We headed north from the California redwoods, re-packed our truck, and drove it onto the M/V Columbia for a ferry ride from Bellingham, Washington to Haines, Alaska. We had a four berth cabin. Zach’s crib took up most of the walking room. Kris, being six months pregnant and a girl, chose the bottom bunk. I took both the top bunks. The horn sounded and we were off.
We ate peanut butter and jelly for two meals a day and M&Ms for the third. We slept in fits and starts. I moved to the bottom bunk so I could get up and down without landing on Zach.
At Ketchikan, we got off so we could eat a full breakfast at the Best Western. Coffee and eggs and a scoff when I asked for turkey bacon. Welcome to Alaska. The horn sounded and we got back on the ship with new people to greet.
Zach and I ran up and down the hallways, meeting people, gawking at the tents being duct taped down on the solarium, taking in the views of snowy mountains, whales, and porpoises.
It took four days of smooth water and nap time PA announcements. We spent hours outside, walking, feeling the wind, and pointing at nothing in particular.
The ship stopped and we made our way onto the car deck.
We pulled off the Columbia and onto our new state.
I had a voicemail message. There was a house waiting for us on the base in Anchorage. Kris smiled. We were home. Zach smiled and continued to point at nothing in particular.
And I smiled at the memories we had just made.