quickly said
“I know some trails here…I can show you them if you like, or perhaps you would rather fancy a pint?”
I honestly can’t believe I said “fancy a pint”, I would of rolled my eyes if she wasn’t looking at me. Lucky for me she thought it was awesome, and so we were off to enjoy a day of adventure and having a victory beer at Kato’s Kave latter that day. I took her to Outlook Park and showed her where the Devil’s Thumb would be, it it were not covered in clouds. We then went to Sandy Beach, hoping to see some petroglyphs, sadly we did not find any. We then went through Hungry Point trail, and took in the sights of Petersburg Mountain, the muskegs and a deer.
Even though we didn’t see some of the things we were looking for, we still had a great time, and shared some awesome stories. Despite having such a busy day we still had plenty of energy to have a couple of beers at Kato’s. She remembered it as the bar mentioned by the author from Into the Wild, and thought it was really cool to be in the same place she once read about. We then spent a good amount of time talking about that book, and McCandless, and I was really thankful, I just finished the book the day before.
Looking back on that day, I find myself missing the girl I shared a day with. Maybe because it was the company, maybe because I had a crush on her, or perhaps it’s becausebecause I felt like we were kindred spirits? Regardless, I now find my self returning back to the ferry terminal. Even though I know she won’t be returning back to Petersburg, and a small part of me is glad she won’t.
“I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright and when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice, but still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty now that they’re gone. I guess I just miss [her].”